Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, has given a 48-hour ultimatum to troops to flush Boko Haram insurgents out of Marte LGA in Borno State.
He was silent about Ngala, where the rebels have also been reported to have occupied.
The insurgents were reported to have hoisted their flags in some communities in Marte last week, as they also launched an attack on Dikwa, where they were repelled.
Attahiru in an address to troops of the Nigerian Army Super Camp 9, Dikwa on Sunday directed that the insurgents should be cleared from the reported areas in the next 48 hours.
“Areas around Marte, Chikingudu, Wulgo, Kirenowa, and Kirta must be cleared in the next 48 hours,” he said.
“You must not let this nation down. Go back and do the needful and I will be right behind you.
“You should rest assured of all the support you require in this very onerous task.
“You are aware of the recent attack on Dikwa and Marte, you should not allow this to happen again; go after them and clear these bastards.”
The COAS, who commended the efforts of the troops in the fight against Boko Haram, said: “I am here to deliver the greetings of Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari.
“I have spoken with your commanders; we are going to provide you the equipment and weapons you need to end this war.
“We are also going to address the issue of overstay in the theatre. No more issue of overstay.”
Attahiru assured residents of Dikwa and refugees from Marte of protection.