Military forces fought Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters just hours before President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in Maiduguri, Borno State, on Thursday.

Terrorists launched an attack on the state capital, prompting a massive deployment of troops. According to local sources, ISWAP fighters launched mortar bombs at some parts of the state capital, which landed on many homes in the Ngomari, Bulumkutu, and Ayafe neighborhoods near the airport.

Later, surveillance military aircraft were dispatched to assist the ground troops in thwarting any ISWAP attacks.

According to sources, the rocket struck Bulunkutu Kasuwa, Ajjiri Cross, and Ngomari Ayafe, killing three people.

Around eight people were injured in the blasts, which occurred just hours before President Buhari arrived in the state. According to witnesses, some of the rockets hit the Ngomari Ayafe neighborhood, which is less than two miles from the Air Force base where the president was scheduled to land.

Since the attack on December 4, it was the second such attack on Maiduguri, the state capital.

Professor Babagana Zulum, the state governor, and his cabinet members, as well as the governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, and other security chiefs, were on hand to greet the president.

The first 10km flyover in the state capital, as well as an international conference center, were two of the projects he commissioned.

When President Buhari arrived, he told Operation Hadin Kai troops to stay strong as the campaign against insurgency and other forms of criminality enters its final phase.

The president, speaking to troops at the Airforce Base in Maiduguri, expressed gratitude for the bravery shown in bringing peace to the North-East, while also expressing condolences to families who had lost loved ones and the wounded.

“I urge you to stay focused on achieving our strategic end-state, which is the defeat of all adversaries and the restoration of an economically viable North-East geopolitical zone and other parts of the country where Nigerians are free to go about their activities without fear or harassment,” Buhari is quoted as saying.

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Buhari assured the families of those who have paid the ultimate price for the country and those who have been injured that the Federal Government will meet their needs, recognizing their sacrifices on behalf of all Nigerians.

“I’ve come to thank and commend you on behalf of a grateful nation.” Let me begin by expressing my condolences to you all on the death on November 13, 2021, of Brigadier-General Dzarma Zirkushu and other members of the 25th and 28th Task Force Brigades.

“I do so with the knowledge that we have lost others in this theater of operations, as well as other operational areas throughout the country.” We pray for their souls to rest in peace, and for Almighty God to console their families.

“The people of Borno State, indeed the entire country, owe a debt of gratitude to our serving men and women in uniform for the enormous sacrifices made in the name of peace,” he said.

“That is the spirit, tenacity, and resolve that the Nigerian Armed Forces is known for,” he said of the response shown across the theater in the face of adversity. Congratulations on your accomplishments.

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“Our country, like the rest of the Sahel, faces a number of security challenges, the majority of which are caused by non-state actors’ violent activities. This has necessitated a number of interventions to ensure the safety of people and property in the various hotspots.

“Further improvements in the security situation in Operation Hadin Kai have resulted in a corresponding increase in the confidence of our people, who are now returning to their homes in large numbers.”

“In addition to the military leadership reorganizations, concentrated efforts are being made to improve your equipment holding. I’m aware that you’ve already begun receiving some of the platforms procured by our administration, with the remainder arriving in the coming weeks.”

The president also mentioned that a lot of money had gone into getting explosive ordinance disposal equipment. He then praised Borno State’s government for its unwavering cooperation with the federal government in a variety of areas, saying that “this has been critical to the advancement of our mutual efforts to restore peace to the state.”

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