General Abayomi Olonishakin, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, on Monday said weather and some other logistic issues were militating against the ongoing battle with the Boko Haram insurgents.
Speaking with State House Correspondents after a meeting with the President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, the defence chief said the Armed Forces were committed to meeting the December deadline set by the President in spite of the current challenges.
“It’s a normal consultation to intimate him on the issues on ground, we briefed him on the security situation on ground after a 60-day review and we had to brief him on the challenges we have and ensure that the mandate we have is properly delivered.
“Of course, the challenges we are looking at are the issues of probably the weather as it were and some other logistics that we feel we should have so that the mandate can be quickly delivered”, he said.
According Olonishakin, the President was happy to receive the periodic briefing and gave his words on what the government would do regarding the challenges they had outlined.
The CDS also stated that government was not yet considering an extension of the December deadline to defeat the insurgents.
”We have not said that. The mandate is that we should clear Boko Haram from the occupied territories and ensure that we reclaim all the lost grounds. That is exactly what we are doing,” he said.
Asked if he was sure the mandate and the deadline were feasible, he said, “it is a military operation and military operations have time-lines and these time-lines, we are working on them assiduously”.
On the support promised by the United States and United Kingdom, he said, “When we get there, we will let you know. They have been involved in some capacity building and of course when we get the tangible ones, we will let you know about it.”
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Alhaji Aliyu Ismaila also told correspondents that President Buhari had directed the military to continue the work it was doing in the northeast and south south.
All the service chiefs and the National Security Adviser, Gen Babagana Moguno (retd) attended the meeting.