By Jennifer Y Omiloli
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived Borno state to meet the troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole at the theatre command fighting insurgency in the north-east region.
The President will also attend the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) conference at the state’s capital Maiduguri and declare it open before proceeding to see the troops.
The conference was earlier scheduled to take place from 26 -28 November 2018 in Benin, Edo state.
The change in the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Annual Conference from Benin City to Maiduguri may not be unconnected to the killing of Nigerian soldiers at Metele, a remote village bordering Nigeria. and Chad.
While in Maiduguri, the president is also billed to pay a courtesy visit to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai El-kanemi, and visit hospital to sympathise with victims of Boko Haram insurgency.
The president’s visit comes 10 days after the killing of over 100 soldiers of the 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele, Borno State on November 18.
An officer who was caught in the attack on the troops at Metele told Reuters, that “the insurgents took us unawares. We lost about 100 soldiers. It is a huge loss.”
The attack is one the most brazen since Buhari came to power in 2015 and it has increased the pressure on him to act fast to nip the crisis in the bud ahead of the election in February 2019.
Traders’ unions, according to NAN, have directed their members to close shops to enable them welcome the president.
President Buhari is expected to use the opportunity of the COAS conference to address the Nigerian soldiers at the battlefields to further boost their morale.