The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has urged Northern youths, particularly those in the North East, to shun terrorism and other violent acts and channel their energies to productive ventures.
Buratai made the appeal in Monguno, at the finals of the maiden Chief of Army Staff Football tournament between Ajeri FC of Monguno and River Side FC of Damasak.
River Side FC won the championship by a lone goal through a penalty in the first half.
He rather asked them to channel their energies toward acquiring education and skills through which they could realise their ambition.
Buratai promised that the Nigerian army would continue to provide opportunities for the youth to express themselves and showcase their God-given talents.
“To this end, I call on the youth of northern Borno and indeed the youth of the North East to shun and reject terrorism.
“The youth, who are the future leaders, should continue to cooperate with the authorities, army and indeed other security agencies by promptly reporting suspicious persons within their midst in order to ensure a more secured environment.
“I tell you right now, so many of them are on the run; the Boko Haram terrorists are on the run.
“I urge you to be very careful of any strange face or any of your colleagues or friends that have been misled to join them.
“As soon as they appear or come back, do not waste time, report them immediately to the nearest security agency.
“There is the need to consolidate on the already achieved security atmosphere,” the army chief said.
Buratai said that when he visited Monguno two years ago, the town was completely deserted due to attacks by the terrorists.
He, however, gave glory to the Almighty God for the return of peace to the town, necessitating the people’s to return to re-start their lives.
He said that the tournament confirmed the state of security in Northern Borno had improved.
“I want to say that this particularly achievement is made possible by each and every one of you here. I know it has not been easy as some of you are still in the IDP camps.
“Today’s occasion is symbolic; it is an indication that it is time for everyone to go back to his/her home.
“This game has shown the resilience of the youth and indeed the commitment of the people to go back to their homes and begin live again after the devastating experience with the Boko Haram terrorists.
“I want to say that their – terrorists- days are numbered Insha Allah.
“The end to this threat to lives and property is near,’’ he added.
According to him, the defeat of the terrorists is not a claim, but a reality.