Buratai inaugurates 331 artillery HQ in hometown

Buratai inaugurates 331 artillery HQ in hometown
October 23 08:57 2016

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, has commissioned the newly constructed headquarters of the 331 Artillery Tactical Forward Operation Base (FOB) based in his hometown, Buratai, Biu Local Government Area of Borno state.

Before the construction, the base operated from   Buratai’s residence which was destroyed by the Boko Haram sect on 2015.

He described the base as a “game changer” in the fight against insurgency as it helped in decimating the terrorists.

According to him, incessant attacks by terrorists at Buni Yadi in Yobe , about one hour drive to Buratai town, necessitated the establishment of the base.

He said more of such bases would be set up in other areas in the North East.

Lucky Irabor, a Major General and Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, recalled that “fierce battle took place in Buratai, particularly the residence of the chief of army staff which the insurgents tried to take on three occasions.

He underscored the need to have a fortified operational base in Buratai to deal with the terrorists.

According to him, the need to maintain offensive operations from a fortified location, conduct aggressive patrols and improve on response time in order to dominate the entire area, informed the idea of establishing the forward operation base.

Irabor said the terrorists used the town and its environs as supply routes in giving food and fuel to their members in Alargano forest, Buni Yadi and Gonori in 2011.

The Buratai district, which links Biu from Damaturu axis, also links three other state capitals in the North East- Maiduguri, Gombe and Yola.

“The strategic location and importance of Biu, Buratai and environs makes the Boko Haram terrorists highly interested in the area.

“The insurgents carried out several attacks within the villages in the vicinity, resulting to the loss of lives, injuries and looting, and destruction of properties.

“This gave rise to high sense of fear among the inhabitants and most of them have to relocate.”

He said that the 331 Artillery Forward Operation Base had made it possible for troops to liberate many towns in the area, including Gonori, Gulazama and Talala which the terrorists seized during the heat of the insurgency.