The Theatre Commander, 'Operation Lafiya Dole' in the north east, Major General Lucky Irabor, yesterday, blasted the House Committee on Defence over the motion raised on the floor of the House of Representatives, seeking the reopening of Madagali - Gwoza road closed for the past three years due to Boko Haram attacks.
This came barely 24 hours after Kuda village of Madagali town of Adamawa State was attacked by the insurgents killing 24 persons and leaving 10 others critically injured.
General Irabor said, he was surprised that the House could pass a motion without looking at its consequences on the lives and safety of citizens, insisting that the Madagali-Gwoza road was not the only major highway closed down by the military.
According to him, until planted landmines by insurgents were cleared and some other security issues addressed by military, the road would not be accessible to motorists, stressing that the Maiduguri- Dikwa-Gamboru Ngala road linking Cameroon and Chad Republic, Maiduguri- Bama- Gwoza- Banki and other major roads would remain closed due to peculiar security problems.
Irabor spoke when Chairman House Committee on Defence, Hon. Ali Isa led other members to Maimalari Barracks, Maiduguri on a courtesy call on the need to reopen the Madagali and other roads in Adamawa and Borno states.
The Theatre Commander said, "it is not in the interest of the army to close down roads in its ongoing crackdown operation against Boko Haram under 'Operation Lafiya Dole', but what matters most is to protect lives and property, defeat Boko haram and restore peace in its areas of engagement, and that when troops were able to do that and cleared all the affected roads against planted landmines and other Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), motorists and passengers would be allowed to ply the roads. As it is for now, some of these roads are still not safe. I want to also tell you that we are people's Army, just like you are representatives of the people, and so, I want to assure you that we are doing our best to reopen the roads and restore peace in the land."
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Ali said, they were at the headquarters of the theatre Commander on the resolution of the House to meet with General Irabor and the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Major General Victor Ezekwu to inform them on the need to reopen the closed down roads, especially the Madagali-Gwoza road to enable people living in such communities have access and continue their normal businesses.
According to him, continuous closure of these roads had impacted negatively on the lives and economic well-being of the people of the affected states.
He, however, commended the the military authorities and the troops for their gallantry in the fight against insurgency and urged them to sustain the tempo for peace to reign in the north east and the country as a whole.
The committee also visited to the GOC, general Ezekwu and pledged their unflicnhing support to the military and other security agencies in the fight against terrorism in the region.