The Nigerian Army is in the process of handing over communities liberated from Boko Haram insurgents in the North East to the police and other paramilitary organisations for restoration of civil authorities.
Major General Hassan Umaru, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, made the statement on Thursday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, while speaking at a stakeholders meeting.
Umaru said the objective was to allow the military concentrate on other more challenging operational issues.
He said: “The current phase of our operation is very significant as it has to do with continuous re-evaluation, resettlement of displaced persons as well as their rehabilitation.
“However it is not easy to say that the military phase (of the war) is over.
“In this regard, we are in the process of handing over the liberated areas to the Nigeria Police, National Security and Civil Defence Corps and other security agencies for their routine duties.
“This is to facilitate the resumption of civil administration and also relieve the military to enable it concentrate on other more challenging operational issues.”
The commander said the meeting was called to evolve community policing to ensure lasting peace in the liberated communities after the withdrawal of the military.
He said: “I will like to mention that I assumed command at the theatre headquarters a few weeks ago.
“I deemed it necessary for us to meet and rub minds as stakeholders in the security architecture of Borno State in particular and the North East in general.”
Umaru added that the meeting was also called to create partnership between the military and other stakeholders on ways of ending the Boko Haram insurgency.
He said: “I will like us to discuss areas of partnership in the ongoing efforts to end the menace of Boko Haram insurgency.
“Collectively, we have various complementary roles to play in this regard.
“We need to involve the communities in the security of the state and for the communities to effectively police their environment.
“We need to evolve mechanism through which communities can protect critical infrastructure in their areas.
“There is also the need for regular interaction to address security challenges within the various communities.