By Suleiman Umaru
Recall that that the Islamic Fundamentalist, popular BokoHaram and Islamic State West African Province, ISWAP, a breakaway faction of BokoHaram sponsored by the Syria and Iraq based ISIS, had embarked on a Jihadist war to carve an Islamic state in the region but were stopped by Buratai and his hard fighting soldiers when all hopes had been lost by the people.
The people could not understand how Buratai, the Army General who has been praising the soldiers over the years for their commitment in driving out the Insurgents in occupied territories in Borno, state and other parts of the north east geo-political region could turn around to indict the same soldiers by stating that the” attitude of quite a few bad eggs among them whose commitment to national and military cause which had waned has led to set backs in its operations”.
Journalists who had covered the event on leadership transformational workshop in Abuja on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Abuja,organised by the Army including the electronic media had reported that the CAS, had declared that ”some’ set backs in the Army operations in the north east and the Lake Chad Basin in the recent times stemmed from insufficient commitment by troops on the frontlines”.
Note that it was a training workshop organised by the Army to re-assess its operations in the region and find solutions to the challenges being faced in order o do better . This is because counter Insurgency is a complex operation as one is dealing an adversary that could not easily be identified.
He may have been forced to speak out when he was confronted with the indicting Statement when he visited Babagana Zulum, a Professor and governor of Borno state, who fears that it could demoralise the soldiers who are currently doing everything within their powers to flush out the Insurgents from the state and north east in General. ” Let me categorically say that I never said in my remarks that the troops” lack commitment”, he had said.
Throwing more light to his remarks at the workshop , he insists that he never indicted the soldiers , noting that what he had said was that ”almost every setback the Nigerian Army has had in their operations in the recent times can be traced to insufficient willingness to perform their assigned tasks”. ”Or simply, insufficient commitment to a common national/military course by those at the frontlines”.
But in his words as paraphrased by Channels Television, in its report on Monday, June 24, 2019, the TV . station stated that he had opined that ” many of those on whom the responsibility for physical actions against the adversary squarely falls are yet to fully take ownership of our common national or service course”.
It was not surprising why he has charged the Commanders of the various Units and formations prosecuting the terrorist war in the north east to quickly flush out the lazy officers and soldiers. He has told those care to listen that the Army would no longer tolerate a situation where the attitude of those he described as ”quite a few bad eggs”, with waning commitment to national and military cause that has resulted in setbacks to the Army operations in the region.
Security experts believe that the Army General may have been under pressure from the presidency and close associates to retract the indicting Statement to avoid disorganising the mindset of the soldiers who are already making an appreciable impact in the north east and the Lake Chad Basin as many of the ISWAP and BokHaram terrorists , have been driven underground or forced to flee as they could no longer withstand the superior the fire of the soldiers who are being support by Abubakar Sadiq, an Air Marshall and Chief of Air Staff, Aloha jet raids to smoke them out from their hide out in the region.
Indeed, the Army General retraction of the Statement that he never indicted the soldiers may have restored hope to the fighting troops in the frontlines that their Army Chief still cares and would never turn his back on them.
In spite of the Army General efforts to win the heart of the soldiers who may not be happy with him by denying ever making such an indicting remarks on the soldiers fighting the terrorists war in the north east, there have been pressures on President Muhammadu Buhari, who had been working with the service Chiefs since 2015, to replace them and inject fresh hands into the leadership of the Military High Command to strengthen the operations in the north ears and the war against Banditry and Kidnapping in the north west geo-political region, which had spread into Katsina, the President home state. The President may not have kept nest line of action closed to chest as he is still doing his military search to appoint suitable successors to them to sustain the tempo of the military operations in the north east and north west geo-political regions. For now , the President, who is not in a hurry to sack the the service Chief Chiefs still them in high esteem.
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