BokoHaram: Buratai Denies Indicting The Soldiers over Attacks

By Suleiman Umaru

Between  last week and now, Tukur Buratai ,  a Lt. General  and Chief of Army Staff CAS,  had  received calls from several quarters over reports making the   rounds that he had indicted the  soldiers for ”lack of commitment to ongoing counter terrorism in the north east geo-political  region”.

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.

Tukur Buratai , A lT. General And CAS.

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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