Buhari Opens Up On Deployment Of Solders To Guinea Bissau Despite Complaints Of Being Overstretched

By Lateef Adebite

  The Nigerian government appears to have shown more interest in in keeping peace in other West African countries over the last couple of years when the nation is facing serious security challenges.

 Between 2009, and now, the country’s military and other security agencies personnel, have been fighting the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, including the Bandits Group, terrosing the north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Buhari home state, Sokoto and Niger, home state of Generals Ibrahim Babangida, a former military President and Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former Head of State.

Suffice it to say that the Leadership of the Economic Commic of West African States have never considered it necessary to raise a Peace Keeping Force to support the Nigerian government to restore norlmacy in the country.  Even the Multi-national Joint Task Force, MNJTF, that was set up to support the Nigerian military in the fight of the Insurgents in the north  east geo-political region to forestall spread of their activities to  other states of the Federation was a decision  taken by Nigeria, Niger, Chad and the central African country of Camerron.

Many believe that the two West African neighbouring countries, Niger, Chad and the Central African country of Cameroon, may not have agreed to contribute their military personnel to the MNJTF, both not for the activities of the terrorist Organisations in their countries.There are indications if the the BokoHaram and ISWAP, fighters, have not joined forces, with terrorist in these countries , they may not deemed it necessary to support Nigeria in the fight against the north east based Insurgents.

While the ISWAP fighters had claimed responsibility , for the recent Bomb attack  that claimed several lives in Ardo-Kola Local Government of Taraba, home state  of Theophilous Danjuma, a retired Army General and former minister of Defense, during Olusegun Obasanjo Administration, President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, appears to have given approval for the country’s military participation in peace keeping operations in the West African country of Guinea Bissau to restore normalcy in the country.

The Katsina born Nigerian President may have taken advantage that Nigeria has contributed  over 100,000 peace keepers  in over 40 peace keeping missions  in Africa and the  across the globe, to  give the military High Command, the go ahead to deploy soldiers to Guinea Bissau, at the instance of the ECOWAS Leadership. It was not surprising why Lt. General Farouk Yahaya, led Army, had deployed 173 offers and soldiers to the West African country. That much was confirmed by Oluwafemi Akinjobi, a Major General and Chief of Operations, Army Headquarters.

Lt.Gen. Yahaya: CoAS

The Nigerian President  may have seen Nigerian involvement in the peace keeping operations in Bissau at the instance of the ECOWAS  Leadership, as’’ part of efforts  at  strengthening  and enhancing  security in the West African sub-region but security experts see it  as a misplaced priority. They had queried what the retired Army General had intended to achieve by sending Nigerian soldiers to Guinea Bissau,  when there have been complaints that the soldiers  who are  fighting many battles in different parts of the country are being overstretched.  Ali Ndume, Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, who had said that he was was one of those who Advised Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and minister of Transportation, to declare his Presidential bid for the 2023, general elections, had repeatedly said that the Army which is operating  in at least 33, out of the 36 states of the Federation are being overstretched. Even, Lt. General Yahaya, the Chief of Army Staff, CoAS,  had said it to the hearing of those that cares to listen  that ‘’the Army is overstretched beyond its regular duties’’.

 He was emphatic:  the Army is continually been overstretched thereby representing new challenges that require tact, ingenuity and innovation to tackle’’. He may not have foreseen that a time will come in the course of the tackling the country’s internal security when the Commander –In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, C-In-C, will give approval for deployment of troops on peace operation in any country in the West African sub-region, that would  further overstretch the capacity of the Nigerian Army.

Obasanjo:Says This Is The Time For State Police To Tackle the security challenges Facing The Country

Given that the Army have been overstretched in internal security and involvement in peace keeping operations in the West African sub-region, former Nigerian President, Obasajo, who could not hide his feelings,  has recommended to the Buhari led All Progressive Congress, APC, government,  ‘’the formation of  state police system  to curb  insecurity in the country’’. He had told the Leadership of ex-local Government Chairmen who paid him a visit on Thursday, April 21, 2022,  that  ‘’the security threat  in Nigeria now  requires such an approach  and remains a better option to Community policing’’.

 He noted that ‘’the case of terrorism and Banditry across the country has gotten over the issue of Community police’’, stressing that ‘’it is now the matter of state police’’. He disclosed that ‘’it from the state police that ‘’the government can now be talking about the formation of Community police to strengthen the traditional system to curb the activities of the criminal elements across the country.

Alkali Baba: IGP, Vows Not To Tolerate Killing Of Officers And Burning Of Police Assets In Any Part Of Nigeria

The need for state police have become necessary to forestall the constant attacks on police officers and facilities in the country, particular, in the south eat geo-political region. Until the  Buhari Administration agrees to the formation of state police,  Usman Alkali Baba, Inspector General of Police, IGP, has made it clear to those that cares to listen  that the Force  would ‘’no longer  attacks on its officers and assets in any part of the country. He may have alluded to the south east geopolitical region.

He was said to have ordered the deployment of additional operational assets to the region to complement   officers and men attached to Operation Restore Peace in the south east and other Launched Operations to fight against the criminal elements in the region.  The GP target may have been the Department of State Security, DSS,  detained Nnnamdi Kanu,  led Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, who is standing trial in Abuja Federal High Court, Group,  but the Organisation had consistently  denied reports  linking it  to the militancy in the region.

Charles Soludo, a former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and now governor of the south east  state of Anambara  may have cued into the IGP, plan  to quell  the rising insecurity in the region. Let us hope that this may raise the curiosity for the formation of state police to curb the rising insecurity in the country.

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