Insecurity: Military Plot To End Insurgency In The Troubled North East Region Suffers A Set Back As President Deby Of Tchad Died

By Stephen Ubanna

Barely  two weeks  after  the Islamic Fundamentalists Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Insurgents ,  made attempt to take over the Agricultural Community of Damasak , Capital of Mobar Local Government Area in Borno state state, north east Nigeria, but failed, may have forced  them to  target  Dikwa  and the alternate town, Gulumba –Gana, described as a very strategic town in Dikwa Local government Area of the state.

The  Insurgents may have made known their strategic  war  plan to take  over the entire Borno state, with their attack on Damasak, which was quickly followed by the attack on Dikwa  town on Sunday, April 18, 2021. The Abubakar Shekau, led Bokokaram and the splinter Group, ISWAP,  which had occupied the Lake Chad region , bordering Nigeria, Niger, Chad and the Central African country of Cameroon,  had initially attacked  Gulumba Gana, an alternate Headquarters of Dikwa Local Local  government. Their target may have been to take over the Nigerian military base at Dikwa and loot their armoury.

The insurgents planed attack at the Dikwa military base,  may have leaked out to the roops of Operation Lafiya Dole,   currently carrying out  Operation Takaibango stationed   at Dikwa and Gulumma Gana, to  resist them. Muhammed Yerima, a Brigadier General and army spokesperson, had said that the insurgents  who had invaded the Gulumba Gana,  in their large numbers  mounted  on 12 gun fitted trucks.

The question on the lips of most people was how an untrained terrorists which President Muhammadu Buhari and Commander In-Chief, C-In-C, of the Nigerian Armed Forces, had repeatedly said   had been ‘’technically defeated’’ could  muster such large number of fighters to attack Communities and military bases in Borno and Yobe states in the recent time.

Security experts believe that this is possible because the  rebels, armed with stolen weapons from the neighbouring Libya that had been  expelled  by the AQIM,AAD, and MUJAO, Islamist Groups  from the Northern Mali,, Somalia al-shababaab terrorsts, and   the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, rebels,may  have collapsed into the Nigerian terrorist Groups which  may have emboldened them to  sustain the attack in the north east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

Battle For Control Of Dikwa own

Brigadier General Yerima, had  confirmed that the insurgents had  taken over Dikwa town, in their recent attack in Borno state.   The take over of the Borno town may have informed why Ibrahim Attahiru, a Lt.General and Chief of Army Staff, COAS, gave a matching order to the Operation Lafiya Dole troops, to andthe Air Wing of theatre,  to mobilise  and  force the insurgents out  from Gulumba Gana town to be able to reclaim Dikwa.  The troops may have followed the instruction of the COAS to force out the BokoHaram and ISWAP , fighters   from the Gulumba Town.

This may have encouraged the  air component  of the theatre  to engage the insurgents gun trucks and their  other technical in the vicinity  of the attack to prvent blood bath, thus facilitating  the Troops counter-attack on Monday, April 19, 2021,  to reclaim Dikwa town .

An eyewitness account confirmed that the Nigerian troops  are currently Patrolling the Dikwa town and its environs  to fish out the remnants of the insurgents in their hideouts . The Operation Lafiya Dole troops , may have sent a signal to the  insurgents that is no  longer going to be business as usual as they were said to have suffered  major casualty and the destruction of  their gun fitted trucks and other equipment during the counter-attacks.

In spite of the fact that   insurgents have  the continuoued to attack Communities  in the north east state which  had caused sleepless nights for Bagana  Zulum, a Professor, and the governor. Atthahiru, an army Lt. General and the COAS, has assured Nigerians that there was no cause for alarm.  He has told those that cares to listen that the  Army, under his Leadership ,’’ remains Committed  to ensuring  a safe and secure  environment throughout the north east theatre’’.

Many believe that the insurgency war may have dragged on this long because of the activities of informants who are benefiting from it. Only recently, one Modu Ari, a notable  BokoHaram  informant from Yobe state was arrested by the Operation Lafiye Dole  troops.  Ari and his accomplices  spying activities, of the movement and positions of the troops were said to have been responsible for the insurgents attack on the troops’position  in the Kamuya area of Yobe  state.The  alleged informants were   said to have been arrested  by troops  of the 27 Task Force Brigade  , and currently assisting the troops  to unravel  other local informants in the state.

 The deteriorating  insecurity  in the north east state Geopolitical region and other parts of the country is so worrisome that  Adebayo Adeleke, a one -time Major in the North American country of the United states, US, Army  has warned that’’ if nothing is not done urgently to address the situation, Nigerians might wake up one day without having a country of their own because of the agitation of the various regions across the country for their own automy. But  Garba Shehu, a Senior Special Assistant to the Katsina state born Nigerian President  has said that cannot be bullied by the calls for session. He said the government  is working  assiduously ‘’to address  the challenges being faced in the country’’, stressing that  that ‘’those calling for session  and national conference are  unelectable people  who do not care for the nation’s democracy’’. Hear him: Buhari cannot be intimidated. You can’t bully him.

President Buhari

Mike Ejiofor, a former Director General, Directorate of State Services, DSS, may have lent a voice to the worrisome insecurity situation in the country. The security expert had raised alarm that the 2023 election, which is about 24 months away may not hold. 

Ejiofor, who could not hide his feelings has told those that cares to listen that ‘the current insecurity situation in different parts of the country may lead to anarchy  and crisis  if not tackled’. An aggrieved Ejiofor,  had repeatedly said  that ‘’if  the various security challenges facing the country  are not sorted out, the 2023   general elections may not hold. ‘’I can assure you that’’ there won’t be any elections in 2023, he had said.

The  Nigerian President , who has just returned from his over two weeks Medical Vacation in the United  Kingdom, UK, has told  Mohamed Bazoun, the Niger President  who was in the country  in what people describe as a thank you visit  for facilitating   his victory in the West African  land locked country , that the two countries which share a 1,500Km, border boundary  , have  the same insecurity problems which must be tackled  headlong. This is evident as people from Communities attacked by BokoHaram and ISWAP, insirgents cross over to Niger for refuge.

 Isiaka Oladayo Amao, an Air Marshall and Chief of Air Staff, CAS, may have  set a machinery in motion to tap from the abundant  skills and compentencies that abound within Nigerians in diaspora to end the insurgency in the country. The CAS, may have spoken his mind  when he  reieved Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO,  of Ngerians  In Diaspora Commission, NiDCOM, in his office.

He may have taken advantage of the NiDCOM, CEO, visit, to express his support for the proposed Diaspora  Defence and security Conference.   The Air Force Chief who may have seen the Conference as an opportunity  for the NAF, particular ,and other government agencies  to synergise  and exploit  the enormous  resource base of  Nigerians  plying their trades overseas for national development.

The NiDCOM, boss  may have gladdened the heart of the CAS,   when she  disclosed that the Commission is’’ looking forward  to synergising  and collaborating  with the NAF, particular, in the areas of  of defence  and security,  human capacity development as well as any other area of interest to the NAF’’.

She had r said that Nigerians in diaspora  worldwide  are excelling  in various fields , including military-related fields , and who have expressed their willingness to contribute  their own quota towards national development.  An elated Dabiri-Erewa, had said that  that the  planned Diaspora Security  Conference  should be seen as a perfect medium  for cross –fertiisation of  ideas and strategies towards tackling  the current insecurity  challenges facing  the nation.  This is bad news for the insurgents and Bandits operating in the north east and  north west states of the country respectively.

Given the complaints of inadequate manpower to tackle  the insurgency in the north east and Banditry in the north west as well as kidnapping  across the country,  Bashir Magashi, a retired Major General and minister of Defence had said that the military  will soon  embark on massive  recruitment of the country’s Youthful population  to improve the numerical strength  of the  Nigerian armed Forces in an effort  ‘’to end the insecurity’’.

 The trio, Attahiru, Amao,  both service Chiefs,  and the minister ,  had said that    that he security situation  of the country had been studied and the conclusion had been that ‘’ new  strategies had to be evolved  to end the insurgency in the north east and other insecurity challenges across the country.

The minister may have gladdened the soldiers  when he said   that new equipment, new skills will be introduced and that both the older soldiers and fresh  recruits  will benefit from them ‘’so that   they can be more effective and more efficient in the counter-insurgency assignment in the north east.

Marshall Deby: Death, Creates A Vacuum In The Anti-Jihadist War In The Sahel Region

There are fears in both official and unofficial circles that the security challenges facing the  troubled Sahel region in the  may be worse , with the death of the 68 year-old  Marshall Idriss Deby Itno, President of  Chad, and Buhari, ally, in the anti-Jihadist  Campaign .

  Even the Nigerian President who could not hid his feelings  had said that  the death of the ex-Chadian Leader ‘’will surely ‘’create  a big vacuum  in the efforts  to jointly  confront  the BokoHaram and ISWAP, insurgents’’ .

The worry of many is that Mahamat Idris, the 37 year-old, four –star General and Head of a Military Council that had been constituted by the army to rule the country for the next 18 months, who has stepped into the  late President’s shoes, who incidentally is his  father may not have the Charisma of his father to work at the same pace with the Nigerian President. This may affect the Multi-national Joint Task Force, MNJTF, Operations in the north east.

 The rebels in  the north  of the Sahel region of the country who are  armed with stolen weapons from the neighbouring Libya , who were said to have constituted the bulk of the ISWAP insurgents operating from the Lake Chad region, and the Opposition parties in the country,  may not give him a breather. Even within the officers ranks in the  military  who are opposed to the late Chadian President may pose a threat to him  to be able o address the insecurity challenges facing the Sahel region alongside the Nigerian President.

 Already the Military Council, may have sent a signal to the people that it was a  Coup’, to cover the Leadership vacuum that has been created in the country.  The borders with the neighbouring countries of Nigeria, Libya, and Mali, have been closed to forestall movement of goods and services.  Also,political gatherings and demonstrations within the country were said to have been banned which are  signs that the country is back to military rule. 

Political Observers see the  political development as a set back to the rentier state and  a bad influence to Nigeria and other West African countries.         

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