The Islamic Fundamentalist Grup, BokoHaram and the splinter Group, the Islamic State of West African Province,ISWAP, insurgents, who are involved in attacking military bases in Borno state have never had it so bad as they are now battling with hunger despite waging a war against the state.
The recent t attack on Damasak , Headquarters of Mobar Local government Area of Borno state, an agricultural Community, where the United Nations Humanitarian Agency , under the close watch of Edward Kallon bears eloquent testimony to attacks on Agricultural Communities to ensure steady food supply .
Many believe that the insurgents could easily mobilise to attack the Borno Agricultural Community because it is located on the fringes of the Lake Chad region and shares a border with Communities in Niger Republic. The town, according to informed sources used to be a producer and exporter of Vegetables to target markets within Nigeria and the neighbouring countries of Chad, Niger and the Central African country of Cameroon.
There are indications that the Humanitarian agency uses its facilities in Damasak to provide support to the 8,800 Internally Displaced people, IDP, 76,000 people in the Damasak host Community.
The UN Humanitarian facilities may have been the target of the insurgent in order to sustain the insurgency in the north east Geo-poliical region, particular, Borno .The UN, Humanitarian, agency hub, it was gathered also providelife –saving and sustaining support to the over six million people in the host Communities affected by the crisis in the state.
Given the determination of the the BokoHaram insurgents to repeat what they did in 2014, by taking over Damasak, the Mobar Local government Area Headquarters, and turning it as one of their Caliphates In one week, the ISWAP insurgents, who had attacked the town on a revenge mission because the Nigerian military had routed the BokoHaram fighters which may have led to the destruction of the UN, Humanitarian hub, private residential buildings, the Palace of the District Head o, primary healthcare centre, and a GSM village turned the town. It may have also turned out into a blood nath on .
The Isiaka Oladayo, an Air Marshal and Chief of Air Staff, CAS’ men, who were said to have provided support to the ground troops and who were not ready to allow the ISWAP fighters take over Damasak town and plunder it as they did in 2014 and hoisted their flag were said to have fought them to stand still.
Mohamed Yerima, a Brigadier General and army spokesperson, had said that that the insurgents have never had it so bad in the recent time as ‘’ the aerial strikes by the Nigerian military were coming on various Locations in the state which had frustrated their plan to take over Damasak and Gajiram.
In a Statement released by the army spokesperson, who was well informed about what was happening at the Battle front, said the air strikes was conducted In Tudun Wulgo, Zari, and Tumbun Alhaji, Kusuma, Sagir in Ngala, Arijallamari, in Abadam, Marte and other Communities in Ngala Local government Area of the north east state.
Perhaps, if the ISWAP, insurgents had known that the battle would turn against them, they may not have dared the Nigerian military who were charged up to redeem their image and impress President Muhammadu Buhar, their Commander –In-Chief , C-In-C, who had just returned from his over two weeks Medical vacation in the United Kingdom UK, to show that the fire is still in them to contain the insurgents no matter how hard they push to take over control of any part of the north east.
The ISWAP , insurgents, who over the past e decade has been attacking military bases and carting away weapons , vehicle fitted guns, which they in turn had used to fight the Nigerian military were said to be at the receiving end in the Thursday battle, in the state. The insurgents storage facilities that had housed its weapons used to conduct several attacks in the state were said to have been targeted and destroyed by the air wing of Operation Lafiya Dole. Bad news for the ISWAP insurgents.
More frustrating to the ISWAP insurgens was the loss of most of some of their top Commanders in the Damasak battle, as the Nigerian military were not ready to allow the town fall back into the hands of insurgents. Signs that the ISWAP Group, had lost Damasak and Gajiram towns, despite the repeated attacks, emerged on Saturday, April 10, 2021, 2021, when about five of their top Commanders who were ambushed by troops around Wulgo/Logomani axis close to Cameroon borders and subsequently killed while attempting to attack some villagers and rustle their cows.
Note that he Nigerian military may not have completely defeated the insurgents in the north east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, despite the superior fire power, because of the various activities of some Local informants who often tip the BokoHaram and ISWAP insurgents on Ngerian troops movement and positions. In spite of the various activities of the informants, Brigadier General Yerima, the army image maker, had said that ‘’the fighting spirit of the Nigeria military personnel remains very high’’.
The Nigeria military having secured Damasak and Gajiram towns may have encouraged Babagana Zulum, a Professor and th Borno state governor to spend the night of Thursday, April 15, 2021, in the town, to prove to Nigerians and the international Community that Damasak has not actually fallen into the hands of the insurgents but still under the control of the Nigerian military. Although he he has had interactions with the soldiers and other security forces involved in the Counter-insurgency operations in the town, he was not happy that 18 people were killed at the flashpoint UN Humanitarian hub and 21 others injured during theinsurgents attack.
He was aid to have held a closed door meeting with the soldiers and other security agencies personnel in Damask. He was said to have have presented 12 security vehicles, including an Armouured Personnel Carrier, APC, and 11 Patrol vehicles to them after the meeting to further encourage them to avert future insurgent attacks on the Town, aimed at strengthening the agricultural activites in the area. One of he senior army officers who had attended the meeting with the Borno state governor had described the presentations made to the the security operatives as very remarkable and worthy of emulations by other governors in the othr affected states of the crisis’’.
The Borno governor and his entourage including Senator Abubakar, Kyari, representing Borno North, in the Lawan Ahmad led Senate stay in Damasak, may have facilitated the return of the thousands of residents who had temporarily relocated to the border Communities in Niger to return to Damasak and Gajiram on Friday, April 16, 2020.’’ A big relief’’, one of the returnees Damasak resident had said.
In spite of the rising insurgency insurgency in the north east Geopolitical region, and Banditry in the north west and now in the south east states of Eboyi and Imo, Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and minister of state, Labour and Productivity, has urged Nigerians to stop ethnicising and politicizing security issues in the country, stating that it is a global problem. He cited the mass shooting in the North American country of the United States, US, described as a developed economy on Friday, April 16, 2021 to support his claim.
Recall that Nasir El-rufai, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT , and now governor of the north west state of Kaduna , had described the Banditry as an arm of ISWAP, involved in kidnapping in order to raise funds for the Group to procure arms and ammunition to sustain he insurgency war in the north east. He be right.
The Bandits who had kidnapped 39 students of Federal College of Forestry, Mechanisation, had used their contacts to put the state government under pressure to Negotiate with them to facilitate the release of the students. The refusal of the Kaduna state government to raise a Committee to Negotiate with them, may have informed why the Bandits have made a demand of N500 million ransom. They were said to have threatened to kill the abductees if the demand is not met. Not ready to lose any of their ward in the Bandits net, may have informed why Friday Sani, whose child was among those kidnapped has called for Buhari intervention sine El-rufai, the Kaduna state governor is ready to Negotiate with those he has described as’ Criminals’.
Samuel Aruwan, the state Commissioner former ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs may have spoken the mind of the governor when he warned impostors who had been presenting themselves who have been presenting themselves as government appointed agents to Negotiate with Bandits across the state, noting that the state government has nothing to do with the parents of the kidnapped students .
He may have gladdened the heart of the people of the state when he said that ‘’the state government will continue to work towards crushing the Banditry, Kidnapping and other acts of Criminality menacing the people and Communities’’.