Insecurity:Why BokoHaram Insurgents Are After Damasak As El-rufai Warns Impostors Negotiating With Bandits In Kaduna State To Stop

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BStephen Ubanna

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.

UN,Humanitarian Hub Facility Destroyed By BokoHaram Insurgents At Damasak

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.

Air Wing Of Operation Lafiya Dole Attack ISWAP Various Locations

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’’.

Nigerian Military Repel BokoHaran troops At Damasak

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.

El-Rufai: Governor Of Kaduna State Warns Impostors

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’’.   

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