By Suleiman Umaru
For years there had been security reports that the anti-terrorist war in the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe , would take a longer time to be concluded because of the increase of trans-border and the proliferation of small arms in the Lake Chad Basin area.
Going by the records of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, twenty one states of the Federation share Border with three member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC: Niger, Chad and Cameroon. It was also recorded by the agency that over 3,000 Communities, particular, in the north , south- west and the south- south, share bountries with most Communities of these neighbouring countries.
Garba Shehu, a senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, may have spoken the mind of the President when he confirmed that the remnants of the BokoHaram Insurgents , fugitive Criminals from the Maghreb region and other West African countries are working closely together to still carry out pockets of attacks in the region. Shehu noted that the collapse of the Libyan state, the Islamic State of Iraq ,Syria and Lebanon , may have made the situation worse as a lot of the ungoverned areas in the sub-region provide a base for the terrorists occupation and training.
He opined that the combined efforts of the country’s military and the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, formed by three member countries of the Economic of West African States, ECOWAS, Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, from the Central African sub-region , have completely degraded and defeated the Insurgents, despite the pockets of attack in Adamawa , Borno or Yobe states. He revealed that is happening in the north was not different from what is happening in the other LCBC, member countries: Niger, Chad and Cameroon, as there have been outrages.
The Presidential Spokesperson said the military and the MNJF, are doing everything within their powers to flush out the Insurgents who have been confined to the ‘’remote , rural agrarian areas of Borno state who were said to have been carrying out occasional attacks in Adamawa and Yobe states.
Take for instance, the last Saturday attack in the village of Badu Abachari, north of Maiduguri, the state capital where 65 people were said to have been killed, 10 wounded and scores of other people missing . Muhammed Bulama, Council Chairman of Ngazai area of the state confirmed that the militants attacked the funeral procession and then returned to attack people who went to help. The Council Chairman may have indicted thesoldiers and other security agencies in the state when he revealed that BokoHaram gun men had been moving freely , rustling cattle and carting away foodstuff from the villagers.
The kiilingat the Badu Abachari may have attracted international attention as the government of the United Kingdom, UK, had reechoed its decision to support the country to tackle security challenges..
Security watchers believe that the situation in the Border Communities in the north east may have been worse both not for the boldness of the Customs personnel at the land borders in the state who had summoned the courage to mount effective road blocks but that was how far they could go
. Recall that some members of Customs patrol teams on legitimate duties in the state had been ambushed and killed, forcing the Customs Authorities to go back to the drawing board to re-strategise in the service anti-smuggling war in the north east.
This may have been done to further to support Tukur Buratai, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff, recently launched ‘’Super Camps’’, which is expected to act proactively and respond quickly to the changing tactics of the terrorists in the region.
The government on its part may not have not have left the policing of the Borders in the region alone to the Customs as it had equipped the Mohammed Babande, led NIS, to effectively embark on an electronic and digital border monitoring scheme which appear to be helping out.
Shehu, the Presidential Spokesperson may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he said that the government was not alone in prosecuting the anti-terrorist war in the north east as it was closely working with the United Agencies , World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and other donor countries.He further disclosed that the government had also received substantial support from ‘’friendly countries in across Europe, the Middle East and the United States, US, government.
He noted that the country had spent huge amount of money in weapons procurement over the years and had continued to do so in order to keep the military in good fighting shape.. He cited the payment for the Super Tucano fighter Jets from the US, which had been approved for sells to Nigeria by President Donald Trump.
According to him, the Tucano Jets may not have been delivered to the country as expected, noting that ‘’arsenal is not something is not what a country pay for and get immediate supplies as it requires mostly long time orders’’. He maintained that the fighter Jets would be delivered to the country beginning from next year from the US Manufacturers.
An elated Shehu, SSA, Median and Publicity , to the Katsina state born Nigerian President is optimistic that going by the efforts that had been put in place by the Buhari Administration to curtail the activities of the Insurgents in the north east over the last four years, the Islamic State in West African Province, ISWAP, a breakaway faction of BokoHaram, would also be defeated.