By Suleiman Umaru
In spite of the celebrations in military circles that the surrender of Musa Adamu, popular, Mala Musa Abuja, the Chief Bomb Manufacturer of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram, and the Islamic State of West Africa, ISWAP, and Usman Adamu, better known as Abu Darda, who incidentally is the Deputy Chef Bomb Manufacturer of the Terrorist Groups, to the Nigerian military, the terrorist Groups are still have the experts to fill the vacuum created by the two key Bomb experts who had dumped terrorism activities to secure their freedom.
The initial joy of the Nigerian military personnel that the exit of the two key persons who are the Bomb Manufacturers and 335 of their Loyalists including of the Chibok girls kidnapped in 2014, who has been radicalised and 746 other adult women and Children, would weaken the capability of the insurgent Groups to manufacture the Bomb again appears to have been dashed .
The recent arrest of Yusuf Saleh, described as one of the major suppliers of Urea Fertilizer, used in manufacturing Improvised Explosive Devices, IED, by the Terrorist Groups, at Bayamari village in Geidam Local Government Area of Yobe speaks volume.
The suspect was said to have been arrested by the Nigerian Army troops of sector 2 of the Operation Hadin Kai . According to Onyema Nwachukwu, a Brigadier -General, and Director, of the Army Public Relations, the troops had recovered 38bags of 50Kg each of Urea Fertilizer, a major raw material used in manufacturing of IED, by the Terrorist Groups. This is a clear indication that the exit of the two Adamus’, who are experts in manufacturing IED, have not in any way affected the Insurgency Groups capability to manufacture the Bombs as most of the people they had trained are still very much on ground to do what they are used to doing in the SAMBISA Forest, base of BokoHaram and the Lake Chad region, occupied by the ISWAP , Group.
The sector 2, of the Operation Hadin Kai, troops,The Value News was informed, had acted on information to arrest the suspect who many believe had been in the business of providing Logistics support to the Terrorist Groups over the years. It was not surprising why Lt. Heneral Farouk Yahaya, the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, who could not hide his feelings had urged the people ‘’to continue to avail the troops with actionable information that will enhance the execution of the ongoing counter terrorism and counter-insurgency war in the region’’. He had commended the troops for ’’their vigilance and swift response in arresting the suspect’’.
The good news is that the arrested BokoHaram, Urea Fertilizer supplier to the terrorists in order to continue the manufacturing IED, to sustain the insurgency war in the north east has volunteered useful information which is now assisting the investigators to help in arresting other suppliers of the Urea Fertilizer to the insurgent Groups. Brigadier General Nwachukwu, the Army spokesperson may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he said that they have been encouraged not ‘’to allow any form of distraction from the marauding terrorists’’.
Last May, the Operation Hadin Kai troops in conjunction with the Local Vigilantes who had acted on information that some members of the Kukareta Community in Yobe state are the major suppliers of Petrol and other products used in manufacturing IEDs, to the insurgents to raid it. They were said to have combed many houses and shops in the Community and recovered 62 Jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popular, Petrol and other items, used in the manufacturing of IEDs. The troops were said to have also arrested some suspects, who were later handed over to the Police, for Prosecution.
Lt. General Yahaya, who incidentally had headed the Operations Kai, prosecuting the counter –terrorism and counter-insurgency war, before his appointment as the COAS, following the death of Ibrahim, Attahiru, the immediate past COAS, has left no one in doubt that he is out to end the insurgency and all forms of militancy in the country.
Coming the heels of the of the recovery of 62 Jerry cans of PMS, in Kukareta Community in Yobe state,in May 2021, troops of 151 Task Force Battalion, had arrested some Logistics suppliers and informant, on their crossing point at Banki junction –Miyanti road at the outskirts of Aza and Bula Daloye villages in Bama Local Government Area of Borno state.
Recall that in 2018, Operation Hadin Kai troops, then Operation Lafyle Dole, had arrested two suspected petrol suppliers of the late Abubakar Shekau , led BokoHaram, in Munguno Local Government Area, in Borno, home state of Babagana Munguno, a retired Brigadier General and National Security Adviser, NSA and Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, IGP.
Already, troops of the Operation Hadi Kai were said to have intensified their intelligence gathering on BokoHaram and ISWAP in order to block their various sources of logistics supply ‘’to end all threats of insecurity in the north east and other parts of the country. The COAS, major worry is that the war against insurgency in the north east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, which had cost the country billions of naira with many lives lost must stop’’.
While the Nigerian Army and the Air Force personnel are working round the clock to actually end the over 10 year-old counter terrorism and counter-insurgency war the insecurity situation in the north central state of Plateau appears to have reached a worrisome stage, forcing the Management and Committee of deans, Directors and Provost of the University of Jos to close it down to enable the students return to their homes or move to safer locations until normalcy is returned .
Monday Dajem, the University Registrar, may have hit the nail on the nail when he said that there was no basis of keeping the school open for normal Academic studies with the intensified killing of Students around the university area shortly after Samuel Lalong , the state governor, relaxed the 24-hour=curfew in the state.
The relaxation of the 24-hour curfew imposed in three Local Government Areas of the state by the governor may have forced troops of Operation Safe Haven, a military Task Force set up to restore peace in the late Solomon home state to return to the Barracks, thus paving the way for the killer gangs to return to the streets ,’’ kill and go’’.
Note that on August 8, 2021, some 25 travellers in Dada-Abiyu along the Jos-Zaria road in Rukuba, Jos, the Plateau state Capital were killed and several houses burnt in Zirwa, Nche-Tahu, Rikwe- Rishe A and B, Ri-Dogo, Nchu- Nzhwa, all Communities in Miango Chiefdom in the state.
Perhaps to clip the wings of the killer gunmen in the state, Lalong the state governor had declared 24-hour curfew in the three hotbeds Local government Areas of crisis: Jos North, Jos South and Bassa, but that was how far he could go. The curfew may have forced the gunmen who were bent on making the state to be like the north west states of Zamfara, described as home of Bandits, Kaduna and Katsina , Buhari, home state to go underground to avoid playing into the hand of the military Task Force personnel.
Many had expected Lalong, the Plateau governor, not to be a hurry in relaxing the curfew to avoid drawing the gunmen out to continue their killing in the state. Although, he may have been encouraged to do so after briefings from the heads of the various security agencies in the state and based on his own independent reviewing of the situation to do so. This may informed that a security Council on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, he gave a soft landing to the people by announcing that the curfew will be observed from 6pm to 6am daily, beginning from Thursday, August 19, 2021.
The gunmen may have seen the relaxation of the 24-hour curfew as opportunity to resume their killings in Jos, by targeting the students to further provoke the military Task Force personnel to return to the streets in the three original Local Government Areas of the state where the 24-hour curfew was earlier declared
In Zamfara state, where the plundering Bandits, have made nonsense of the tight security mounted in the state have continued to kill and abduct innocent Locals who are taken to undisclosed Locations to prepare the ground for Negotiations with the state government. The frequent attack in the state may not be unconnected to Bello Matawalle, the state governor, believe in Negotiating with the Bandits and paying them ransom, whenever such demands are made to facilitate the release of victims. The fallout had beenthe rise of different killer gangs involved in killing and kidnapping in the state.
Only recently, one of the notorious Bandits gang had attacked Rini town in Bakura Local Government Area and abducted over 60 persons . Ibrahim Dosara, the state Commissioner for Information had said that there are over 100 Camps of the Bandits with over 34,000 , recruited fighters scattered all over the forest in the state.
Given the superior firepower coming from the Nigerian troops may have forced the Bandits operating in the north west states to split into groups to hold their ground in the Local Government Areas under their control in any of the states for easy Coordination of their operations.
Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna state governor may have called the bluff of the Bandits over Negotiation and payment of ransom to facilitate the release of abducted persons I the state that they have turned their gun on the people to force the governor to reconsider his decision.
The recent clash by two rival Bandist group in Giwa Local Government Area of the state may have opened people’s eye to know that they have changed tactics. One of the gangs known as Gordon Mota was said to have stormed Garke village with members but met another gang on ground.
An eyewitness account confirmed that it was a sad experience as the two rival gangs clashed in a show of supremacy to know who controls the Giwa Local government Area. Nine persons were said to have been killed during the fight between the two rival groups wwhich many belied centered around ‘’a disagreement over the sharing of accumulated ransoms’’.