Insecurity:  Mass Exodus Of Terrorists From Burkina Faso, Niger To Kainji Forests; Senate Urges Tinubu To Provide More Funds To Military To Procure Weapons   

 By Suleiman Umaru

Ibrahim Traore, an Army Captain led military Junta of Burkina Faso, deployment of  modern military equipment  manufactured by  the Turkish  Defense  companies, Baykar , Akinci and the Asia country of China Ammunition manufacturing  Company , Norinco,  against terrorists  Groups operating   in the  country the Islamic sta likete the Greater Sahara, ISGS and the   Ja’a Nusrat ul-Ilam  al Musmin, JNIM- GS, Group appears to be yielding  results.

 According to informed security sources JNIM, which is a terrorist group based in Mali, but active across much of the West African countries, including Burkina Faso and Republic of Niger, a neighboring country to Nigeria are no longer finding it funny as they appear to have been caged gasping for breath.

 T four extremist groups, Ansar al Din,  al –Murabitun, the Macina Liberation Front, MLF,  and the Sahara Emirate Group of al Qa’ida in the lands of  the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, operating in Burkina Faso, over the years  were said to have merged to form a formidable  terrorist Group to confront the state as the terrorist  Group fighters are virtually in 10 out of the 13  regions that make  up the country.   

Only recently, the Burkinabe Government  which  was said to have taken delivery  of some  100 new armoured vehicles  from the Chinese  ammunition manufacturing company, Norinco  as it continues to strengthen   its armed  forces  in the face  of the relentless terror attacks in the northern part of the country. Recall that on June 6, 2024 , the country  took delivery of 40 Norinco VP11 and  an additional 50 Norinco  CS VP14 armoured vehicles  and seven  Caterpilar  excavators, to strengthen  the enforcement  of the operational  capabilities  of the fighting forces  on ground .

The formation of a Confederation of the Sahel  States,   by the military Leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, after being suspended from, the Economic Community of West African  from States, ECOWAS, under the Leadership, of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, may have sent jittery down the spines  of the terrorists operating in the three countries.

Capt. Ibrahim Traore of Burkina Faso

Determined to deal a decisive blow on the unrepentant terrorists, Capt. Traore, the Burkinabe military Leader  who was may have set the  ball rolling for Mali and Niger to follow  when he told the country’s the soldiers  that they are in a world of predation and that to bring about  peace ,’’ they must wage war’’ against the terrorists. This may have emboldened the solders to go all out for war against the terrorists in the 10 out of the 13 regions of the country they have constantly attacked between 2014 and now to control.

Given that the extremist Burkinabe terrorists could no longer stand the country’s military  to gain more ground may  have informed why many of them have relocated to Nigeria  through the north eastern states of Borno, Yobe, where the Islamic Fundamentalist Group  , Boko Haram insurgents operate and the neighbouring Republic of Niger and Mali.

 Indeed, the Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, based terrorists who were said to have entered Nigeria, going by the reports the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, Housa service, were said to have taken over the Kainji forests  in the north central  state of Niger.

 This is a clear indications that the military,  Nigerian Customs service , NCS,  and other security agencies personnel,  have to be  more vigilant  to forestall the smuggling of small and light and weapons into the country to sustain the tempo of terrorism and Banditry in the country.

Adeniyi: CG, NCS

The recent seizure of N1.5 billion  assorted fire arms drones and military accoutrements  from the Eurpean country of Turkey  at Murtala  Mohammed, MMIA, Area Command , of the NCS, as announced by Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, the Customs Comptroller General, speaks volume.

As a prelude to making the seizure, the Customs Authorities were said to have acted on information from  both local  and international collaborators  making possible for the officers to be stationed at the  exit points  around the airport  to ensure that that there is no escape route for the importer with his agent.

The Customs Comptroller General had said that during the examination of the pellets,  anitem that was discovered  was suspected  to be part of the Pump Action riffle  from  a Console  consignment  with airway  bill Number  235-5873755, originating from  Turkiye.

This may have informed why the entire consignment was said to have been isolated for thorough examination. At the end of the examination process at the MMIA, terminal, it was established, according to an insider that the four packages were used to conceal 55 pieces   of assembled Jojef Magnum Tomahawk, semi-automatic shotgun. The concealed shotguns were said to have been concealed   using shower faucet.

 The Duty Paid Value, DPV, of these weapons, going by Valuation experts report was N20,888,109.29.  The experts had put the value the military accoutrements   at N1.29 billion bring the total DPV, of the improperly imported assembled rifles and accoutrements at N1.5 billion. 

Given an inside information , the no nonsense Customs Comptroller General, who is determined to cause more troubles for the gunrunners,  across the country, had said that the reakdown of the seized items  includes 148 pieces  of drones,  172 pieces  of ballistic  helmet, eight piece  of walkie-takie

This is in addition to  9,1772 pieces  of military and paramilitary badges and  20 pieces of camouflage military  uniform,  100 pieces  of Camouflage  vest, 172 pieces  of camouflage cap and 120 pieces of binoculars.  

Recall that on June 1, 2024, the Onne Customs Command which has Compt. Mohammed Babandede, as the Area Controller,   had intercepted and seized 844 Pump Action Rifles 12,500 ammunition worth about N14 billion at the Federal Oncean Lighter Terminal, FLT, port, Onne, Rivers state, in doors, furniture and bags.

The Customs helmsman, who was said to have  put  his ears on the ground to ascertain what is  happening at the nation’s seaports, airports and Land border areas in the recent timehad said  that Onne arms shipment was loaded  in a 40ft.Container  with registration Number  MAEU15396, which had originated  from the usual source, Turkiye.

The Customs boss who could  not hide his feelings had said that the  suspected  40ft Container found at the Onne port became a subject of interest to the service  based on  ‘’the number  of risk factors  associated with the importation’’. Recall the Pump Action Rifles uncovered in the 40ft Container examined at the Onne port    had been concealed using various items such as doors, furniture, plumbing fittings and leather bags. The DPV, of the Onne port, arms illegal imports was put about Nn4.2 billion.  

The seizure of the huge consignments of several arms units at the Onne port and MMIA, Area Command, Ikeja, Lagos, the nation’s Commercial erve centre, which both for the vigilance of NCS, personnel could have entred into the Nigerian market and fallen into the hands of the criminal elements in the seve flash point northern states and Rivers state, where there is serious political tension, could have heightened the crisis in the state.

 The seizure of the hundreds of piece of arms units at both Onne port and MMIA Area, Command, within the month of June, which were said to have been concealed and packaged using the same items, clearly shows  that it was purchased and the export facilitated from Turkiye  to the Nigerian seaport and MMia Area Command by the same unscrupulous Nigerian   gunrunner based in Turkiye.

Although five suspects had been arrested and currently in detention in connection with the arms units improper imports through the Onne port, a suspect was said to have been arrested in connection with he MMIA Area Command arms importation. 

The arrested suspects who may likely be the importer’s agent   are to be handed over to the National Centre for the Contrl of Small Arms and Ligt Weapons, under the office of National Security Adviser, NSA, Nuhu Ribadu, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police AIG and former Chairman, of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for proper diligent investigation and prosecution.

Akpabio: Senate President

 With the  mass exodus of terrorists from the West African countries of  Burkina Faso , Mali Niger  and Chad , including Cameroun   may have informed wh Godswill Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom state led  Senate  to have  asked the military on Wednesday, July 3, 2024,  ‘’to deploy modern technological  hard wares  to contain  the activities of the terrorists operating in Nigeria.

    The Senatrs may have supported the use of more sophisticated military weapons to deal decisively with the terrorists because of  the  intensified their suicide bombing in the recent time in the north  eastern state of Borno, described as their home base, of the insurgents.The suicide bombers in Gwoza,  Borno state, in which over 30 persons were said to have been killed   and ecores of others injured.The Gwoza incident   may  have sent a message to residents of the neighbouring Yobe state by the suicide bombers  that they are coming to do  what they know best : suicide bombing.

Senator Ali Ndume, who is worried about the return of suicide bombing in Borno, his home state, had said that there is urgent need  to stem the tide  of the  ugly menace before it gets out of hand. In doing so, Senator Adms Oshiomhle,  who incidentally was a former  governor of Edo state and Chairman of All Progressive Congress, APC, would want the Senate    not only  to seek  to provide more funds  for  the army , particular, but jealously  monitor  the procurement process  to avoid a repeat of what happened in the past   where previous service Chiefs had diverted funds meant for procurement  of arms and ammunitions.

An aggrieved former Edo state governor had said without any apology that the previous service Chiefs rather than deploying public funds towards the purchase of security equipment and modern technology had  diverted it towards ‘’ building  Universities  and purchasing yacts’’.                                                                   

While the security situation in Borno , particular, is getting messier, the  Bandits   Group operating  in the north western states of Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Niger, home state of former military President , Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Benue and Plateau, appears to be swelling in rank because of the influx of the Burkinabe, Mali, Niger, Chad and Cameeroon,  terrorists who could no longer stand their respective  country military strength have relocated to Nigeria and taken over the Kainji forests in the north ventral state of Niger, is worrisome.

The  Federal Lawmakers were said to have  urged  the Bola Ahmed inubu , led APC, government to stop procrastinating  on what to do about the country’s security challenges  . The Lawmakers would want the President ‘’ to ask the  security agencies  to make concerted efforts  in ensuring  that  that Borno, Yobe, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Niger states, described as the hotspots  inhabited by the terrorists, particular,   the Lake Cha region,  Sambissa Forest  and  the Mandara Mountains including the Kainji forest , which is one of the newly occupies forests by the terrorists  in Nigeria are cleared.   

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