By Suleiman Umaru
Hopes of ending the Banditry in the north west states of Zamfra, described as home of the Bandits, Kaduna, Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari , a retired Army General, home state and the north central state of Niger, appears to have brightened.
This is because Farouk Yahaya. A Lt. Gen. and Chief of Arm Staff, COAS, has given his words to take the battle to the Islamic Fundamentalist Group BokoHaram and the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, enclave , at the Sambis F foretst and the Lake Chad Basin region respectively as well as the Zamfara and Kaduna, Boundary and the over 100 other Camps occupied by the Bandits in the two states.
The COAS, was said to have made his position known to the soldiers during his recent tour of all military Formation s and units under the eight division of the Nigeria Army at the 171 Battalion in Daura, home town of the Nigerian President. Before now, the Nigerian soldiers had allowed the insurgents and Bandits to initiate the attack before countering it. Yahaya, he Army Lt. General, may have known that this is why the insurgency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe and Banditry in the north east and other parts of the north, particular, Zamfara and Kaduna, had dragged on for over a decade.
The COAS, was said to have given a matching order to Brigade Commanders that they must take the battle’’ to the Camps of the insurgents and the Bandits in different parts of the north and destroy them’’.
He may have gladdened the heart if Nigerians when he said that the military has started gaining ground with the synergy and support of other security agencies personnel. This may have informed why he had said that they will conclude the operation in the north east soon and do other things’’. The Army Lt. General, may have been emboldened to beat his chest that the military will take the battle to the Criminal elements Camp, with the delivery of six of the 12 Embraer Sierra Nevada A-29, fighter aircraft by the North American country of the United States, US, last July.
Note that the $495 million Contract for the 12 A-29s, Super Tucano , fighter Jets was awarded to Sierra Nevada, by the US, Department of Defence to Sierra Nevada, on behalf, of the Nigerian government in 2018. The procurement of the US, super Tucano fighter Jets by the Nigerian government, according to military sources was part of the Nigerian President efforts to encourage the Nigeria Air Force, NAF, ‘’to expand its attack forces as it faces BokoHaram, ISWAP in the north east and Bandits in the north west states oZamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, and north central state of Niger, home state of Ibrahim Bababangida, a retired Army General and former military President.
The Army Chief believes that with its armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability and the ability to operate from austere bases, the super Tucano, A-29, fighter Jets is the most ideal platform for Counter –terrorism and irregular war operations across the country.
This may have informed why his message to the troops, in all the Army Formations , he had visited in the recent time had been ‘’to sustain the aggressive posture in their attacks in their respective areas in order ‘’to defeat all the Criminal elements operating in the north east, north west and other parts of the country’’.
In appointing the new COAS, after the death of Attahiru Ibrahim, a Lt. General and former Amy Chief,who died in plane crash, the Nigerian President, had mandated him ‘’ to mobilise his troops to end the threats of insecurity in the country’’. The retired Army General, major worry was that ‘’our nation has been besieged be several security issues across all the six geo-political regions with Banditry, militancy and self-secessionists, like the Biafra agitation o being led by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, championed by Nnamdi Kanu, who was arrested in the South African country of Kenya, and currently in Department of State Security, DSS, Custody.
Many believe that both not for the various security threats in different parts of the country which have overstretched the nation’s military personnel over the last one decade, the insurgency in the north east and Banditry in the north west could have been ended before now.
There is no gain saying the fact that for the military to achieve its dream of ending Insurgency and Banditry , across the country, it would require a robust , well-trained , adequately equipped , efficiently and fully motivated military personnel to protect Nigerians from the devastating effects of insurgents, Bandits and other security challenges.
Bashir Sali Magashi, a retired Major General. And minister of Defence, may have re-echoed the determination of the military to end insurgency and Banditry in the north east and north west, geo-political region. The minister was said to have told Nicholas Simard, the Canadian , acting High Commissioner in Nigeria, of the government determination to fish out those fueling insecurity in the country from their hideout to face the long arm of the Law. Canada, according to informed sources have been supportive of Nigeria in thematic areas of Combating insecurity and military trainings over the years because of their Common membership of the Commonwealth, Global Counter-terrorism Forum and World Trad Organistation, WTO, which currently has Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former minister of Finance and Coordinator of the economy during, during the Administrations of Olusegun Obasajo and Goodluck Jonathan respectively.
Only recently General Babangida,rtd, who was called’’ Marodona’’, in his years in office, as Nigerian Military President has given an insight why there is high level of insecurity in the country blaming on the a President who is’’ not talking to the people to know their problems and how to tackle them’’.
As a prelude to solving the country’s security challenges, he has identified the attributes of the next President of Nigeria, come May 29, 2023. Hear him: The next President must speak to the citizens, understand the nation’s economy and have friends in every region. He insists that the next President must be versed in economics, and a good politician, who should be ready to talk to Nigerians regularly.He would want Nigerians to consider ‘’the beliefs and qualifications of the person regardless of where he or she comes from before throwing their weight on the particular, Candidate.
Appearing on Arise Television recently, the retired Army General, who could not hide his feelings disclosed that that he has started ’’visualizing a good Nigerian Leader. That is a person who can travel across the country and has at least a friend virtually everywhere he travels to that he can Communicate with. He further said that ‘’Competence above ethnicity should of utmost importance when choosing the next Nigerian President in the February 18, 2023, general elections’’.
Attahiru Jega, a Professor and former Chairman, of the Independent National Election, INEC, and Card carrying member of the People’s Redemption Party, PRP, who had supervised the 2015, general elections that brought brought the Katsina state born Nigerian President to power may have shocked Nigerians when he called on them to reject both the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC and the Opposition , People’s Democratic Party, PDP, which have failed the nation because the parties are ‘’like Siamese of Corruption’’. He was Nigerians ‘’to dump the two major political parties because of their antecedents over the last 20 years and look for a credible alternative’’.
The former INE, boss, who could not hide his feelings had said that these two major parties cannot be able to solve the security and unemployment challenge of the country if given another opportunity to rule the country. An aggrieved Jega, had said that the country was in these mess due ‘’to lack of god Leadership, insisting that ‘’this is what has led’’ to the series of agitation for the country to be balkanised’’. He may have alluded to the fact that neither APC nor PDP, have a good intention for Nigeria’’ but to plunder the resources and cause more chaos.