By By Suleiman Umaru
While Farouk Yahaya, a Lt General and Chief of Army Staff , CoAS, and troops of Operation Hadin Kai, 7th Division, under the Command of Christopher Musa, a Major General, are making a headway to end the 13-year old Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the broke-away faction, Islamic State of West African Province , ISWAP, Insurgency , in the north east states of Borno and Yobe, the situation appear not to have changed in the north west geo-political region.
The Bandits Group which are still terrorisng Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army home state, Sokoto and and Niger, former Military president, Ibrahim Babanngida, a retired Army General home state may think that they have gained a foothold in the region with the backing of the BokoHaram and ISWAP Insurgents and other foreign Collaborators but this is wrong.
The Operation Hadin Kai, troops, invasion of the ambisa forest in the recent time to smoke out the Insurgents in their hideout may have sent signal to the Insurgents Bandits that the game is up.
They Insurgents, who are giving a helping hand to the north west geo-political region based bandits, appear to have known that their days in the Borno and Yobe states, are numbered when troops of Operation Hadin Kai, took the battle to the Samibasa forest last March where they were said to have recovered the wing of crashed Nigerian Air Force Alpha fighter Jet 475, that went off the radar in 2021, barely two years in the Katsina state born Nigerian President second term in office.
Many believe that the operation Hadin Kai troops may have taken advantage of the hunger ravaging the ranks of the insurgents to enter the dreaded forest with little or no resistance from. The most recent attack on the Boko Haram enclave in the Sambisa forest where large weapons were recovered by the Operation Hadin Kai troops speaks volume.
An appreciative Lt. General Yahaya, was said to have taken round the recovered terrorist equipment at the Command Headquarters by the Major General Musa, the General Officer Commanding, GOC, he the Division, with a promise ‘’to get rid of all terrorists in the country’’.
Given that the Operation Hadi Kai Troops are gaining the upper hand in the north east states of Borno and Yobe states may have advised the Insurgents in the north east states of Borno and Yobe, ‘’to lay down their arms as soon as possible before it is too late’’. He had said that that despite the operational challenges facing the military, the Operation Hadin Kai troops have not allowed ‘’few setbacks to deter them in their determination to defeat the terrorists.
The attack on the Abuja-Kaduna scheduled train service on Monday, March 28, 2022, in which eight passengers were killed, dozens of others wounded and 21 others sill mission as reported by Fidet Okaria, an Engineer, and the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, clearly shows that most of the Borno and Yobe states based Insurgents and their Collaborators from other countries in the SAHEL region, particular, Chad, Niger, Mali and the Central African country of Cameroon, including those of them from the North African country of Libya, have joined forces with the north west of Zamafara, Kaduna, Katsina, Buhari home state, Sokoto, the caliphate state and the north central state of Niger, intensify the Bandits attack of Communities in the region.
The attack of a military base on Monday, April 4, 2022, barely one week, after the attack of a scheduled Abuja-Kaduna train services, in Birnin Gwari , one of the flash point Local governments of bandits operations in Kaduna state, where scores of people had been killed, thousands kidnapped and soco-ecomic activities grounded to a halt , bear eloquent testimony to the fact that most of the Insurgents who could no longer bear the superior fire power of troops of Operation Hadi Kai, in the north east states of Borno , Yobe , Mali, Niger and Cameroon have joined forces with the north west geo-political region bandits.
The bandits were said to have allegedly killed10 soldiers during the attack on the Army Forward Operational Base located around the Olwire area close to the Mikati Farm along the- Kaduna –Birnin Gwai road.
An eyewitness account disclosed that the bandits had succeeded in the attack of the military base because the soldiers were few in number and were taken unaware by the bandits who had stormed the base in their large numbers on motorcycles with sophisticated weapons to open fire on the soldiers fueling information making the rounds that they have informants who give them information on the movement of the troops. In every location in the northwest.
Many believe that bandits may have monitored the movement of the soldiers from the Kaduna military base and when some of them went to the Forward Operational Headquarters located inside Birnin Gwari town, , before they launched the attack on the few soldiers on ground at the FOB extension with little or no resistance and returned to their forest hideout.
The Bandits may have been encourage to launch the attack on the military to prove a point that they have penetrated the ranks of the security agencies in the northwest. The may have sent a message that to Usman Akali Baba, the Inspector General of Police,IGP, that deployment of additional troops to the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and surrounding Communities would not stop them from carrying out their attacks in the state.
Recall that prior to the last Monday, April 4, 2022, attack on the Operation Forward military base in Birnin Gwari, the bandits had abducted 11 persons during an attack on Angwar Maji Community at Jere town in Kargarko Local government Area of Kaduna state. Note that the attack had occurred on Sunday, April 3rd, 20222, at the community , described to be close to the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and the Kaduna-Brnin Gwari road, an indications that the same Bandits group gang may have regrouped to attack the Operation Forward military base to get weapons to bolster their operation.
Many believe that the Federal government has opened the floodgate for bandits from Niger and Cameroon, to flood the Nigerian forest and join their Nigerian counterparts with the completion of the Kano-Marafi railroad and the extension of the $1.96 billion standard gauge rail project to Maradi in Republic of Niger.
Although, the retired Army General had said that the $1.96 billion project will serve the import and export of goods for the neighbouring West African country and other countries in the sub-region through the Nigerian ports but has turned out to be a wasted investment.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, popular, the Jagaban of Lagos, and former governor of Lagos state and the ruling All Progressive National Leader and incidentally one of the party front line Presidential Aspirants may have taken advantage of the recent killings in Kaduna state during the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna scheduled train service to meet with Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna state governor to commiserate with him and the people of the state.
The APC, multi-billionaire Presidential aspirant may have demonstrated that that he cares for the victims of the bandits attack as he was said to have announced a donation of N50million for victims of the train attack. The visit may have turned out as a political campaign for the APC, Presidential hopeful, who is seeking for votes in the party upcoming primaries.
Recall that he had made similar donations of N50 million each, for victims of bandits attack in Niger and Zamfara states, through their respective governors, thus bringing the total donation he has made to the three north west states to N150 million, in less that four months. This is a big challenge to other APC, Presidential Aspirants to do so or lose the ticket to the former Lagos state governor who is determined to win the party Presidential Ticket for the 2023, general elections.
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