By Suleiman Umaru
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish President state recent visit to Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army Gneral and his Nigerian counterpart and revelations that members of the notorious Fetullah Terrorist Organisation, FETO, who are working closely with such other Groups as the KKK,PYD,DASH, are currently in Nigeria appears to have become an eye opener.
The Turkish President revelations appears to have opened a new chapter in the renewed pressure on the Katsina state born Nigerian President to declare the Bandits operating in the north western states of Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina ,Kebbi, Sokoto, the Caliphate state and Niger, home state of Ibrahim Babangida, a retired army General and a former military President as Terrorists
. Many believe the FETO, members , who had relocated to Nigeria and mixed up with the bandits are the ones training them in the forests scattered all over region, particular, Zamfara state. Ibrahim Dorsara, the Zamfara state Commissioner for Information had said that there are over 100 bandits Camp in the state with 32,000 followers. The Turkish terrorists may have freely mixed up with the north west geopolitical region based bandits because they could understand themselves.
The latest to join the ranks of the National Assembly members and Nasir El-Rufai, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT and now governor of Kaduna state, and other well-meaning Nigerians urging The Nigerian President the bandits as terrorists are the state Houses of Assembly 36 Speakers. The state Houses Of Assembly Speakers, have every reason to join the Ahmad Lawan led Senate and House of Representatives, under the close watch of Femi Gbajabiamila, to pile up pressure the retired Army General to declare the bandits as terrorists noting that ‘’ banditory and kidnappings are acts of terrorism’’.
The state Lawmakers believe that if the Nigerian President will take the bold initiative to declare the bandits who have been terrorizing the north western states and other parts of the country over the last six years as terrorists,’‘ it will lead to finding a lasting solution to security challenges facing the country’’.
The Speakers who rose from their meeting hosted by Abubakar Suleiman, the Bauchi state House of Assembly Speaker on Saturday, October, 23, 2021, were said to have told those that cares to listen that they would not relent in their push on the Nigerian President until he has declared the bandits as terrorists.
As a prelude to ensuring that that their request are met, the state Houses Of Assembly Speakers, who could not hide their feelings were said to have resolved ‘’to work out a Legislative Framework to complement the efforts of the Federal government to fight insecurity in the country’’.
Recall that El-Rufai, the Kaduna state governor, who may have read the handwriting on the wall that bandits are hired killers had said that ‘’declaring the bandits as terrorists by the Nigerian government will enable the Farouk Yahaya, a Lt. General , led Nigerian Army and Isiaka Oladayo Amao, an Air Marshall, led Nigerian Air Force, NAF, ‘’ to decimate them without fear of being sanctioned by the International Community’’.
Security experts believe that if Buhari, the Commander –In –Chief, C-In-C, of the Nigerian Armed Forces, had given attention to the several secret letters sent to him since 2017 by El-Rufai, the Kaduna state governor, who has seen that the bandits have a destructive agenda for the country to declare them as bandits, the insecurity situation in Zamfara, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kastina, and north central states of Niger, including the pockets of attacks in Nasarawa and Taraba, retired General Theophilous Danjuma, a one-time minister of Defence, during Olusegun Obasanjo Presidency, the security situation would not have been too bad in the two regions.
Even Aminu Masari, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and governor of Katsina state, may haven known that mistakes have been made at all levels of government in addressing the security challenges posed by the bandits in different parts of the country, in the past that he has lent his voice to the call on Buhari, ‘’to declare a state of Emergency on national security in order to bring an end to the continued loss of lives and properties in the country caused by the bandits and other gunmen, across the country’’.
Masari, who many see as a political ally of the Nigerian President may have followed the foot step of El-Rufai, his Counterpart in Kaduna, who had said that though, the Force and the military are doing their best to tackle the lingering security challenges facing the country but more needs to be done ‘’to curtail the activities of the armed wielding bandits, kidnappers, cattle ruslers and other gunmen disturbing the pace of the country’’.
Only recently, unknown gunmen, had attacked the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, in Abolongo, Oyo state, Medium Security Custodial Centre, meaning that the violence , which was only known in the north east, north west , north central and south eastern geo-political regions have been exported to the south western geo-political region .
Olarenwaju Anjorin, spokesperson of the NCoS ,had said that a total of 837 inmates, awaiting trials had escaped when the Correctional facilities doors were forcefully thrown open by the gunmen, amidst little or no resistance from the security men on guard.
The attack on the Abolongo Medium Security Correctional CCentre, may have forced Haliru Nababa, the Comptroller General of Corrections and Noel Ailewon, the state Controller, of the NCoS, to commence the process of search and recapture the runaway inmates after visiting the scene of the incident.
Already, there are indications that a joint security services had Launched manhunt in the state to apprehend the attackers of the Abolongo, Medium Security Correctional Centre and the inmate escapees. This may have led to the recapture of the some of the inmates while some others who had nowhere to go to or may not have known their home again because of their lon years in the Ablongo Correctional Centre were said to have returned voluntarily.
The NCoS, officials had said that 262 of the inmates, who took advantage of the gunmen attack of the Abolongo Medium Security Correctional Centre to escape into thin air have return to the center while 575 , are still on the run. The news making the rounds was that some of the runaway inmates may have been recruited into the ranks of the gunmen to beef their attacking strength on government facilities in the region.
But Nababa, the Correctional Comptroller General, has assured Nigerians that ‘’no effort will be spared to recapture the fleeing inmates’’. He was said to have also intensified efforts to forestall a repeat of the attack by gunmen on any of its facilities across the country.
The gun men appear to have told Usman Alkali Baaba, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, the Force facilities would remain a target in the south eastern part of the country. Barely 48 hours after the Abolongo Medium Security Correction Center, in Oyo state was attacked by the gunmen, the Criminal elementshad turned their gun on Uwana Divisional Police Headquarters in Afikpo Local Government Area of Eboyi state, south east Nigeria.
An eye witness had said that the hoodlums numbering about 35 allegedly linked to the indigenous People of Biafra and Eastern Security Network, IPOB/ESN, which had been proscribed by the Court, had attacked the Nigeria Police Force Facility, NPF, facility.
Loveth Obianuju, the spokesperson of the Eboyi state Police Command may have shocked Nigerians when she stated that ‘’the armed men were shooting sporadically at the officers on guard’’, who residents said were said had mustered courage ‘’ to repel the attackers in the gun battle that ensued’’, forcing them to flee.
The alleged IPOB/ESN, killer gang, may not have been that lucky in their attack of the Police facility in Eboyi state as the vigilant oficers on guard had killed one of them and recovered two AK 47, identified to have been stolen from Ohaukwu Diivisional Police station that was attacked earlier this month in the state. The sad news, however, was that an Inspector attached to the Division, was fatally wounded.
Aliyu Garba, the Eboyi state Commissioner of Police, may have taken the usual step of Police Authorities as he has embarked on the-spot assessment of the Uwana Divisional Police station attack. The Police CP, was said to have also ordered a ‘’manhunt of the fleeing IOB/ESN killer gan,g pleading with people to promptly volunteer information that will help the Force to unravel the gunmen true identity.
While the gunmen have turned their gun on public facilities in the south west and south east geopolitical regions, Operation Hadi Kai,OHK, troops, prosecuting the Counter Insurgency war in the north east states of Borno and Yobe, are still not giving a breather to the Islamic Fundamentalist Group , BokoHaram and The Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP.
Acting on a credible intelligence on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, that about 20 boats with suspected BokoHaram/ISWAP, fighters, who have been working closely together since the death of Abubakar Shekau and Al-Barnawi their respective Leaders, were said to have planned to hold ameeting on an Island in the Tumbbuns at the Lake Chad region and Malan Fatori, forcing the OHK, Commanders to deploy three NAF, fighter aircrafts to carry out air strikes that was said to have disrupted the meeting.
Given an insider information, Commodore Edward Gakwet, spokesperson of the NAF, had said that ‘’reaching ahead of the targets to their meeting place, the pilots had observed a gathering of 20 boats consisting of five – seven suspected Terrorists in each of the boat, who were fully armed.
The NAF spokesperson, noted that ‘’using a mix of bombs and rockets, the Pilots of the three fighter aircrafts had carried out series of strikes that scored devastating hits on the targets’’ as many of them were killed.
The OHK , Air Wing, may have successfully hit on their targets at the Lake Chad region with the reopening of the Naval base at Baga fishing Community last September as part of efforts to boost the security in the Lake Chad region. Recall that the Naval base was attacked by BokoHaram Insurgents in 2018, who were said to have carted away a cache of arms and ammunition from the armoury, forcing the Nigerian troops to withdraw from the region.
Commodore Gabkwet, may have alluded to the fact that with the reopening of the Naval base in Baga, in the Lake Chad region, the Insurgents are in trouble. Hear the NAF Image maker: Working alongside the Army and Naval Components as well as other security agencies under the OHK, the Air Component will continue to sustain its operation until the region is cleared of all the Insurgents.
The Air Wing Component of the OHK, successful strikes at the Lake Chad region,may have encouraged the Insurgents in the Yobe flank to attack the military base in Gujba Local Government .Residents had confirmed that the BokoHaram/ISWAP, Insurgents had driven into Katarko villag, which is 20Km, from Damaturu, the state Capital in 10 gun trucks and attacked the military base but were resisted by the troops who had engaged them in a gun dual. Informed security sources told The Value News that this is the third time the Community, ha been attacked by suspected Insurgents this year alone.