Insecurity: A Governor’s Emotional Outburst As Boko Haram And ISWAP Lose 7 Key Commanders to Military Superior Fire Power

By Suleiman Umaru

Abubakar Bello, son of a retired Army Colonel Sani Bello,  should who grew up in themilitary Barracks and who should know what security entails in the lives of human beings should also count himself lucky that he was elected on the platform of All Progressive Congress, APC, to rule Niger state

. Described as  a  home of retired Army Generals which had produced two Military Heads of State in the country that could not be compared to the crisis thorn  Adamawa, Borno or Yobe states ,in the north eastern  part of the country which are bordered by Niger and Chad, two different West African countries and the central African country of Cameroon, for easy cross-border criminality causing mayhem in the region.

 In a voice laden with emotion  at the  recent 2nd Abdulsalami  Abubakar Foundation Annual Peace lecture last Saturday at Minna, the state Capital, the Niger state governor had said that  the ‘’military  intervention  in the face of the security Challenges  affecting the country was not necessary’’, noting  that  military intervention should be a last resort ’’ if dialogues fail’’. He had advocated the engagement of  traditional rulers,  particular, village and district heads in  peace building  and conflict  resolution process as they are  the closest to the grassroots.

Security watchers  believe that if he has been attending the Katsina state born Nigeria President organised security Council meetings, to listen to the briefs of  the Service Chiefs including Magaji Bichi, Director General, Department of State Security, DSS and his counterparts in the Directorate of Military Intelligence, DMI, and the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS,  he could not have had the mouth to criticise the military intervention in the crisis thorn parts of the country  to restore  peace.

 Many would want him to reach out to Kashim Ibrahim , a former governor of Borno to know  what he went through in the hand of the Insurgents that he almost lost his life. The security situation in state  was so bad that he was said to have initiated dialogues  the leadership of the Insurgents in a dialogue but that was how far he could go. Instead of the security situation of the state improving, it got worse as many people were rendered homeless.

 Even the Internally Displaced Peoples, IDP, Camp, in the state  were  not spared as it was attacked. Given the intensified attack on the flash point local government Areas in the state by the Insurgents, Ibrahim,  had mobilised the elders to the state to accompany him to the Presidential villa to present their request to the President on the deplorable security situation of the state.

. At present, Maiduguri, the state Capital appears to be the only place that had not been attacked by the Insurgents. Residents believe that both not for the presence of the  multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, comprising of soldiers from Niger, Chad and the Central African country of Cameroon and the Nigerian Soldiers, stationed in the City, the Insurgents would have overrun the state.

The Insurgents recent attack of  a General Hospital,at Munguno, home town of Babagana Munguo, a retired Major General  and National Security Adviser, NSA, where some essential  drugs and other medical equipment were carted away by the Insurgents speaks volume.

The quick intervention of the soldiers  from Operation Lafiya Doyle, was said to save the situation as the Insurgents were all  out to loot shops as they are faced with hunger. The soldiers were said  have caught off their sources of food and premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popular,  petrol, supplies in the state.

Only recently two persons were killed and six others injured  after  an  attack on Shaforn and Kudumti  Communities in Numan  local government Area  of Adamawa, home state of Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party,  PDP, in the last Presidential election,  by suspected BokoHaram  Insurgents  who were said to be on the run with the deployment of soldiers to the troubled Communities.  

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Some of the Insurgents may have relocated to Adamawa to launch fresh attacks as Borno state  as become too hot for them because of the large  military  presence in the state. Ado  Isa, a Colonel and acting Director, Army Public Relations, Operation of Operation Lafiya Doyle,  on Saturday September 21, 2019,  confirmed that  the Insurgents  have  started seeking refuge  in the homes of some unscrupulous individuals in some parts of Borno and Yobe states, which could not have been possible without the unrelenting  onslaught  on the terrorists and the  ISWAP hideouts along  the Lake Chad region and northern Borno. But Bello, the governor of Niger of Niger state would want Nigerians to believe that military Intervention in the crisis thorn states was not necessary.

Ado had said that that  the fugitives, who could no longer stand the superior fire of the MNTF and the Nigerian soldiers with the support of Air Force raids  are escaping  and taking refuge  in Maiduguri, Damboa, Gajiram, Munguno, Damsak, Biu, Gwoza, Dikwa, Benisheik, Ngadu, Bama, Gamboru, Konduga. Gajigana and other smaller  towns in the state.

Those who could not find a place in Borno  towns, were said to have  escaped to Damatouru, Gujba, Buni, Gari, Gashua, Kananamma, Ysufari, Goniri and kukareta  tons in Yobe state, an indication that the 10-year old war against Terrorism in the north east is gradually coming to an end.  The escape of some them to Sudan and Central African Republic shows the infiltration of Mercenaries into the ranks of the local bred Insurgents   

 Military sources told The Value News that the Islamic Fundamentalists and ISWAP fighters may have been worse hit in the combined MNJF, Nigeria Army, artillery  and the successful air bombardments of their hideouts at the Tumbus of the Lake Chad region killing  no fewer than  seven of their key Commanders. Some of these Commanders were said to have been drawn from Sudan, Mali, Syria, Libya and Somalia.

       Given an insider security information, Isa, the Army acting Director, Public Relations gave the names of the fallen terrorist Commanders as Abba Mainok, Bukar Dunokaube, Abu Kololo, Abor Kime, who was said be of Arab origin, and likely their Isis trainer, Mann Chari Daaoud Abdoulaye from Mali and Abu Hamza.

There is no gain saying the fact that without the military Intervention in the face of the Insecurity Challenges in the north east, which gave the services Chiefs, the Department of State Security, and  DMI, more works  to do  to ensure the country’s internal security the  killing of the suspected  insurgent Commanders may not have occurred, let alone forcing the  some of the Insurgents to flee for safety.

 The killing of the Commanders have sent a signal  to BokoHaram, ISWAP  and the Bandits operating  in Zamfara,  Katsina and Sokoto  states that their days are numbered`. This is why the likes of Bello, the governor of Niger state must think twice before making any suggestion on how to tackle the current insecurity Challenges facing the country.

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