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Insecurity: Aside Maiduguri, Nowhere In Borno State Is Safe – Prof. Dikwa

By Stephen Ubanna

When John Onayeikan, the Kogi state born Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja Catholic Diocese said in an interview recently on Channels Television that no one is safe in this country, not many people took him serious. He was lambasted from different quarters by apologists of President Muhammadu Buhari who believe that he has improved the security situation of the country from what it was prior to what it was under former President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

Archbishop Onayeikan may have stepped on powerful toes with such statement.  Now Kkalifa Dikwa, a Professor and Dean, BEF, Borno Elders Forum, described as the home of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, popularly known as, Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP, where the Katsina state born Nigerian President had spent much of the government security votes to train and equip the military personnel to stand their ground in restoring normalcy in the state may have narrowed Onayeikan  Statement to the north east state.

Dikwa had said that in the same Channels Television where the Catholic Archbishop had made his declaration that ‘’aside from Maiduguri, the Borno state Capital, nobody in any other part of the state is safe. The Professor who is worried about the rising insecurity  in the state despite  large presence of security operatives in the state including NAVAL  personnel in Bama fishing Community,  had said that ‘’Even though the insurgents   may not be physically on ground in the state to carry out their attacks, but they are psychologically there disturbing the people’’.

The aggrieved Professor had said that ‘’from time to time they ride in their motor cycles, come and harass them to pay their levies and so on’’, an indication of a religious government functioning t in a Civil government. He had said that the security situation in the state could not have degenerated to the current state if the military Authorities had heed to the  advice  of the Private Military Contractor, PMC,  to man  the country’s land borders, particularly, the north east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe land borders  after they had ‘’decimated’’  the  Abubakar Shekau’s men, in 2014.

Zulum: Governor, Borno State

He noted that the military Authorities should have allowed the other security agencies, particularly the Force, to take over control of the recaptured areas and move to the land borders to protect it   but had stayed put in the liberated local government areas in the state.  The unmanned land borders in the north east may have opened the gateway for the insurgents to flood the Borno state with their sophisticated weapons  and carry out occasional attacks in Adamawa and Yobe state Communities to scare further scare the people.

Dikwa, who could not hide his feelings  had said that the Shekau and ISWAP Group recruits  are everywhere  in the state  that ‘’even if Yusuf Tukur Burati, a Lt. General  and Chief of  Army Staff, CAS,  decides to deploy  all the military personnel  outside  Borno to contain the activities of the terrorists,  they may not be able to make any appreciable impact in the state.

He has his reason. ‘’There is no synergy  between the military and the other security agencies personnel” . He fears that they may be a rivalry  between the security agencies personnel when they should be collaboration among them  to be able to deal decisively with  the insurgents operating in the north east geo-political region.  The Borno state born Professor and  Socio-political analysts may have sent a message to the military Authorities that that fight against insurgency   in Borno state and other states in the north east cannot be handled by the military alone  .

This is where he wants the Nigerian President  to stamp  his feet  down and give a marching order to General Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Defense Staff, CDS, and the Service chiefs a limit, say one or two months maximum  to end the crisis in the north east. He had expected the Nigeria President and  Commander –In-Chief of the Armed Forces  to read the riot act to the  CDS and the Service Chiefs that if they fail to complete the assignment within the time limit  they should consider it over in the Service by  submitting their letter of resignation

 Dikwa that if  the  Nigerian President had taken such a bold initiative from the onset it would have forced the military Authorities to  devise strategies to contain the activities of the insurgents  long ago to avoid playing into the hands of the retired army General, who might have no option but to place them with fresh hands with fresh ideas to prosecute the BokoHaram war.

Prof. Dikwa: Dean, BEF

Many believe that  the Nigerian President may have given Olonisakin , the CDS, and Service Chiefs the blank cheque to prosecute the anti-terrorist war in the north as if it would never end which may have informed why it is dragging on despite the promises made to contain the activities of the insurgents in the north east over the last five years.

Aware that the military Command structure is not helping matters in the  north east , the Dean of BEF, has called for the decentralization  of the Command system to give the junior Commanders  opportunity to give Command  in case of threats in the region. The BEF, Dean  noted  opined   that the Borno case is a special emergency issue  that requires emergency solution to  handle it .

He insists that the junior Commanders  should be allowed to give Commands when they foresee threats in their areas of operations  instead of waiting  for orders from  the military High Command in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, which takes time to get to them.Dikwa, may have said it loud and clear that  that for the military to contain the insurgency in the three flash point north east states,  the Army High Command  should give the sector Commanders the Authority   ‘’to give instructions  to the junior  Commanders in the field’’.

BokoHaram Killer Squad

Since November 18, 2020 and now, BokoHaram and the splinter group, ISWAP,  according to eyewitness accounts have launched series  of attacks in Bono alone, killing scores of people. The most worrisome of such attacks was the killing of 44 rice farmers in Zabarmari in Mafa local government  and  the sacking and looting of food items in four Communities in the state.

The United Nations, UN,  Office  for the Coordination  that more than 30,000 people  have killed by the insurgency groups   and another three million displaced in their homes in  different parts of the north east  states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe   over the last 10 years. It is orecord that more than 60,000 Borno indigenes  are currently in  refugee Camps in the West African country of Chad  and the Central African country of Cameroon.

This is in addition to the thousands of others in various internally Displaced People’s Camps in Munguno, Damboa,  Gamboru, Ngala,  Gujirin, Bama, and other major towns in Borno state. The rising insecurity in Borno, over the last one and half years may have turned Babagana Zulum,  the 51-old , as  weeping governor of the north east, who is now praying  day and night for his first term in office to elapse to return home a safe  person instead of seeking re-election in the upcoming 2023 general elections.       

       

Stephen Ubanna

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