Insecurity: Terror Groups Last Battle As Army Steps Up Their Clearance Operations

By Suleiman Umaru

When President Muhammadu Buhari spoke on Monday , September 5, 2022, through Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Cultre, that ‘’never again  will terrorists, Bandits and other criminal elements and their  collaborators from the Sahel region hold sway in Nigeria’’, nobody took him serious.

This is because of his past promises ‘’to completely end the security challenges in the country but failed to do so over the last seven years in office. The Katsina state born Nigerian President may have been emboldened to speak out forcefully that the end of the road have come for the Terrorists, operating in the north east states of Borno, Yobe and Bandits Group, operating in the north western geopolitical region    because of the assurance that had had been given to him by the service Chiefs in their recent meetings.

 The military Authorities were said to have adopted  new  strategy ‘’to tackle  the threats  of terrorism , Banditry and the Seaparatist Group, operating in the south eat championed by the indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB,  founded by Nnamdi Kanu , who is currently in the custody Department of State Security, DSS.

Giving the clearance operations that had been embarked up by the Operation Whirl Punch  and its Air Component in Kaduna, Zamfara , Sokoto, Katsina, Buhari , home state and north central state of Niger, as wellas Operation  Hadin Kai and its Air Component with the support of the Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF, formed b Nigeria, Niger , Chad and the Central African country of Cameroon, in the north east states ofBorno, Yobe, the terror groups , appear to be  in serious trouble as their Commanders are losing their live with ease  in the hands  of Nigerian Troops .

 Mohammed Bazoun, President of the neighbouring Niger Republic, had said the hearing of Katina state born Nigerian President and Bello Matawalled, governor of Zamfara state   that the trans- border Bandits had  entered Nigeria through the Maradi region of the country, where the Nigerian government  had extended the construction of its   dual guage rail network project  from  Kano to the region.

  be extended to. The Nigerien President had said to the hearing of the Nigerian President and Bello Matawale, governor of Zamfara state, described as home of the Bandits that the problem of the trans-border armed Banditry across the country is coming from Madawa and Bayan Dutsi region, described as home of Bandits in the neighbouring Niger Republic.  To ensure that the construction of the Kano-Maradi region was completed before the expiration of the Buhari Administration in May 29, 2023, the project was said to have passed through Kazure, Daura, Katsina, Jibia to the Maradi region.

Even when Kano-Maradi rail project has not been completed which could have paved the way for the trans-border Bandits to enter Nigeria with ease by patronizing the train services, the Bandits are still finding their way into the north central states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, and Niger, home state of Ibrahim Bababangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, both retired Army Generals and former Nigerian Military President and Head of State respectively.

Air Marshall Amao: CAS

With the determination of the Nigerian military to implement its new war strategy to deal decisively with the Bandits, terrorists and Separatist Group threat in the south east may have informed why the Army, under the close watch of Lt. General Farouk Yahaya and Air Marshall Olayinka Amao, the Chief of Nigerian Air Force, CAS, are closely working together.

 This is evident as the air component of Operation Hadin Kai, OPHK, are giving all in the ground Troops in the north eat states of Borno and Yobe, that the Islamc Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram, Islamic State of West Arican Province, ISWAP, which had established Cells in Niger state, that they could no longer mobilise to Launch attacks in the recent time.

 The situation is the same in north west region where the Operation Whirl Punch and its  air component appears to have weaken the Bandits Group fighters and the south east  where the IPOB, Separatist Group,  fighters were sad to be going through hell in the hands of the Nigerian Troops

The recent Army shakeup, amid the renewed attacks across the country by the non- state actors  and the mandate given to  the General Officers Commanding, GOC, the various Army Divisions, ‘’to  redouble  their  effort and commitment  to duty in tackling the security challenges facing the country  ,  may have informed why they have gone out for the kill.

Nigeria Troops Deal Decisively With Bandits In Chikun LGA, Kaduna State

Take for instance, T.A. Lagbaja, an Army Major General who was said to have been deployed from the 81 Division to One Division, Kaduna, within the short period he has been in the office was said to have taken to the battle to the Bandits forests hide out in the north west geopolitical region that the Bandits Group fighters have been thrown into confusion as they could no longer bark and bite.

Boderi Isiya, Mutsi,  alongside one Yellow Mai-Madarid and Dan Katsinawa, who were said  to have been responsible for ‘’the security breach  at the Nigerian Defense Academy , NDA, Kaduna, where they were said to have abducted  Two officers and another senior officer in 2021 and kidnapped students  of Federal College  of Forestry Mechanization and Hassan Attahiru, Emir of Bgudu in Zamfara state , may have thought that  by penetrating the security –tight NDA, Kaduna, attack and go, they could do that at any  time. But got it wrong.

 Note that the Isiya and Mutsi, led Bandits Group gang were said to plotted another attack on the NDA, February 2022, but were stopped by Operation Thunder Strike , a formation of NAF, that was said to have killed  over20 of them at a go.

Unknown to Isiya and the other Commanders working with him in the Bandits Group gang in Chikun Local government Area, LGA, of Kaduna state, the deployment of Major General Lagbaja from Headquarters 81 Division to Headquarters one Division would mark the beginning of their problem.

Only recently, Troops of the one Division, Kaduna, had engaged the Isiya and Mutsi Bandits Group gang   around the College General Area of Chikun LGA, of the northwest state of Kaduna.

There were indications that that the Bandits had scrambled  in retreat to avoid  being hit by the NAF, Jet fighters throwing bombs into their forest hideouts as those who were said to have  tried to escape    were said to have fallen into the waiting hands of Major-General’ LagabajaTroops who had laid  another ambush for them  in Sabon Gida General  Area.

Major-General Lagbaja combat ready ground Troops with the support of the Air Component of Operation Whirl Punch, were said to have killed Mutsi, believed to be the next in Command to Boderi Isiya, the Bandits Group gang Commander,   Mai-Madarib and Dan-Katsinawa and other Commanders of the gang yet to be I be identified by .the Troops. Isiya, the Bandits group Leader may have escaped into the bush with other Bandits who were said to have sustained life battling wounds.

An lated Samuel Aruwan, the  Kaduna state Commissioner for  Internal Security,    who could not hide his feelings had said  that Isiya  and his well- armed terror group  had a bad day  in the hands of the Major-General Lagbaja battle ready soldiers, noting that  the corpes and several weapons were recovered at the scene.

Gov. El-Rufai: Praises Nigerian Troops For Their Breakthroughs In Kaduna

Nasir El-Rufai, a one-time minister of Federal Capial Territory, FCT, durig Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration and now governor of Kaduna sate, who has not been comfortable with the activities of Isiya, Mutsi, and other notorious Commanders of the Bandits Group in Chikun LLGA, particular, ha cried out Buhari and the Army have failed to secure his home state, threatening ‘’to hire foreign mercenaries to crush the terrorists and Bandits operating in north west geopolitical region’’.

An aggrieved Ele-Rufai, who is not happy over what is happening in his home state  may have shocked Nigerians when he said that  he had gone several times to the Presidential Villa,  ‘’to brief  the Nigerian President on the increasing  state of insecurity  and terror attacks in the state but nothing came out of it’’.

The death of Mutsi and other notable Commanders of the Bandits Group in Chikun LGA, of Kaduna state in the hands of the Army, may have convinced the Kaduna state governor that the Nigerian government and the military are alive to their duties  of crushing the various terror groups, and other non-state actors operating in different parts of the country.

For the first time, El-Rufai, the aggrieved Kaduna state governor had ‘’praised the Nigerian Troops for doing a good job in Kaduna state by bringing theBandits operating in the state to their knees under the Leadership of Major General Lagbaja, describing it as’’ the latest breakthroughs that had been recorded hsince  he took over the mantle of Leadership of Headquarters of One Division, Kaduna, in the recent shake up of senior Army officers’’.  He was said to have advised the Troops to sustain the tempo in the onslaught against Banditry in the state and other parts of the north western geopolitical region.

Signs that the Bandits Group Commanders operating in the north west geopolitical region are in trouble emerged last Auust when Alhaji Shanono and 17 of  his men were killed at  Ukambo village, 131, Kilometers from Kadun,a  by the Air Component  of Operation Whirl  Punch.   

 There is no gain saying the fact that what is currently happening in the north west geopolitical region may not be different from what is happening in the north east region  where Troops of 199 Special Forces  and 222 Battalions  and Operation Hadin Kai , OPHK,  in what was described as a coordinated airstrikes   killed  over five Commanders  of Boko Haram terror group and several other insurgents   on the fringes of the Sambisa forests in the sustained operations  to clear the region  of the criminal elements recently.


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