- Nigerian Military Had Repackaged Itself And Making Lots Of Progress – Enenche
By Stephen Ubanna
When Babagana Zulum, a Professor and governor of the north east state of Borno, suggested to President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, to engage the services of Mercenaries in prosecuting the insurgency war in the state, Adamawa and Yobe, the two other states in the region under the insurgency atatcks, nobody took him serious.
Zulum may have done his homework and found out that the only way the the Katsina state born Nigerian President could end insecurity in the north east , home of BokoHaram, and north west, where the bandits are terrorising the residents of Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina, the President home state, is to engage the services of the mercenaries who discharge their duties based o Contract. The January 15, 2021, Armed Forces, Remembrance Day , may have provided opportunities for people to renew their call on the need for the government to engage external forces to solve the problem of insecurity in the country.
One of such people, was Nyesom Wike, the governor of oil rich Rivers state. Wike, who could not hide his feelings , had told the Nigerian President ‘’to stop pretending as if the government could solve the country’s insecurity problem alone’’ but should ‘’seek external help to effectively fight the insurgents’’ making life uncomfortable for people in the north east.
He may have alluded to the use of Mercenaries, that had been recommended by Zulum, described as the Nigerian weeping governor, because of the incessant attacks of the insurgents in the state and the resultant loss of lives of both security operatives, particular, soldiers and civilians.
The Chambers Dictionary, had described the Mercenary as a’’ soldier hired into foreign service and motivated by the hope of reward’’. Described as a soldier of fortune, in several quarters, the Mercenary takes part in a military conflict as an outsider to the conflict and not a member of any other official military for money and other forms of payment other than for political gains.
The Rivers governor, who may have won the heart of Rochas Okorocha, a former governor of Imo state and now a Senator, Federal Republic of Nigeria, elected on the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC, and who had described him as one of the ‘’most Controversial governors in Nigeria because of his political rascality , doggedness and astuteness’’, had said that there is need for the good people in APC and PDP,to join forces to rebuild Nigeria. He may have though of teaming up with Wike and good people in both the ruling APC , and the Oposition , PDP, to team up to form another Mega party , that would slug it out with the existing Mega parties in the upcoming 2023 election.
Okorocha, who Commissioned the Rumueche /Rumuakunde Ohna Wuse road in Emohua local government area of the state on the invitation of the Rivers governor had unbarred his mind on him. True to his impression of the Rivers governor, he had exhibited the political rascality , doggedness and astuteness, during the January 15, 2021, Armed Forces Remembrance Day, when he urged the Nigerian President ‘’to change Gabriel Olonisakin, an army General and the Chief of Defense Staff, CDS, and the service Chiefs, Comprising of Yusuf Tukur Buratai, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff, CAS, Sadiq Sadiq Abubakar, An Air Marshall and Chief of Air Staff and Ibok Ekwe Ibas, a Vice Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff.
He had told the retired Army General and Commander –In-Chief , C-In-C, of the Nigerian Armed Forces, that the government must ‘’end the killings in the country in the shortest possible time by changing the service Chiefs which will allow for the introduction of new strategies to fight in insurgents and the Bandits operation in the north east and north west geo-political regions’’.
The Presidency may have known that the insurgency a war in the north east is dragging on for too long, going by the Statement of Femi Adesina, Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity, that the victory over the myriad of problems in the country can only come from God. Adesina had urged Nigerians that ‘’rather than grumble and complain or criticise the government , they should channel their energies to Prayer’’.
He may have spoken the mind of the retired Army General, who had made a similar Statement recently that’’only God can effectively police the border routes between Nigeria and Niger Republic’’, as Hameed Ali, a retired army Colonel and Comptroller General , Nigerian Customs Service and his men have failed to do so as Small and Light arms had continued to flood the country through the numerous illegal border routes between the two countries and which also includes smuggling of the Asian country of Thailand grown par boiled rice.
Recall that the Lawan Ahmad led APC, dominated Senate, Zulum, and the Borno elders had repeated called for the sack of the current service chiefs to pave way for the introduction of fresh hands with fresh ideas to end the insurgency in the north east but that was how far they could go. The closeness between the Nigerian President and the service Chiefs during the January 15, 2021, Armed Forces Remembrance Day , in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to honor the nation’s fallen and living heroes, may have sent a message to Nigerians that Buhari still have unflinching Confidence on them, an indication that those calling for the sack of the service Chiefs may have to sheath their sword.
Bashir Salihi Magashi, a retired Major General and minister of Defense, may have given an insight ‘’to the thinking in government circles when he ‘’urged Nigerians to support the military to boost their morale to win the various ongoing Campaigns in the country’’. The minister had said that Nigerians were critical stakeholders in maintaining a ‘’well mobilized professionally responsible and responsible military that would be capable of safeguarding the nation’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
He disclosed that ‘’buy-in by the public in the form of speaking well of the military would energise the nation’s fighting forces to the battles’’.
John Enenche, An army Major General and Coordinator Defence Media Operations, believes that the insurgency war is as good as have been won. He has his reason. He had said that the Islamic Fundamentalist group, BokoHaram and The Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, ‘’no longer have authority over any part of the north east’’, particular, Borno, where ‘’the insurgents once had a stronghold’’.
According to him, ‘’what the country now has are remnants and weakened BokoHaram and ISWAP ,fighters’’. The army General had said that the insurgents are moving from bush to enclave and enclave to bush and ‘’no longer have any authority or sovereignty on any territory in the north east and by extension to Nigeria’’.
Perhaps, this might have given the operation Lafyle Dole Air Task Force, operatives at Nuwar, in the Bama area of Borno state to carry out series of confirmatory aerial surveillance missions , where they had discovered cluster of huts and other structures in the settlement being used ‘’to conduct Combat training for the terrorists on a regular basis’’.The fallout was that the Air Task Force of the Operation Layle Dole had dispatched an appropriate force package of the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, helicopter gunships for a night raid on the location in the location.
Enenche, the Coordinator of the Defense Media information had said that the helicopter gunships had hit in the target area which had led to the neutralization of several BokoHaram fighters as well as the destruction of some of their structures, including the insurgents armoury.
He could beat his chest that the armed forces of Nigerian had made a lot of progress over the last year in the area of ‘’packaging itself to further the defense of the country’’. This may have informed why the Nigerian President is not in a hurry to sack the service Chiefs.