By Stephen Ubanna
This is not the best of times for Tukur Buratai, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff. This is because of the killing of an Army Colonel , a Captain and three soldiers in an ambush in the notorious Jakana area , of Borno state where the activities of the Islamic Fundamentalists, Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African Africa had been very intense in the recent time.
The killing of the senior Army officers may have forced President Muhammadu Buhari to hold a closed door meeting with Gabriel Olonishaki, a General and Chief of Defence Staff, GCDS, Ibk-Ette, Vice Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, Buratai and Abubakar Sadiq, a Air Marshall and Chief of Air Staff, CAS, at the Presidential Villa. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the the government of the Federation was also said to be at the meeting. The outcome of the top level security remain a closely guided secret.
The attack which claimed the life of the two senior officers and three soldiers on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, according to Isa Ado, a Colonel and Deputy Director, Public Relations , Operation Lafiya Dole, said the incident occurred when the soldiers were on transit from Maiduguri, the state Capital to Damaturu, the Capital of Yobe state. Unknown to the soldiers there was a Boko Haram ambush along the road they ran into them.
The Value News learnt that when information filtered out about the death of the two senior officers and the three soldiers with them on the transit Journey, troops of 212 Battalion Forward Operation Base, FOB, Jakana, were quickly mobilised to halt the activities of the attackers who were decisively dealt with as a good number of them were killed.
Given a blow by blow account of the incident, Ado , noted that the plan of the Insurgents was to infiltrate the ranks of the military base to garner logistics but were resisted by the troops of 212, FOB. He noted that the Boko Haram fighters had entered the Jakana area with seven gun trucks but were frustrated by the superior fire power of the soldiers, forcing them to withdrew in disarray along the Benisheik _ Damaturu axis.
The Insurgents and the ISWAP fighters were said to have a badly damaged utility gun truck was marked to convey looted military items to their location. It was a good opportunity for the troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole 212, FOB, to give them a hot pursuit leading to the Capture of one of their anti-aicraft missiles, two Rocket Propelled Grenade Tubes, two AK 47 rifles , 15 machine guns and AK47 rounds in addition to NATO rounds.
The Islamic Fundamentalists may have been pushed to the wall that they could no longer differentiate between targets and aid workers. They were said to have killed a member of Action Against Hunger, a Humanitarian Organisation and kidnapped five others , whose whereabout are still unknown. The Aid group , in a Statement alerted the world that the attack occurred on last Thursday along the road to Damask, in the state.
The question had remained unanswered over the last ten years was how the Insurgents have been getting their logistics supplies. Security experts had consistently blamed it on the porous borders between Nigeria , Niger, Chad and Cameroon, Central African sub-region ,in the north east geo-political region.
But the Katsina born Nigerian President, who may have done his security homework, had attributed the security Challenges facing the country and Africa in general to sponsorship of the terrorists and Bandits in other parts of the country by those who’’ profit from illegal financial activities’’. The President had unbarred his mind on Thursday at at the opening session of the 16th Conference of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa, CISSSA.
The Nigerian President who could not hide his feelings had told participants at the Conference that the development and Stability on the African Continent had been undermined over the years by illicit outflows of funds estimated to over $60 billion annually. An aggrieved Buhari averred that African countries are losing same amount on illicit financial flows and the problem of resource transfers from Africa between 1980 and 2009, alone , according to security experts was between $1.2 trillion and $1.4 trillion to Europe, United States , US, and Asia.
While the troops are battling to put an end to BokoHaram activities in the north east, Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara state has entered into negotiation with the Bandits in the stop all forms of insecurity in the state so that the people of the state could go about their business without fear. The good news , according the governor was that ‘’markets which had been closed for years in the state since the banditry activities started in the started had reopened for normal business. He disclosed that several Captives have also regained their freedom.
The governor , however, has pleaded with buratai, the CAS, to deploy more soldiers to the state to force the remnants of the Bandits who are still launching attacks in the state to flee. He was said to have promised to provide the needed logistics for the soldiers. He was said to have made a similar appeal to Abubakar Sadiq, CAS, who promised that the NAF, would continue to support the state peace initiate . Note that the NAF Authorities had set up the 207 Quick Response Wing in Gusau, with its helipads and fuel facilities support the ground troops in the military Campaign to flush out the Bandits from the state.
The CAS had said that the ultimate aim of establishing the 207 Quick Response Air Wing was to have at least a minimum of 700 Regiment and Special forces personnel in the state to compliment the efforts of other security agencies, particular, the Army and the police in the conduct of the ground operations. The NAF Special Forces are currently operating in Gusau, and Bungudu local government area of the state.
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