By Lateef Adebite
Given the Pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Commande –In-Chief, of the Nigerian Armed from different quarters to save the country he has sworn to protect lives and property, on assumption of office and the recent meeting with the service Chiefs, may have encouraged him to give a matching order to the military Chiefs to clear Nigeria of the criminal elements ahead of the 2023, general elections.
Farouk Yahaya, a Lt. General and Chief of Army taff, CoAS, and Air Marshal, Olyinka, the Chief of Air Staff, CAS, in turn were said to have directed the ground troops of Operations Hadi Kai, OPHKT and the air wing including the Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF, to sit up and restore norlmacy in the country. The service Chiefs may have read the handwriting on the wall that they have moved to clear the country of the Criminal elements ahead of the 2023, general elections to save the country from imminent collapse.
Lt. Gen. Yahaya, the CoAS, may have started the clearance process last March from the SAMBISA forest, the base of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram. The SUCC feat achieved by the OPHKT, troops, at the forest, may have forced the MNJTF, set up by Nigeria, Niger, Chad and the central African country of Cameroon, with support from Republic of Benin and other countries, under the Command of Lucky Irabour, an Army General and Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff, CDS, to go back to the drawing board.
The successful feat achieved by the OPHKT in the SAMBISA forest may have forced the troops of the MNJTF, which had been dragging their feet in joining the OPHKT, in its aggressive fight against the north east state of Borno based terrorist to do so. The fallout was the recent MNJTF operations in which 10 BokoHaram and ISWAP Commanders as well as 100 arm carrying terrorists were killed in land and air clearance operations along the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin.
The Operation, codenamed ‘’Operation Lake Sanity was said to be a joint Operation involving the MNJTF, troops from Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon and the Air Task Forces of the MNJTF, and the OPHKT, air wing and other security agencies and the Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF, ground troops who are used to carrying out such clearance.
The good news was that Zanari, Arina Woje, which had served as a major fabrication workshop for the terrorists were destroyed and cleared. The aggressive MNJTF and OPHKT t, were said to have taken the battle to Asagar, Larki, Garere, KKerenoa, Wurje, Arege, Abadam Dorn, Lelewa, Kolaram and several other locations around the Island on the clearance operation.
An elated Colonel Dole, spokesperson of the MNJTF, had said that they recovered several ‘’sophisticated weapons of different calibres, including 105 mm artillery pieces, several canoes, boats, motorcycles and bicycles’’. Other terrorists equipment that were said to have been captured by the MNJTF and OPHK, troops during the operations include several Improvised Explosive Devices, IED, from the factories and bunkers that were destroyed.But the sad news was that 18 soldiers were wounded while three others were killed including a member of the CJTF during the operations.
Prior to the MNJTF, operation at the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin, the troops were said to have embarked on clearance patrol to Fedondiya settlement where’’ logistics and foodstuffs including several bags of maize and beans were recovered’’. The MNJTF, troops, were said to have also recovered from’’ the settlement some immobilize and cannibalized military and civil vehicles’’. This is in addition ‘’to grinding machines, vehicle fabrication tools, and military uniforms’’, which were destroyed and set ablaze at the location.
Informed sources told The Value News that the Fedodiya settlement that had been destroyed by MNJTF/OPHJT , was one of the biggest BokoHaram /ISWAP camp, having other IED- making factories that were said to have been cleverly camouflaged to prevent detection from the air along the Lake Chad fringes.
The MNJTF, troops that were said to be on clearance patrol in the general areas of Kimeguna near the Lake Chad in Niger Republic were said to have accosted BHT/ISWAP logisticians carrying 57 bags of fish in several carts heading to Nigeria. The MNJTF troops were said to have destroyed the bags of fish.
The BHT /ISWAP, fighters, according to Colonel Dole, may have known that they have lost out that they have resorted to ‘’the indiscriminate laying of IEDs and use of vehicle-borne explosive devices to launch attacks’’. Colonel Dole, the MNJTF, spokesperson, had confirmed that ‘’one of such pattern was noticed in their operations that the criminal elements were said to have hastily withdrawn ‘’to avoid making contact with the approaching troops’’.