By Suleiman Umaru
It is no longer news that the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, a 2015, break- away faction of BokoHaram, have penetrated the ranks of the Bandits Group which have led to the increased Banditry along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway in the recent time.
Nasir El-Rufai, a former minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, during Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration and now governor of the north west state of Kaduna had failed to agree that the North east states of Borno and Yobe based Terrorists have found their way to Kaduna state and collaborating with the Bandits Group to unleash mayhem on the people of Birnin Gwari Local Government Area who were said to have raised alarm over the increased presence of members the terrorists Groups in the state and which have made the fight against Banditry in the state worse.
Recall that the people of the Brnin –Gwari Local Government area had noticed the frequency of the attack which were traced to the Ansaru terrorists, which is an arm of BokoHaram and ISWAP, and alerted the state governor and the security agencies to come to their rescue but nobody took them serious.
the Kaduna state governor, may have forced to cry out that the north east geo-political region based terrorists are moving to the north west states of Kaduna, Zmamfara, Sokoto, Ktsina, President Muhammadu Buhari home state and the north central state of Niger in droves and are now recruiting young people into their fold who have turned to be informants..
He have been convinced that BokoHaram and ISWAP terrorists have stablished their presence in the state because of the several established cases of ‘’the use of mines and Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs’’, which are used by the terrorists in the north eat states of Borno and Yobe, to launch attacks on oft targets.
Many believe that the counter0insurgency operations in the north east states, particular, at the SAMBISA, Forest and the Lake Chad by the Multi-national Joint Task force, MJTF, comprising of the Operation Hadun Kai, OPHK, from Nigeria, Troops from Nigerien, Chad and the Central African Country of Cameroon, may have forced hundreds of the north east states based terrorist to relocate to the north west to join forces with the Bandits Group to make the region uncomfortable for the people.
Only, recently the MJTF and OPHK, were said to have cleared ten identified BokoHaram settlements in the Lake Chad Basin alone. The operation was said to have commenced from Munguno on May 17, 2022. The MNJTF and OPHK, troops were said to have cleared THE BokoHaram and ISWAP settlements at Gada,Kwatan Maishayi, Daban Karfe, Daban Gajere, Tumbum Buhari and Tumbum Abuja.
Other terrorists settlements that were said to have been cleared at the Lake Chad Basin include Sabon Tunbu, Ali SHERIFT, Doron Naira and Daban Masara. Kamaruden Adegoke, an Army Colonel, spokesperson of the MNJTF, may have alluded to the fact that the terrorists who have found the SAMBISA Forest and the settlements in the Lake Chad too hot to stay and Launch attacks on their soft targets in Borno and Yobe states may have relocated to the north west in a bid to avoid being killed by th MNJTF and OPHK troops. He had said that no contact was made with the terrorist fighters during the clearance operation.
While Troops of MNJTF and OPHK at the Lake Chad Bain and Sambisa forest have virtually forced the BokoHaram and ISWAP terrorists out from the areas, troops of Task Force Malam Fatori, base at Arege, were said to carried out similar clearance operations to the general areas of Ali, Jimari, Dogon Chuku and Tunbum.
Having been confirmed that BokoHaram and ISWAP fighters who could no longer stand the superior fire power of Troops of the MNJTF and OPHK, in Borno and Yobe states, have flooded the Kauna forests in the north west to carry out their nefarious activities should encourage Farouq Yahaya, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff to set up a Theatre at the Birnin Gwari axis of Kaduna state to checkmate the terrorist groups.
There are indications that the rising presence of the north east based terrorists, epitomized by the Ansaru terrorists which is an arm of BokoHaram and ISWAP, in the state and their growing interaction with the armed Bandits in Kaduna state, were responsible for the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna bound train on March 28, 2022, which was said to have led to the kidnap of 62 Passengers, including Ali-Hassan, Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture, who was said to have paid a ransom of N100 million to secure his freedom.
Indeed, with the recent clearance of ten identified settlements of the terrorists at the Lake Chad Basin Area by the MNJT and OPHK Troops may have encouraged the Katsina state government to consider the option of relocating the residents or clearing the three settlements along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway due to incessant attacks by Bandits and terrorists on travelers in the Area. The three communities are Rijana, Kateri and Klibu, all in the side of the Kagarko Local Government Area of the state.
El-Rufai, had said that the security agencies had ‘’to look at the two options of either total clearance of the three settlements or relocation of the residents to safer places because ‘’there are higher levels of informants and Bandits, working closely with the terrorists in these Areas’’.
He noted that with the continuous mention these three settlements in all these crimes of Bandits attack and kidnapping along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway, which happens on the Kagarko ide, he will like the National Security Council, NSC, ‘’to deliberate whether to clear the entire settlements to where other honest people would watch over them’’ .