Terrorism: How Nigeria’s Porous Borders Help Militants To Launch Attack In The North East

By Suleiman Umaru

 For years there had been security reports that the anti-terrorist war in the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe , would  take  a longer time to be concluded because of the increase of trans-border and the proliferation of   small arms in the Lake Chad  Basin area.  

Going by the records of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, twenty one states of the  Federation  share Border with three member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC: Niger, Chad and Cameroon. It was also  recorded  by the agency that over 3,000 Communities, particular, in the north , south- west and the south- south, share bountries with most Communities  of these neighbouring  countries.

Garba Shehu, a senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity,  may have spoken the mind of the President when he confirmed that  the remnants  of the BokoHaram Insurgents , fugitive  Criminals from the Maghreb region and  other West African countries  are working closely together  to still carry out  pockets of attacks in the  region.  Shehu noted that the collapse   of the Libyan state, the Islamic State of Iraq ,Syria and Lebanon ,  may have made the situation worse as a lot  of the ungoverned areas in the sub-region   provide  a base for the terrorists occupation and training.

Tukur Buratai: a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff

He opined that the combined efforts of the  country’s military  and the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, formed by three member countries of the Economic of West African States, ECOWAS, Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, from the Central African sub-region ,   have completely degraded  and defeated  the Insurgents, despite the pockets of attack in Adamawa , Borno or Yobe states. He revealed that is happening in the north was not different from what is happening in the other LCBC, member countries: Niger,  Chad and Cameroon,  as there have been  outrages.

The Presidential Spokesperson  said  the military and the MNJF, are doing everything within their powers to   flush out the  Insurgents who   have been  confined  to the ‘’remote , rural agrarian  areas  of Borno state who were said to have been carrying  out  occasional attacks  in Adamawa and Yobe states.

 Take for instance, the last Saturday attack  in the  village of  Badu Abachari, north of Maiduguri, the state  capital where 65 people were said to have been  killed, 10  wounded and scores of other people missing   . Muhammed Bulama, Council Chairman of  Ngazai area of the state  confirmed that the militants attacked the  funeral procession and then returned  to attack people  who went to help. The Council Chairman may have indicted thesoldiers and  other security agencies in the state when  he revealed that BokoHaram gun men   had been moving freely  , rustling cattle  and carting away foodstuff  from the villagers.

The kiilingat the  Badu Abachari may have attracted international attention as the government of the United Kingdom, UK,  had reechoed its decision to  support  the country  to tackle security challenges..    

Security watchers believe that  the situation in the Border Communities  in the  north east may have been worse both not for the boldness of the Customs personnel  at the land  borders in the state  who had summoned the courage to mount  effective road blocks  but that was how far they could go

. Recall that some members of Customs patrol teams on legitimate duties  in the  state  had been ambushed  and killed, forcing the Customs Authorities to go back to the drawing board  to re-strategise  in the  service anti-smuggling war in the north east.

This may have been done to  further  to support   Tukur  Buratai, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff, recently launched  ‘’Super Camps’’, which is expected to act  proactively  and respond quickly  to the changing tactics of the terrorists in the region.  

The government on its part may not have not have left  the policing of the Borders in the region alone to the Customs as it  had equipped the Mohammed Babande, led NIS,  to effectively embark on  an electronic  and digital  border monitoring scheme which appear to be helping out.

  Shehu, the Presidential Spokesperson  may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he said that  the government was not alone in prosecuting the  anti-terrorist war in the north east as it was closely working with  the United Agencies , World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and other donor countries.He further disclosed that the government  had also  received  substantial  support   from ‘’friendly countries in  across Europe,  the Middle East and the United States, US, government.

 He noted that the country had spent huge amount of money  in weapons procurement  over the years  and had continued to do so in order to keep  the military in good fighting shape.. He cited the payment  for the  Super Tucano  fighter Jets  from the US,  which had been approved  for sells to Nigeria by President Donald Trump.

According to him, the Tucano Jets  may not  have been delivered to  the country  as expected, noting that ‘’arsenal is not  something  is not what a country pay for and get immediate supplies as it requires mostly long time orders’’. He maintained that the fighter Jets would be delivered to the country beginning from next year from the US Manufacturers.

An elated  Shehu,  SSA, Median and Publicity , to the Katsina state born Nigerian President  is optimistic that going by the efforts  that had been put in place by the Buhari Administration to curtail the activities of the Insurgents in the north east  over the last four years, the Islamic  State in West African Province, ISWAP, a breakaway faction of BokoHaram, would also be defeated.

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