By Stephen Ubanna
Barely one week after President Muhammadu Buhari , a retired Army General and Command –In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, C-In-C, promised to come hard on IPOB, Islamic Fundamentalist Group, Boko Haram, and the Islamic State of the West African province, ISWAP, including the Bandits and Criminal gangs plotting to destroy Nigeria, the security operatives appear to have been set loose for the kill.
This is evident going by what is going on in different parts of the country as Farouk Yayaha, a Major General and Chief of Army Staff, COAS, and his ground troops with the support of the Nigerian Airforce, NAF, fighter Jets, have moved into action to contain the activities of the gunrunners and logistics supply of the Criminal elements. Abdulsalami Abubakar, a retired Major General and former Head of State, had said that that there are six million illegal weapons in circulation in Nigeria.
Notwithstanding the quantities of illegal that have fallen into the Criminal elements hands in the north east states of Borno and Yobe and north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto and kebbi including the north central states of Niger, Benue and the south east states of Imo and Abia, particular, Major General Yahaya, the new COASA, and Isiaka Oladayo Amao, his Counterpart in NAF, appear to have taken the battle to the Bandit Camps.
This is evident going by what is happening currently happening in Borno state where the ISWAP fighters, which had become the dominant force in the state are making all the efforts to reclaim all the old local governments in the state which were formerly under the control of the original BokoHaram prior to Buhari’s first term in office in 2015.
The al-Barnawi, controlled ISWAP, fighters may have known that the game is up as their recent plot to infiltrate Damboa Local government Area of the north east of Borno state and Launch attack that would paved the way to take over control of the Area was frustrated by Yahaya’s men. This was said to have been made possible with the support of the Air Component of Operation Lafiya Dole, re-christened Operations Hadin Kai, by late Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, the former COAS, who died in King Air 350, Beechcraft Aircraft crash on Friday, May 11, 2021, near Kaduna International Airport while on an official assignment with some senior Army officer in Kaduna state.
The ISWAP, fighters may have sent a message to the Operations Hadin Kai soldiers that they have come to take over the Damboa Local government as last Saturday as they were armed to the teeth. They were said to have prepared for the attack with an Armoured Personnel Carriers, APC,12 trucks, all mounted with anti-aircraft guns and locally fabricated Armoured plated vehicles loaded with explosives and Motorcycles, used for Surveillance and escape.
Abdullahi Yerima, a Brigadier General and Army spokesperson, said the ISWAP fighters were shocked at what they saw in the battle field, a new Nigeria Operation Hadin Kai. They military personnel, out to destroy. They were said to have been thrown into confusion because of the heavy artillery gunfire from the soldiers and the NAF attack platforms.
An informed security source told The Value News, that the battle was so intense that the ISWAP, suicide bombers had to abandon their vehicles primed with explosives and escape into the bush.
The Nigerian troops were said to have recovered several abandoned weapons and ammunitions from the fleeing ISWAP fighters from the battle field. The ISWAP, fighters had lost 50 of their men in the Damboa Local government battle with the Operations Hadin Kai troops, despite the support of the rebels from the rebels from the North African country of Libya and Mercenaries from Mali, Niger, Chad and Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, Sudan and Cameroon.
The frustration of the ISWAP fighters from entering Damboa Local Government Area, to launch an attack, may have informed why Yahaya, the Army Chief, who was incidentally the immediate past Theatre Commander to assure Nigerians of ‘’ending the insurgency in the north east geopolitical region and other violent Crimes in the country’’.
Many believe that the killing of the suspected gunrunners who operate around Sabo Brni Area of Sokoto, home state of Late President Shehu Sagari, Nigeria’s Executive President in 1979, bear eloquent testimony to the new COAS, promise to confront the Criminal elements across the country headlong.
Acting on information, the gunrunners were coming into Sokoto, Nigeria, on foot from the neighbouring Niger Republic may have forced the troops to lay ambush along , from Nigerian troops were said to have the troops to lay an ambush along the suspected likely to be used by the gunrunners which is said to be close to Garin Naimimai village in Sokoto state. They got it right.
The battle-ready soldiers who were ready to kill in case of any attack from intruders were said to have recovered from the killed suspected gun runners RPG bombs,, RPG hangers, A Machine gun, AK47 Assault rifles, and other accessories and other different Calibre of assorted ammunition. The killing of the thee suspected gunrunners from Niger, clearly shows that the Libyan rebels are not yet tired of arming the ISWPA fighters in Nigeria, through the neighbouring countries of Niger, C Chad and the Central African cou ntry of Cameroon.
The gun runners may have known that the only way to remain in the business is to ensure that the insurgency in the north east part of Nigeria, spread to Niger, Chad and Cameroon, in order to have easy access to the Nigeria where they believe they could more money from bOKokoHaram AND ISWAP Groups.
The killing of the suspected gunrunners in along a supply route in Sokoto state may have strengthened the esolve of Major General Yahaya troops to sustain the operation in other illegal routes used by the gunrunners around the border areas with Niger, Chad and Cameroon to frustrate the movement of weapons and ammunition into the country.
The killing of the three suspected gunrunners in Sikoto state is on coming on the heels of the arrest of suspected two fuel suppliers of BokoHaram and ISWAP Group for their logistics in the Gujiba Local government Area of north east state of Yobe, on Saturday, May 29, 2021. The Sector 2, Hadin Kai troops, who were said to have acted on tip-off, from informants, had recovered 11 Jerri cans of 25 litres each of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popular, Petrol , six Jerri cans of 25 litres each of Automated Gas Oil, AGO, popular, diesel and nine empty Jerri cans hidden in different locations in the Gujba Area of the state. The suspects are helping the military in the investigation to locate other major suppliers of fuel and diesel to the terrorist Groups in operating in the north east.
Security experts believe that with the step taken by Major General Yahaya , the new COAS, to block the routes used by the gunrunners and logistic suppliers to therist groups and the Bandits operating in the north states of Zamfara, described as home state of the bandits, Kaduna, Katsina, home state of Buhari, Sokoto, Kebbi and the north central state of Niger, home state of retired General Ibrahim Babangida, a former military President, the insurgents and Bandits, operating in the north may be singing their last song.
While the battle to restore normalcy in the country has taken a new dimension in the north east and norh west , where the Troops are deermien to clip the wings of the BokoHaram and ISWAP, fighters, by blocking the used by gunrunners and Logistics suppliers to them, the situation is different in the south east. The people have cried out that the troops by the new COAS, who has a mandate of the Nigerian President to shoot at sight any person found with AK 47, appear to be working. There have been pictures posted on the internet showing how the soldiers are shooting indiscriminately in Imo and Abia states, described as home of the indigenous People of Biafra, whose leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is in the United Kingdom, on self exile, instead of staying in Nigeria to fight the battle.
Political analysts see him as having abandon the corse he had started instead of remaining in Nigeria to do like Sunday Egoho, the pro-Oduduwa Secessionist Republic Campaigner who is based in Nigeria. Only recently, he was said to mobilized his foot soldiers to Idiroko , a border town between a Nigeria and Benin epublic, forcing the two military personnel on ground to disguise themselves and run or their dear dear life. They were said to have disarmed the Nigerian Immigration personnel on duty while a Customs officer who was using his Camera to video the invasion as beaten up. They were said to have thrown the border town open for an uninterrupted smuggling of foreign par boiled rice and vehicles, which had been banned by the retired Army General from coming into the country through the land border on January 1, 2017, last Saturday.
It was a clear indication that that the country was sliding to anarchy and a failed state as reported by Isaku, governor of north central state of Taraba, retired Lt Geneeral Theophilous Danjuma, and former minister of Defence, during for President Olusegun Obasanjo Presidency, home state.
The Magazine learnt that the Idiroko Divisional Police Officer, DPO, was at Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A, Ikeja, on Wednesday, June2, 2021, to rub, mind with Jack Ookpabi, an Assistant Comptroller of Customs and Had of the Unit, Operations and Lagos Roving, who has remained a nightmare to smugglers operating in the south west, that he has been nicknamed a brave jungle master‘’, to rub minds on how to handle the smugglers who had taken advantage of the Egboho illegal opening of the border and the disappearance of security Operatives along the Sango-Otta to idiroko and other major routes to the Border Communities.