By Suleiman Umaru
President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, appears to have adopted retired General Yakubu Gowon, a former Nigerian Head of State, strategy in d prosecuting the 30 months Civil war that forced the late Odumegwu Ojukwu led short lived Biafran Republic to Collapse. This is because the then Nigerian Head of state had starved the Biafran soldiers of food which weaken their ability the Federal Forces. This is precisely hat is currently happening the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP.
The Katsina born Nigerian President and his military Chiefs and their troops have virtually blocked all the sources of getting Logistics and food supply in different parts of the north east states of Borno and Yobe , that had worsened the hunger now dealing with the insurgents , thus weakening their ability to stand the Nigerian soldiers in the battle ground again.
The recent incident at Ali Gambari village where the BokoHaramand ISWAP , fighters had laid ambushed the Nigerian soldiers on regular Patrol of the area speaks volume. Before now, the insurgents could have succeededed in killing the soldiers in the ambush attack, but given their inability to conquer the problem of hunger ravaging their Camps in the SAMBISA Forest and the Lake Chad region, may have informed why the Insurgents who laid the ambush fell into the waiting hands of the troops of sector 3 of Operation Hadin Kai,and troops of the 19 Brigade Garrison at Gajiram, on Sunday, August 22, 2021.
Eyewitness account disclosed that the BokoHaram and ISWAP fighters who had laid the ambush, with the intention to kill the Nigerian troops on Patrol were roundly humiliated as they showed little or no resistance to as the strength was no longer there due to ravaging hunger h. The Operation Hadin Kai sector 3 troops and the 19 Brigade Garrison, were said to have overrun the Insurgents , forcing those who still have the strength to run to escape into the bush with their bullet wounds.
The fierce-looking Nigerian troops were said to have recovered three AK- 47 rifles , ten 7.62 mm rounds of ammunition , 36 Hand Grenade and one Magazine carrier including Assorted drugs and personal effects. The defeat of the of the BokoHaram and ISWAP, fighters who had laid the ambush against the Nigerian soldiers at the Ali Gamari village, described as a farming Community in Borno state may have sent a message to the Leadership of the two insurgent Groups and their followers terrorizing residents of the north east states of Borno and Yobe, and Occassionally Adamawa, that their days are numbered.
The Katsina state born Nigerian President had given a matching order to Farouk Yahaya, a lt. General and the new Chief Of Army Staff, COAS, who had replaced Late Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, the former COAS, who had died in a plane crash last May, to end the insurgency war in the north east eastern geo-poltiical region and restore peace in the region.
The Army Gneral, who incidentally was the former General Officer Commanding, GOC, of the Operation, Hadin Kai, in Maiduguri, in turn, as said to have asked the troops to redouble their efforts in order to recover all lost grounds in the region as a prelude to ending the over 10 year-old war in the region.
The Operation Hadin Kai sectors and Brigade Commanders and their troops may have gotten the message right that they have intensified their fight against the insurgents in the recent times in the war-thorn region smoking out the insurgents in their SAMBISA forest and the Lake Chad region hideouts and thus recovering the lost grounds in Borno and Yobe sates.
The surrender of Musa Adamu, polpular, Mala Musa Abuja, the Chief Bomb Manufacturer and Usman Adamu, better known as Abu Darda, in the insurgency circles and who is incidentally , the deputy Chief Manufacturer of the two insurgent Groups, operating in the north east geo-political region and 335 of their followers including 746 members of their family members who were mostly women and children including one of the chibok girls who had been radicalized on how to throw bombs in order to embrace the blanket amnesty granted by the Nigerian President to them speaks volume .
Given the hunger ravaging the BkoHaram and ISWAP, Camps , in Borno and Yobe states, where the insurgents are still holding ground in some Local government Areas, may have informed why the military Authorities are optimistic that with ‘’the advancements being made by the troops in the recent times, more repentant insurgents are likely to drop their gun to join others who had surrendered to regain their freedom to do so.
An Appreciative Lt General Yahaya, the COAS, had commended the Operation Hadin Kai, troops , for the inroad made in the BokoHaram and ISWAP, strongholds in Borno an Yobe states. But Nigerians want the retired Army General and Commander-In – Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, C-in-C to adopt , more stringent measures to in dealing with the Insurgents who have surrendered and now pleading for forgiveness because of the havoc they have wreaked on the nation over the last 10 years .
Babaga Munguno, a Professor and governor of Borno state , had said that the state alone, had been attacked 50 times, resulting in the death of over 10,000 people. He noted that millions of people had been displaced, causing the government billions of naira annually to maintain the IDP Camps, scattered all over the region. Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel, led Nigerian Customs service, NCS, have also been supportive of the efforts of the Nigerian government to sustain the Internally Displaced People’ IDP’s, Camps throughout the Federation.
There is no gain saying the fact that virtually all the thousands of foreign parboiled rice of 50Kg. each and other Contraband items , including second Hand clothing, that had been intercepted and seized by the Customs Interventionist units, deposited in Government warehouses, across the country are usually distributed to the IDPs, Camps ‘ Camps,. Other Organisations, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, were said to have also taken a cue from the NCS, to support the IDPs with food, clothing, Beverages, drugs and other items.
This may have informed why critics, had said that if eventually the Nigeria troops win the BokoHaram and ISWAP, war,’’ it would be at a great cost to the nation’’. And which should not be a cheery news. This may have informed why Ali Ndume, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Chairman, Senate Committee on the Army has never hidden his opposition to the reintegration of the insurgents who had retraced their step from the criminal activities in the north east, insisting that they must be profiled before returning them to their Communities.
However, Munguno, the Borno governor, who is feeling the pinch of the Insurgents attacks in the state has cautioned the Nigerian government to thread with caution. Aware of the pressure on the military Authorities to reject the surrendered Insurgents and treat them as spy, the Borno state governor had met Buhari, today, being Tuesday, August 24, 2021, to plead with him’’ not to reject the repentant Insurgents in order to avoid worsening the insurgency war in the region’’.
The governor was said to have used opportunity of the meeting which was held behind closed door to inform Buhari that the surrendering of the repentant Insurgents ‘’is a very welcome development to the people of Borno state’’, stressing that if the gvernmen want an endless war in the north east , he can go ahead and reject the insurgents. He maintained that there was no basis ‘’ to reject those who are willing to surrender to end the war’’. Given an insider information, he disclosed that 2,600 BokoHaram and ISWAP members have so far surrendered, inclusive of their wives and Children.
The Nigerian troops may have focused its attention on crushing the BokoHaram and ISWAP, fighters operating in the north east, thus leaving the Usman Alkali Baba, Inspector General of Police, IGP’s, men, to tackle the Bandits ravaging the north western states of Zamfara, described as home of the Bandits, Kaduna and Katsina, Buhari home state.
The Bandits who were said to have also occasionally attacked Communities in Sokoto and Kebbi states, whee score of people were said to have been kidnapped. Although, the Nigerian troops, had at different occasions been involved in the fight against the Bandits, in the north west geopolitical region and Niger, home state of General Ibrahim Babangida, a former military President, but that have not stopped the Bandits from carrying out their attacks or abducting innocent people in the north .
This may not be unconnected to the fact that the insurgents who are losing ground in the north eastern sates of Borno and Yobe are gradually relocating to the north west to strengthen the Bandits to sustain the attacks and kidnapping for ransom in the region.
It was a sad news on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, when information filtered out that the Bandits attacked the Nigerian Defence Academy, DDA, Kaduna, killing two officers and abducting another senior officer, while several others received bullet wounds.The latest attack on the military facility tells how bad the insecurity situation has become in the country as the fate of Civilians now hang on the balance
. Prior to the NDA, attack by the Bandits with the alleged support of the BokoHaram and ISWAP fighters, they had attacked a Commuter bus inJema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna state and abducted 15 Passengers on Monday, August 23, 202.
Howeever, , they were not lucky to escape the abducted persons to their hideout in the forest t to make their Financial demands. This is a distress call was said to have been to the troops who were said to have swiftly mobilized to the location and repelled the Bandits before rescuing the abducted passengers.
Samuel Aruwan, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, had assured the travelling public, that they have no cause to worry as the troops are sustaining search and rescue operations in the area with the aim of ensuring the general safety of travelers and residents’’.
In spite of the Bandits continuous attacks in Kaduna state in the recent time, the situation in Zamfara may have become so fierce as five persons were killed in Gora Namaye village in Maradun Local Government Area and 50 others abducted. Ibrahim Dorsari, the state Commissioner for Information in the state , had made Nigerians to understand that here are 100 Bandits Camps in the state , with over 34,000, fighters.
The notorious north west Bandits were said to have also killed 12 persons at Duba village in Basari Local Government Area of Katsina state on Monday simultaneously. They were said to have ransacked and looted houses and shops in the Community, dispossessing people of their belongings including foodstuff and money, showing how hungry they become and looking for means of survival. This is why indication with the intensified efforts of the military and other security agencies personnel in the state, the military and police, personnel may have to intensify their air raids to provide support for the ground troops to the crush the Bandits with ease. For now, their target appears to have become Kaduna because of the military installations there.