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Showing posts with label Crime. Show all posts

Protesters, Criminals have declared war on Nigerians - Professor Bewaji

Protesters, Criminals have declared war on Nigerians - Professor Bewaji

By Dansu Peter 

A University Don, Professor Solomon Bewaji , has described the violence that followed the EndSARS protest, as an indication that criminals have declared war on Nigeria. 

Prof. Bewaji  who is of the Department of History, University of Ilorin lamented that criminals have taken over the protests and have declared war on ordinary citizens of the country.

He said this is unfortunate as it has complicated matters and made life more difficult for teeming Nigerians on whose behalf the protesters claimed  they're fighting for.

Speaking with press men at his office in Unilorin, the Don said, the protesters have shown no empathy to the masses who are nearing the brunt of their actions.

Prof. Bewaji  said what is going on is not a revolution but an equivalent of an attempted coup by criminals who are not happy with the reforms going on in the country hence are doing everything to upturn them.

He said while revolutions are spontaneous and borne out of genuine grievances, what is going on in Nigeria seemed to have been planned, coordinated and well funded to embarrass the government. 

He said from all indications that a well written script to cause the destabilisation of the country is in play.

"Otherwise, how do you explain a situation where on the very first day that the protesters came out, they were carrying food in take away packs and distributing assorted drinks not just to themselves but to security agents on patrol," he said.

Prof. Bewaji  said the food, snacks and music from hired DJs and musicians shows that there was a budget for the protest which was far beyond what the youths could have afforded on their own.

The University Don said for the protesters to have sustained the protests long after the President had disbanded the SARS police unit,  was deliberate in order to embarrass the government and allow criminals to hijack the process.

He said if the protesters were genuine, they would have called off the protest the moment their demands were met.

"Ordinarily, they would have discontinued the protests the moment the President disbanded the SARS and the Vice President apologised, but because they want to create a window for criminals to take over, they refused to leave the streets.

"Now the criminals have taken over and they've started burning public buildings, attacking innocent people and have ushered in an atmosphere of mayhem and commotion all against the masses of this country," he stated.

Our correspondent noted that the Edo State Government on Monday, imposed a 24 hour curfew on all parts of the state following a breakdown of law and order leading to the burning of public buildings and the release of prisoners by some protesters.

While the Lagos State Government also followed suit on Tuesday by declaring a 24-hour curfew on the state following similar outbreak of violence and breakdown of law and order in the state while there were cases of violence in states like Plateau, Osun, Ondo and the Federal Capital Territory. 

Prof. Bewaji  said the current protest is a clear departure from what obtained in the past where the demands of protesters are well articulated by identified leaders of the youths.

"But in this case, no one can tell you their leaders, they're nowhere to be found even whe  the government has indicated interest in negotiating with them.

"If their demands are noble then they should come out and table it before our elected leaders so that yhe matter could be resolved for good, but  they're they hiding," he stated .

He said the masses have been put in untold hardships due to the ongoing protests as people could no longer go to work and have been forced to close their business premises while movements have been restricted even in states where there are no curfew.

The Don appealed to the youths to do the needful and pull out of the streets so as to enable the government implement their demands.

"That to me remains the most sensible thing to do because further protests would only escalate the already tense situation for the masses of this country," he stated.

He insisted that violent protest is not the way to go on the light of the current hardship ending faced by majority of Nigerians.
By Dansu Peter 

A University Don, Professor Solomon Bewaji , has described the violence that followed the EndSARS protest, as an indication that criminals have declared war on Nigeria. 

Prof. Bewaji  who is of the Department of History, University of Ilorin lamented that criminals have taken over the protests and have declared war on ordinary citizens of the country.

He said this is unfortunate as it has complicated matters and made life more difficult for teeming Nigerians on whose behalf the protesters claimed  they're fighting for.

Speaking with press men at his office in Unilorin, the Don said, the protesters have shown no empathy to the masses who are nearing the brunt of their actions.

Prof. Bewaji  said what is going on is not a revolution but an equivalent of an attempted coup by criminals who are not happy with the reforms going on in the country hence are doing everything to upturn them.

He said while revolutions are spontaneous and borne out of genuine grievances, what is going on in Nigeria seemed to have been planned, coordinated and well funded to embarrass the government. 

He said from all indications that a well written script to cause the destabilisation of the country is in play.

"Otherwise, how do you explain a situation where on the very first day that the protesters came out, they were carrying food in take away packs and distributing assorted drinks not just to themselves but to security agents on patrol," he said.

Prof. Bewaji  said the food, snacks and music from hired DJs and musicians shows that there was a budget for the protest which was far beyond what the youths could have afforded on their own.

The University Don said for the protesters to have sustained the protests long after the President had disbanded the SARS police unit,  was deliberate in order to embarrass the government and allow criminals to hijack the process.

He said if the protesters were genuine, they would have called off the protest the moment their demands were met.

"Ordinarily, they would have discontinued the protests the moment the President disbanded the SARS and the Vice President apologised, but because they want to create a window for criminals to take over, they refused to leave the streets.

"Now the criminals have taken over and they've started burning public buildings, attacking innocent people and have ushered in an atmosphere of mayhem and commotion all against the masses of this country," he stated.

Our correspondent noted that the Edo State Government on Monday, imposed a 24 hour curfew on all parts of the state following a breakdown of law and order leading to the burning of public buildings and the release of prisoners by some protesters.

While the Lagos State Government also followed suit on Tuesday by declaring a 24-hour curfew on the state following similar outbreak of violence and breakdown of law and order in the state while there were cases of violence in states like Plateau, Osun, Ondo and the Federal Capital Territory. 

Prof. Bewaji  said the current protest is a clear departure from what obtained in the past where the demands of protesters are well articulated by identified leaders of the youths.

"But in this case, no one can tell you their leaders, they're nowhere to be found even whe  the government has indicated interest in negotiating with them.

"If their demands are noble then they should come out and table it before our elected leaders so that yhe matter could be resolved for good, but  they're they hiding," he stated .

He said the masses have been put in untold hardships due to the ongoing protests as people could no longer go to work and have been forced to close their business premises while movements have been restricted even in states where there are no curfew.

The Don appealed to the youths to do the needful and pull out of the streets so as to enable the government implement their demands.

"That to me remains the most sensible thing to do because further protests would only escalate the already tense situation for the masses of this country," he stated.

He insisted that violent protest is not the way to go on the light of the current hardship ending faced by majority of Nigerians.

#EndSARS Protest: MFM Saddened by Shooting of Protesters by Security Forces

#EndSARS Protest: MFM Saddened by Shooting of Protesters by Security Forces

By Dansu Peter 

Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) has expressed sadness over the shooting of protesting youths by Nigerian security forces.

The security forces were reported on Tuesday to have used live bullets on the youths that are carrying out peaceful protest across the country against Police brutality.

The church in a statement by its PR Taskforce Committee and signed by the chairman, Brother Collins Edomaruse, frowned at the incident, saying: "Those who shed innocent blood, their own blood will certainly be shed."

The full statement

MFM SADDENED BY SHOOTING OF PROTESTERS BY SECURITY FORCES

The Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries is deeply saddened by the unwarranted, unnecessary, callous, barbaric and inhuman use of live bullets by the security forces on Nigerian youths in Lagos, who were on peaceful protests to register their grievances with regards to violation of their fundamental human rights by the security agents.

It is indeed a Black Tuesday in the annals of Lagos and Nigeria. This is least expected in this century. While youths all over the world are contributing their own quota to good governance, the security forces are shooting their own in cold blood, devoid of human feelings and empathy.

Biblical principles of the Almighty God, says that the wickedness of the wicked, will consume the wicked. Those who shed innocent blood, their own blood will certainly be shed.

Let it be known that whatever is done under the cover of darkness with the belief that nobody sees it, will surely be brought to light and God the Ultimate Judge, will definitely judge speedily.

For it is written in Psalm 10.18 “You will hear the cries of the oppressed and the orphans; you will judge in their favor, so that mortal men may cause terror no more”.

Our hearts and prayers go to the Nigerian youths and all others negatively affected by this unfortunate and avoidable situation. We pray that God Almighty will minister peace and comfort to their hearts.

We also commiserate with the parents and guardians of the victims of this extreme show of force ,lack of empathy and lack of brotherly love, from those that committed this dastardly act.

To the Nigerian government, we will like to advise that going forward, utmost care and caution, coupled with divine wisdom, should be employed in bringing a lasting solution to the problem at hand.

Nigeria is all we have as Nigerians.

LET THE PEACE OF GOD REIGN SUPREME IN NIGERIA IN JESUS’ MIGHTY NAME. AMEN.
By Dansu Peter 

Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) has expressed sadness over the shooting of protesting youths by Nigerian security forces.

The security forces were reported on Tuesday to have used live bullets on the youths that are carrying out peaceful protest across the country against Police brutality.

The church in a statement by its PR Taskforce Committee and signed by the chairman, Brother Collins Edomaruse, frowned at the incident, saying: "Those who shed innocent blood, their own blood will certainly be shed."

The full statement

MFM SADDENED BY SHOOTING OF PROTESTERS BY SECURITY FORCES

The Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries is deeply saddened by the unwarranted, unnecessary, callous, barbaric and inhuman use of live bullets by the security forces on Nigerian youths in Lagos, who were on peaceful protests to register their grievances with regards to violation of their fundamental human rights by the security agents.

It is indeed a Black Tuesday in the annals of Lagos and Nigeria. This is least expected in this century. While youths all over the world are contributing their own quota to good governance, the security forces are shooting their own in cold blood, devoid of human feelings and empathy.

Biblical principles of the Almighty God, says that the wickedness of the wicked, will consume the wicked. Those who shed innocent blood, their own blood will certainly be shed.

Let it be known that whatever is done under the cover of darkness with the belief that nobody sees it, will surely be brought to light and God the Ultimate Judge, will definitely judge speedily.

For it is written in Psalm 10.18 “You will hear the cries of the oppressed and the orphans; you will judge in their favor, so that mortal men may cause terror no more”.

Our hearts and prayers go to the Nigerian youths and all others negatively affected by this unfortunate and avoidable situation. We pray that God Almighty will minister peace and comfort to their hearts.

We also commiserate with the parents and guardians of the victims of this extreme show of force ,lack of empathy and lack of brotherly love, from those that committed this dastardly act.

To the Nigerian government, we will like to advise that going forward, utmost care and caution, coupled with divine wisdom, should be employed in bringing a lasting solution to the problem at hand.

Nigeria is all we have as Nigerians.

LET THE PEACE OF GOD REIGN SUPREME IN NIGERIA IN JESUS’ MIGHTY NAME. AMEN.

Lekki Shooting: Situation Room cautions Nigerians, international community over identity of gunmen

Lekki Shooting: Situation Room cautions Nigerians, international community over identity of gunmen

By News Proof 

The Civic Situation Room on #ENDSARS Protests has urged Nigerians and the international community against hasty conclusion over the identity of gunmen who attacked #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate, Lagos. 

In its routine update on Wednesday by co-chairman, Uche John Madu, the situation room called for patience as proper investigation is carried out to ascertain the real identity of the culprit. 

Some unknown gunmen, on Tuesday, reportedly fired shots at protesters gathered at Lekki toll gate. 

And while the Nigerian Army has since refuted being part of the civil exercise, Madu said it is wrong to drag the troops into the issue in the first place.  

According to the situation room, there is every tendency that the said shooters are hoodlums sponsored to interrupt the protests. 

It, however, urged Nigerians to stay away from the streets until the identity of those that hijacked the mass action to unleash violence have been successfully apprehended and kept away. 

Read the full statement below:

The Civic Situation Room finds it imperative to caution against hasty conclusions on the identities of the shooters in combat fatigue who caused pandemonium at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State on Tuesday night. 

It became necessary to sound this note of caution because of the conclusive manners in which some news blogs have concluded that the shooters were troops of the Nigerian Army, something that has not been fact-checked.

The mode of operation leading to the attack, which involves the sabotaging of the Closed-Circuit Television CCTV) Cameras and cutting off of the power supply that would have illuminated the area raises questions as to the true identity of the shooters. The accusations and the counter-accusations following the incident have only further cast a shroud of obscurity around what transpired at this location. 

While #EndSARS Protesters are claiming they were shot at by gunmen in combat fatigue and therefore concluded that they were shot by soldiers, others have reported that the gunmen might have been the anti-#EndSARS protesters impersonating the military to carry out the act. Another school of thought suggested that the real faces behind the protests costumed some people in military fatigue and had them shoot their protesters to make the government look bad.

Part of the explanation that has been offered is that the sabotaged CCTv and the disruption of electricity supply could only have been carried out by individuals that are desperate to hide their identities, which is not something that the Army would do.

The Civic Situation Room urges Nigerians not to jump to a conclusion about what happened at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos but to allow to professionals investigate the incident and present their report. 

It urged Nigerians to avoid going for the protests until it can be certified that the hoodlums that have been hijacking the mass action to unleash violence have been successfully apprehended and kept away. 
By News Proof 

The Civic Situation Room on #ENDSARS Protests has urged Nigerians and the international community against hasty conclusion over the identity of gunmen who attacked #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate, Lagos. 

In its routine update on Wednesday by co-chairman, Uche John Madu, the situation room called for patience as proper investigation is carried out to ascertain the real identity of the culprit. 

Some unknown gunmen, on Tuesday, reportedly fired shots at protesters gathered at Lekki toll gate. 

And while the Nigerian Army has since refuted being part of the civil exercise, Madu said it is wrong to drag the troops into the issue in the first place.  

According to the situation room, there is every tendency that the said shooters are hoodlums sponsored to interrupt the protests. 

It, however, urged Nigerians to stay away from the streets until the identity of those that hijacked the mass action to unleash violence have been successfully apprehended and kept away. 

Read the full statement below:

The Civic Situation Room finds it imperative to caution against hasty conclusions on the identities of the shooters in combat fatigue who caused pandemonium at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State on Tuesday night. 

It became necessary to sound this note of caution because of the conclusive manners in which some news blogs have concluded that the shooters were troops of the Nigerian Army, something that has not been fact-checked.

The mode of operation leading to the attack, which involves the sabotaging of the Closed-Circuit Television CCTV) Cameras and cutting off of the power supply that would have illuminated the area raises questions as to the true identity of the shooters. The accusations and the counter-accusations following the incident have only further cast a shroud of obscurity around what transpired at this location. 

While #EndSARS Protesters are claiming they were shot at by gunmen in combat fatigue and therefore concluded that they were shot by soldiers, others have reported that the gunmen might have been the anti-#EndSARS protesters impersonating the military to carry out the act. Another school of thought suggested that the real faces behind the protests costumed some people in military fatigue and had them shoot their protesters to make the government look bad.

Part of the explanation that has been offered is that the sabotaged CCTv and the disruption of electricity supply could only have been carried out by individuals that are desperate to hide their identities, which is not something that the Army would do.

The Civic Situation Room urges Nigerians not to jump to a conclusion about what happened at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos but to allow to professionals investigate the incident and present their report. 

It urged Nigerians to avoid going for the protests until it can be certified that the hoodlums that have been hijacking the mass action to unleash violence have been successfully apprehended and kept away. 

Crocodile Smile: Human rights groups dispel fear about Nigerian Army’s efforts to counter threats

Crocodile Smile: Human rights groups dispel fear about Nigerian Army’s efforts to counter threats

By Dansu Peter 

The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups (CHRMG) has assured Nigerians of maximum safety throughout the Nigerian Army's operation 'Crocodile Smile' which it says is targeted at criminals. 

CHRMG's coordinator, Abubakar Gana, gave this assurance on Monday at a press conference in Abuja ahead of the start of the exercise. 

Gana said the annual operation has no connection with the ongoing #EndSARS protests in the country, contrary to the misconception by "some distractors and tattlers of fake news". 

In his words, the 'Crocodile Smile' is "targeted at the identification of fleeing Boko Haram terrorists from the hot theatre of war in Northeast, but are sneaking into other parts of Nigeria to cause atrocities". 

He added that the " exercise has also progressed into the first-ever cyber warfare exercises packaged to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in social media and in the cyberspace, which is a potent weapon of terrorists in warfare". 

According to the human rights group, the exercise is an "expression of the Army’s unflagging commitment to the peace and security of Nigeria, which it has always upheld responsively and responsibly, in patriotic flavour in the last five years". 

Gana assured that troops will continue to respect their fundamental human rights and act professionally as they have always done under Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai. 

He added that "Nigerians can attest that the Nigerian Army’s leadership under Gen. Buratai has zero-tolerance for unprofessional conduct, acts of indiscipline and human rights violations by Army personnel". 

CHRMG, however, pleaded with Nigerians to discountenance and discard the misinformation and fake news, especially on social media platforms on Exercise Crocodile Smile VI.

Read the full statement below:

The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups (CHRMG) welcomes the members of the fourth estate of the realm to this press conference. We thank Almighty God for the gift of life and His grace upon our beloved country, Nigeria is facing the multiple challenges of nationhood.

CHRMG finds it imperative to address Nigerians on the Nigerian Army’s conduct of the special edition of Exercise Crocodile Smile VI nationwide set to commence in the next 24 hours. We perceive the exercise as an expression of the Army’s unflagging commitment to the peace and security of Nigeria, which it has always upheld responsively and responsibly, in patriotic flavour in the last five years.

But since the Nigerian Army announced the conduct of Exercise Crocodile Smile VI, slated to commence October 20, 2020, to December 31st, 2020, rumour mongers, detractors and blackmailers have gone out to town with assorted inanities and conjured fals intent on discrediting the timely exercise as we approach the yuletide season as well as instilling fears and panic in Nigerian.

Most laughably, some Nigerians have even linked the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI to the #EndSARS protests in the country and attempted to poison the minds of Nigerians over this yearly routine exercise of the Nigerian Army. But no amount of blackmail and unjustified negative profiling of the Nigerian Army and operations will deter them from performing their constitutional duties.

From our vantage position as watchdogs of the society, CHRMG is assuring Nigerians that it will mobilize monitors and evaluators to observe the conduct of the exercise throughout the country as part of our democratic rights to hold our leaders accountable to us. We shall not blink on this sacred obligation to our compatriots.

But we have no iota of doubt that based on the splendid track records of the Nigerian Army in numerous special assignments on Internal Security (IS) operations, all law-abiding citizens be assured of their maximum protection and safety throughout the exercise, except criminals. We say this confidently and the misgivings about it are misplaced or out of tone with confirmable reality.

The year 2020, a  special version of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI as disclosed by Army authorities is expansive. Its gamut includes an identification component, targeted at the identification of fleeing Boko Haram terrorists from the hot theatre of war in Northeast, but are sneaking into other parts of Nigeria to cause atrocities. The exercise has also progressed into the first-ever cyber warfare exercises packaged to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in social media and in the cyberspace, which is a potent weapon of terrorists in warfare.

The detractors mischievously ascribing a novel status and other inordinate reasons for the conduct of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI are confessed enemies of Nigeria, who seek and pray for the continued destabilization of the country in perpetuity. But Nigerians conversant with the operations of the Nigerian Army under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and leader of the counter-insurgency operations, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai knows, the Army has launched both the Nigerian Army Secured Information Platform (NASIP) which is fused into the Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command (NACWC) server.  

The NASIP is powered by strong storage capacity. And the commitment of public resources into its upgrade is to fight cyber warfare.  It is the Army’s years of preparedness to confront the hydra-headed monster of Cyberspace terrorism and other allied matters. The Exercise Crocodile Smile VI streams from this background.

Previous such exercises by the Nigerian Army have always conformed to the highest tenets of respect for the fundamental human rights of citizens everywhere in Nigeria.  The Exercise Crocodile Smile VI is no different! It is expected that this special edition of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI will also adhere strictly to the highest standards of human rights compliance set by the COAS Gen. Buratai.

Nigerians can attest that the Nigerian Army’s leadership under Gen. Buratai has zero-tolerance for unprofessional conduct, acts of indiscipline and human rights violations by Army personnel. In the last five years, the Nigerian Army has remained a stickler to Rules of Engagement (ROE) and strictly observes global best practices in safeguarding the human rights of Nigerians in all its operations.

Therefore, CHRMG is pleading with Nigerians to discountenance and discard the misinformation and fake news, especially on social media platforms on Exercise Crocodile Smile VI.  It is a ploy by armed criminals to frustrate the exercise, hence it is targeted at apprehending them.

We cannot deny that Nigeria is troubled by senseless acts of insecurities almost everywhere in the country. So, every Nigerian genuinely concerned about the peace and security of the nation should welcome Exercise Crocodile Smile VI. Those seeking to divert attention from the authentic agenda and target of the exercise are the criminals and armed gangs tormenting law-abiding citizens with violence and bloodshed.

The Nigerian Army is only concerned with cleansing the land of bad elements to make Nigeria a proud place of inhabitation. Those afraid are the criminals, armed gangs, their conspirators, accomplices and proxies.

It is senseless to put the cart before the horse. The detractors claiming Exercise Crocodile Smile VI is soldier’s witch-hunt of Nigerians and pre-emptying the Army of the likelihood of abusing human rights of citizens may have to reexamine themselves and their conscience.  

As earlier promised, CHRMG’s monitors and evaluators will keep an eagle eye on the conduct of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI to ensure no extant law is breached or human rights of citizens violated whatsoever. And where it occurs, the group will not hesitate to inform Nigerians and the relevant authorities as well as seek for justice where necessary.  

We wish you journey mercies to your various destinations and may God bless and protect the Nigerian Army, and its leadership for the wisdom of the patriotic duty; may God bless Nigeria. Thank you all.
By Dansu Peter 

The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups (CHRMG) has assured Nigerians of maximum safety throughout the Nigerian Army's operation 'Crocodile Smile' which it says is targeted at criminals. 

CHRMG's coordinator, Abubakar Gana, gave this assurance on Monday at a press conference in Abuja ahead of the start of the exercise. 

Gana said the annual operation has no connection with the ongoing #EndSARS protests in the country, contrary to the misconception by "some distractors and tattlers of fake news". 

In his words, the 'Crocodile Smile' is "targeted at the identification of fleeing Boko Haram terrorists from the hot theatre of war in Northeast, but are sneaking into other parts of Nigeria to cause atrocities". 

He added that the " exercise has also progressed into the first-ever cyber warfare exercises packaged to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in social media and in the cyberspace, which is a potent weapon of terrorists in warfare". 

According to the human rights group, the exercise is an "expression of the Army’s unflagging commitment to the peace and security of Nigeria, which it has always upheld responsively and responsibly, in patriotic flavour in the last five years". 

Gana assured that troops will continue to respect their fundamental human rights and act professionally as they have always done under Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai. 

He added that "Nigerians can attest that the Nigerian Army’s leadership under Gen. Buratai has zero-tolerance for unprofessional conduct, acts of indiscipline and human rights violations by Army personnel". 

CHRMG, however, pleaded with Nigerians to discountenance and discard the misinformation and fake news, especially on social media platforms on Exercise Crocodile Smile VI.

Read the full statement below:

The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups (CHRMG) welcomes the members of the fourth estate of the realm to this press conference. We thank Almighty God for the gift of life and His grace upon our beloved country, Nigeria is facing the multiple challenges of nationhood.

CHRMG finds it imperative to address Nigerians on the Nigerian Army’s conduct of the special edition of Exercise Crocodile Smile VI nationwide set to commence in the next 24 hours. We perceive the exercise as an expression of the Army’s unflagging commitment to the peace and security of Nigeria, which it has always upheld responsively and responsibly, in patriotic flavour in the last five years.

But since the Nigerian Army announced the conduct of Exercise Crocodile Smile VI, slated to commence October 20, 2020, to December 31st, 2020, rumour mongers, detractors and blackmailers have gone out to town with assorted inanities and conjured fals intent on discrediting the timely exercise as we approach the yuletide season as well as instilling fears and panic in Nigerian.

Most laughably, some Nigerians have even linked the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI to the #EndSARS protests in the country and attempted to poison the minds of Nigerians over this yearly routine exercise of the Nigerian Army. But no amount of blackmail and unjustified negative profiling of the Nigerian Army and operations will deter them from performing their constitutional duties.

From our vantage position as watchdogs of the society, CHRMG is assuring Nigerians that it will mobilize monitors and evaluators to observe the conduct of the exercise throughout the country as part of our democratic rights to hold our leaders accountable to us. We shall not blink on this sacred obligation to our compatriots.

But we have no iota of doubt that based on the splendid track records of the Nigerian Army in numerous special assignments on Internal Security (IS) operations, all law-abiding citizens be assured of their maximum protection and safety throughout the exercise, except criminals. We say this confidently and the misgivings about it are misplaced or out of tone with confirmable reality.

The year 2020, a  special version of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI as disclosed by Army authorities is expansive. Its gamut includes an identification component, targeted at the identification of fleeing Boko Haram terrorists from the hot theatre of war in Northeast, but are sneaking into other parts of Nigeria to cause atrocities. The exercise has also progressed into the first-ever cyber warfare exercises packaged to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in social media and in the cyberspace, which is a potent weapon of terrorists in warfare.

The detractors mischievously ascribing a novel status and other inordinate reasons for the conduct of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI are confessed enemies of Nigeria, who seek and pray for the continued destabilization of the country in perpetuity. But Nigerians conversant with the operations of the Nigerian Army under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and leader of the counter-insurgency operations, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai knows, the Army has launched both the Nigerian Army Secured Information Platform (NASIP) which is fused into the Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command (NACWC) server.  

The NASIP is powered by strong storage capacity. And the commitment of public resources into its upgrade is to fight cyber warfare.  It is the Army’s years of preparedness to confront the hydra-headed monster of Cyberspace terrorism and other allied matters. The Exercise Crocodile Smile VI streams from this background.

Previous such exercises by the Nigerian Army have always conformed to the highest tenets of respect for the fundamental human rights of citizens everywhere in Nigeria.  The Exercise Crocodile Smile VI is no different! It is expected that this special edition of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI will also adhere strictly to the highest standards of human rights compliance set by the COAS Gen. Buratai.

Nigerians can attest that the Nigerian Army’s leadership under Gen. Buratai has zero-tolerance for unprofessional conduct, acts of indiscipline and human rights violations by Army personnel. In the last five years, the Nigerian Army has remained a stickler to Rules of Engagement (ROE) and strictly observes global best practices in safeguarding the human rights of Nigerians in all its operations.

Therefore, CHRMG is pleading with Nigerians to discountenance and discard the misinformation and fake news, especially on social media platforms on Exercise Crocodile Smile VI.  It is a ploy by armed criminals to frustrate the exercise, hence it is targeted at apprehending them.

We cannot deny that Nigeria is troubled by senseless acts of insecurities almost everywhere in the country. So, every Nigerian genuinely concerned about the peace and security of the nation should welcome Exercise Crocodile Smile VI. Those seeking to divert attention from the authentic agenda and target of the exercise are the criminals and armed gangs tormenting law-abiding citizens with violence and bloodshed.

The Nigerian Army is only concerned with cleansing the land of bad elements to make Nigeria a proud place of inhabitation. Those afraid are the criminals, armed gangs, their conspirators, accomplices and proxies.

It is senseless to put the cart before the horse. The detractors claiming Exercise Crocodile Smile VI is soldier’s witch-hunt of Nigerians and pre-emptying the Army of the likelihood of abusing human rights of citizens may have to reexamine themselves and their conscience.  

As earlier promised, CHRMG’s monitors and evaluators will keep an eagle eye on the conduct of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI to ensure no extant law is breached or human rights of citizens violated whatsoever. And where it occurs, the group will not hesitate to inform Nigerians and the relevant authorities as well as seek for justice where necessary.  

We wish you journey mercies to your various destinations and may God bless and protect the Nigerian Army, and its leadership for the wisdom of the patriotic duty; may God bless Nigeria. Thank you all.

Exercise Crocodile Smile: Before We Crucify Lt. Gen TY Buratai, By David Onmeje

Exercise Crocodile Smile: Before We Crucify Lt. Gen TY Buratai, By David Onmeje

By David Onmeje 

Exercise Crocodile Smile VI commenced yesterday , the 20th of October 2020, and is scheduled to last to the 31st of December. The exercise has been a huge success in dealing with criminals and scaling down the level of crime in many parts of the country in the past five years in areas like the Southwest, Southsouth and others within its scope.

But since the Nigerian Army made the announcement to launch this year's exercise, some have gone to town with the wrong interpretations saying it is a ploy to unleash soldiers on EndSARS protesters. The mischief in that line of thought exposes in the fact  that since they  launch Crocodile Smile in Warri, Delta State, in 2016, the exercise has been relaunched in five different phases every year within the same period of the year.

How the bid by the Nigerian Army to continue in that tradition became an issue this year due to the ongoing EndSARS protests befuddles the mind as there's no link  between the commencement of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI and the ongoing protests if not for the sake of mischief. 

The EndSARs protesters from Day One had made it clear that their angst is not with the Nigerian military but a unit of the Nigeria Police which they accuse of wrong doing and sought that it be disbanded and the Federal Government has complied with that.

They also sought the reform of the Nigeria Police due to perceived professional misconduct, which process again, is in place. 
At no time did any of the protesters list any act of wrong doing against the Nigerian Army though it has been in the field of operation and engaging terrorists and bandits that were making life hard for the people. 

Since 2015, when the Nigerian military took the fight to the doors of the insurgents, it has maintained high professional standards in the fight against terrorism and banditry and has adhered strictly to the rules of engagement that not even the insurgents have accused it of any professional misconduct or crime.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen  Tukur Yusuf Buratai has even opened channels for people to report any act of abuse or professional misconduct by any soldier or officer. So, it is clear that the protesters hold the Nigerian Army under General Buratai in high esteem and have absolute regard for how it has conducted its affairs in the last five years .

This is why the Nigerian Army has insisted it is wrong to say the exercise is targeted at protesters explaining that this year's exercise has no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever.

Said the Nigerian Army:“For the records, Exercise CROCODILE SMILE is a yearly exercise in the NA Calendar/Forecast of Events which traditionally holds from October to December of each year.

“Thus, to now insinuate that it is an exercise meant to stifle the ongoing ENDSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed. Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI has nothing to do with the ongoing protest and the NA has never been involved in the ongoing protest in any form whatsoever. So far, the army has acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago."

But beyond that, the Chief of Army Staff has built a reputation for himself as a General with high respect for human dignity and one who is a staunch defender of democracy and it values that no such fears should be entertained in the first place.

Gen. Buratai has brought many reforms to the army to foster military/ civilian relations and to defend democracy and rule of law.

It was the current Chief of Army Staff who introduced the Corporate Social Responsibility into the Nigerian Army  to make the institution give back to the society in terms of projects and other services. 

Under him, the Army Medical Corps have been deployed several times to assist civilians in getting medical care and health services. Such that as the Army is fighting criminals in many parts of Nigeria, the soldiers are helping people pick up the pieces of their lives.

In that bid, soldiers have organised classes in warring and war ravaged communities, helped in clearing blocked drainage  through environmental sanitation exercises as well as construct bridges in communities to ease transportation. 

General Buratai has also made it a policy to interact with the populace at the highest level by personally going to communities and engaging them in discussions. To further demonstrate his commitment to democracy and rule of law, the Chief of Army Staff also commissioned Situation Rooms for election monitoring to stop violence and other ugly incidents that go with elections. 

He has also partnered several times with media executives and Civil Society Organisations to foster a better understanding  between them and military. With the  measures he has put in place people's perception about the military has begun to change and it is now common sight to see troops being welcomed anywhere they are sighted in any operation unlike before when people take to their heels.

It is high time people begin to appreciate the Exercise Crocodile Smile as it has achieved a lot in curbing crimes such as crude oil theft, kidnapping, banditry and others.

Through the exercise, the Army have destroyed several criminal hideouts and made further attacks on the public difficult for the criminals.

Its intention to extend the current exercise to cover cyber warfare  to identify, track and counter negative propaganda on social media is highly commendable as it would help track suspects from their bases.

Its inclusion of a  positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East and other parts of the country is also brilliant. It will not be asking for too much giving the Nigerian Army benefit of doubt as it launches Exercise Crocodile Smile VI.


Onmeje wrote this piece from the United Kingdom.
By David Onmeje 

Exercise Crocodile Smile VI commenced yesterday , the 20th of October 2020, and is scheduled to last to the 31st of December. The exercise has been a huge success in dealing with criminals and scaling down the level of crime in many parts of the country in the past five years in areas like the Southwest, Southsouth and others within its scope.

But since the Nigerian Army made the announcement to launch this year's exercise, some have gone to town with the wrong interpretations saying it is a ploy to unleash soldiers on EndSARS protesters. The mischief in that line of thought exposes in the fact  that since they  launch Crocodile Smile in Warri, Delta State, in 2016, the exercise has been relaunched in five different phases every year within the same period of the year.

How the bid by the Nigerian Army to continue in that tradition became an issue this year due to the ongoing EndSARS protests befuddles the mind as there's no link  between the commencement of the Exercise Crocodile Smile VI and the ongoing protests if not for the sake of mischief. 

The EndSARs protesters from Day One had made it clear that their angst is not with the Nigerian military but a unit of the Nigeria Police which they accuse of wrong doing and sought that it be disbanded and the Federal Government has complied with that.

They also sought the reform of the Nigeria Police due to perceived professional misconduct, which process again, is in place. 
At no time did any of the protesters list any act of wrong doing against the Nigerian Army though it has been in the field of operation and engaging terrorists and bandits that were making life hard for the people. 

Since 2015, when the Nigerian military took the fight to the doors of the insurgents, it has maintained high professional standards in the fight against terrorism and banditry and has adhered strictly to the rules of engagement that not even the insurgents have accused it of any professional misconduct or crime.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen  Tukur Yusuf Buratai has even opened channels for people to report any act of abuse or professional misconduct by any soldier or officer. So, it is clear that the protesters hold the Nigerian Army under General Buratai in high esteem and have absolute regard for how it has conducted its affairs in the last five years .

This is why the Nigerian Army has insisted it is wrong to say the exercise is targeted at protesters explaining that this year's exercise has no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever.

Said the Nigerian Army:“For the records, Exercise CROCODILE SMILE is a yearly exercise in the NA Calendar/Forecast of Events which traditionally holds from October to December of each year.

“Thus, to now insinuate that it is an exercise meant to stifle the ongoing ENDSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed. Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI has nothing to do with the ongoing protest and the NA has never been involved in the ongoing protest in any form whatsoever. So far, the army has acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago."

But beyond that, the Chief of Army Staff has built a reputation for himself as a General with high respect for human dignity and one who is a staunch defender of democracy and it values that no such fears should be entertained in the first place.

Gen. Buratai has brought many reforms to the army to foster military/ civilian relations and to defend democracy and rule of law.

It was the current Chief of Army Staff who introduced the Corporate Social Responsibility into the Nigerian Army  to make the institution give back to the society in terms of projects and other services. 

Under him, the Army Medical Corps have been deployed several times to assist civilians in getting medical care and health services. Such that as the Army is fighting criminals in many parts of Nigeria, the soldiers are helping people pick up the pieces of their lives.

In that bid, soldiers have organised classes in warring and war ravaged communities, helped in clearing blocked drainage  through environmental sanitation exercises as well as construct bridges in communities to ease transportation. 

General Buratai has also made it a policy to interact with the populace at the highest level by personally going to communities and engaging them in discussions. To further demonstrate his commitment to democracy and rule of law, the Chief of Army Staff also commissioned Situation Rooms for election monitoring to stop violence and other ugly incidents that go with elections. 

He has also partnered several times with media executives and Civil Society Organisations to foster a better understanding  between them and military. With the  measures he has put in place people's perception about the military has begun to change and it is now common sight to see troops being welcomed anywhere they are sighted in any operation unlike before when people take to their heels.

It is high time people begin to appreciate the Exercise Crocodile Smile as it has achieved a lot in curbing crimes such as crude oil theft, kidnapping, banditry and others.

Through the exercise, the Army have destroyed several criminal hideouts and made further attacks on the public difficult for the criminals.

Its intention to extend the current exercise to cover cyber warfare  to identify, track and counter negative propaganda on social media is highly commendable as it would help track suspects from their bases.

Its inclusion of a  positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East and other parts of the country is also brilliant. It will not be asking for too much giving the Nigerian Army benefit of doubt as it launches Exercise Crocodile Smile VI.


Onmeje wrote this piece from the United Kingdom.

Yoruba youths back Nigerian Army's Exercise Crocodile Smile, laud past successful outings

Yoruba youths back Nigerian Army's Exercise Crocodile Smile, laud past successful outings

By Dansu Peter 

The Coalition of Progressive Yoruba Youths (CYYY) has welcomed the commencement of the Nigerian Army's annual exercise, 'Crocodile Smile'. 

According to the Yoruba youths, the operation which commenced in 2016 has been a tremendous success, curbing crime and criminal activities and will continue that trend this year.
 
Comrade Kola Salau, speaking on behalf of the group at a press conference on Monday in Lagos noted that the addition of cyberwar makes this year's edition unique. 

Salau said that this would help identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.

Recalling previous editions, Salau noted that "the military made significant strides as it raided suspected criminal hideouts in the creeks around Ajaosolo, Okogho, Opumani, and Obodo general area and in the process, intercepted suspected illegal oil bunkers and several items.
 
"It was the success of the first exercise that necessitated the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile II on Takwa Bay Island in Lagos and the sequels because it pushed some criminal elements fleeing from the Niger Delta to other parts of the country". 

Salau added that " those of us from the Southwest are particularly concerned because of the enormous human and material resources in the region".

He, however, assured that the exercise has nothing to do with the ongoing protests in the country. 

The Yoruba youths advised innocent and law-abiding Nigerians that they have nothing to fear as the army have earned a reputation as a highly professional and disciplined institution.

Read full statement below:

It is instructive that we address you on a matter of urgent national importance given what the nation is going through at the moment.

You will agree with us that after the Nigerian military made significant progress in quelling terrorism and banditry in parts of the country, that it is likely that some of the criminal elements may have escaped into the hinterland to continue their heinous acts.

Recent events leading to thdisbandmentnt of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Nigeria Police Force, has also given citizens concerns about the internal security situation in Nigeria and the police and other security agencies forced out of the streets, concerned Nigerians have expressed fears that crime and criminal activities may escalate in the country and have stressed the fact that the lives of our people, property and investments must be protected by the government.

As we all know, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has never shied away from performing its primary responsibility, which is the protection of lives and property as it has technically defeated terrorism and cracked down on banditry and other forms of crime.

It is in that bid that we welcome the recent announcement by the Nigerian Army, that it is set to continue its annual exercise CROCODILE SMILE on Tuesday.

Since the launch of the exercise in 2016 in the Niger Delta region, the Operation CROCODILE SMILE has been a huge success in curbing crime and criminal activities that its area of coverage was widened and relaunched annually in five different phases. 

The launch of the exercise this year would be the sixth in the series of sequels launched to combat crime.

The only addition to the exercise which will make Operation CROCODILE SMILES VI unique in operation is that it will be enabled to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.

This means that it will be an all-encompassing exercise which in addition to tracking cyber warfare exercises will also include identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the Northeast and other parts of the country for the sustenance of peace and security in Nigeria.

From these, we can se
 that the launch of the exercise has nothing to do with the ongoing protests in Nigeria as is being peddled by mischief makers as the relaunch of the exercise has become a yearly event since 2016 when it was first launched.
 
Innocent and law-abiding Nigerians have nothing to fear about the exercise as the Nigerian Army has earned a reputation for itself as a highly professional and disciplined institution.
 
This is encapsulated in the fact that for the over five years of Operation CROCODILE SMILE in various parts of the country,  troops have not lost focus on what is expected of them but have abided by the rules of engagement in carrying out their tasks of flushing out criminal elements.

On the other hand, those that have every reason to fear are the criminal's elements in the country who are making life miserable for millions of citizens through acts like kidnapping, extortion, fraud, armed robbery, oil theft and cybercrime. 

Nigerians must ignore the cynicism and attempt to paint the current exercise in a bad light as this is not the first time that agents of anarchy have tried to do so but failed.

When the Nigerian Army launched the first exercise in the Niger Delta region which was aimed at restoring normalcy to the area and to provide adequate security for residents and the national assets situated there, it was called names and there were allegations that the exercise was an attempt at genocide by the Nigerian government on the people of the region.

It was not long before they confirmed it was to check criminal activities like kidnapping, militancy, piracy and other forms of criminal activities in support of the civil authority and to keep Nigeria and its economy safe and going without interruption.

Despite the cynicism,  the military made significant strides with the exercise as it raided suspected criminal hideouts in the creeks around Ajaosolo, Okogho, Opumani, and Obodo general area and in the process, intercepted suspected illegal oil bunkers and several items.

The first phase of the exercise which took place between August and September 2016 in Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Imo and Rivers
 states recorded tremendous success as it degraded activities of militants and illegal oil bunkering, destroyed kidnappers’ den, rescued kidnapped victims and destroyed several cultists’ camps.

It was the success of the first exercise that necessitated the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile II on Takwa Bay Island in Lagos and the sequels because it pushed some criminal elements fleeing from the Niger Delta to other parts of the country.

In the same vein, since the suspected terrorists and criminal elements are running away from other parts of the country like the Northeast, Northwest, Northcentral and other parts of the country, it is only appropriate for the army to launch Operation CROCODILE SMILES VI to apprehend these elements and the make the country peaceful and secure for the people.

Those of us from the Southwest are particularly concerned because of the enormous human and material resources in the region.

The region arguably has the highest concentration of talents and entrepreneurial concerns as well as Small and Medium Scale Enterprises which complements the government's efforts in providing jobs to our teeming populace. 

The large number of international markets coupled with public and private assets are also avenues for economic growth.

We, therefore, welcome the steps the government is trying to take to protect lives and property and commend the Nigerian Army for coming up with the initiative. 

We welcome Operation CROCODILE SMILE VI.

Thank you. 
By Dansu Peter 

The Coalition of Progressive Yoruba Youths (CYYY) has welcomed the commencement of the Nigerian Army's annual exercise, 'Crocodile Smile'. 

According to the Yoruba youths, the operation which commenced in 2016 has been a tremendous success, curbing crime and criminal activities and will continue that trend this year.
 
Comrade Kola Salau, speaking on behalf of the group at a press conference on Monday in Lagos noted that the addition of cyberwar makes this year's edition unique. 

Salau said that this would help identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.

Recalling previous editions, Salau noted that "the military made significant strides as it raided suspected criminal hideouts in the creeks around Ajaosolo, Okogho, Opumani, and Obodo general area and in the process, intercepted suspected illegal oil bunkers and several items.
 
"It was the success of the first exercise that necessitated the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile II on Takwa Bay Island in Lagos and the sequels because it pushed some criminal elements fleeing from the Niger Delta to other parts of the country". 

Salau added that " those of us from the Southwest are particularly concerned because of the enormous human and material resources in the region".

He, however, assured that the exercise has nothing to do with the ongoing protests in the country. 

The Yoruba youths advised innocent and law-abiding Nigerians that they have nothing to fear as the army have earned a reputation as a highly professional and disciplined institution.

Read full statement below:

It is instructive that we address you on a matter of urgent national importance given what the nation is going through at the moment.

You will agree with us that after the Nigerian military made significant progress in quelling terrorism and banditry in parts of the country, that it is likely that some of the criminal elements may have escaped into the hinterland to continue their heinous acts.

Recent events leading to thdisbandmentnt of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Nigeria Police Force, has also given citizens concerns about the internal security situation in Nigeria and the police and other security agencies forced out of the streets, concerned Nigerians have expressed fears that crime and criminal activities may escalate in the country and have stressed the fact that the lives of our people, property and investments must be protected by the government.

As we all know, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has never shied away from performing its primary responsibility, which is the protection of lives and property as it has technically defeated terrorism and cracked down on banditry and other forms of crime.

It is in that bid that we welcome the recent announcement by the Nigerian Army, that it is set to continue its annual exercise CROCODILE SMILE on Tuesday.

Since the launch of the exercise in 2016 in the Niger Delta region, the Operation CROCODILE SMILE has been a huge success in curbing crime and criminal activities that its area of coverage was widened and relaunched annually in five different phases. 

The launch of the exercise this year would be the sixth in the series of sequels launched to combat crime.

The only addition to the exercise which will make Operation CROCODILE SMILES VI unique in operation is that it will be enabled to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.

This means that it will be an all-encompassing exercise which in addition to tracking cyber warfare exercises will also include identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the Northeast and other parts of the country for the sustenance of peace and security in Nigeria.

From these, we can se
 that the launch of the exercise has nothing to do with the ongoing protests in Nigeria as is being peddled by mischief makers as the relaunch of the exercise has become a yearly event since 2016 when it was first launched.
 
Innocent and law-abiding Nigerians have nothing to fear about the exercise as the Nigerian Army has earned a reputation for itself as a highly professional and disciplined institution.
 
This is encapsulated in the fact that for the over five years of Operation CROCODILE SMILE in various parts of the country,  troops have not lost focus on what is expected of them but have abided by the rules of engagement in carrying out their tasks of flushing out criminal elements.

On the other hand, those that have every reason to fear are the criminal's elements in the country who are making life miserable for millions of citizens through acts like kidnapping, extortion, fraud, armed robbery, oil theft and cybercrime. 

Nigerians must ignore the cynicism and attempt to paint the current exercise in a bad light as this is not the first time that agents of anarchy have tried to do so but failed.

When the Nigerian Army launched the first exercise in the Niger Delta region which was aimed at restoring normalcy to the area and to provide adequate security for residents and the national assets situated there, it was called names and there were allegations that the exercise was an attempt at genocide by the Nigerian government on the people of the region.

It was not long before they confirmed it was to check criminal activities like kidnapping, militancy, piracy and other forms of criminal activities in support of the civil authority and to keep Nigeria and its economy safe and going without interruption.

Despite the cynicism,  the military made significant strides with the exercise as it raided suspected criminal hideouts in the creeks around Ajaosolo, Okogho, Opumani, and Obodo general area and in the process, intercepted suspected illegal oil bunkers and several items.

The first phase of the exercise which took place between August and September 2016 in Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Imo and Rivers
 states recorded tremendous success as it degraded activities of militants and illegal oil bunkering, destroyed kidnappers’ den, rescued kidnapped victims and destroyed several cultists’ camps.

It was the success of the first exercise that necessitated the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile II on Takwa Bay Island in Lagos and the sequels because it pushed some criminal elements fleeing from the Niger Delta to other parts of the country.

In the same vein, since the suspected terrorists and criminal elements are running away from other parts of the country like the Northeast, Northwest, Northcentral and other parts of the country, it is only appropriate for the army to launch Operation CROCODILE SMILES VI to apprehend these elements and the make the country peaceful and secure for the people.

Those of us from the Southwest are particularly concerned because of the enormous human and material resources in the region.

The region arguably has the highest concentration of talents and entrepreneurial concerns as well as Small and Medium Scale Enterprises which complements the government's efforts in providing jobs to our teeming populace. 

The large number of international markets coupled with public and private assets are also avenues for economic growth.

We, therefore, welcome the steps the government is trying to take to protect lives and property and commend the Nigerian Army for coming up with the initiative. 

We welcome Operation CROCODILE SMILE VI.

Thank you. 

Crocodile Smile: Exercise has nothing to do with #EndSARS protests, civil rights lawyer warns

Crocodile Smile: Exercise has nothing to do with #EndSARS protests, civil rights lawyer warns

By Dansu Peter 

Contrary to reports, a civil rights lawyer, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, says the Nigerian Army's operation 'Crocodile Smile' has no relationship with the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country.  

In a statement on Sunday, Ugochukwu said the military has never involved itself in the civil uproar at all in any form whatsoever. 

Protest across the country demanding an end to Police brutality has intensified despite disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and subsequent formation of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT). 

In the last couple of days, the protest has taken a violent twist, raising questions about the original intents. 

However, despite insinuations in some section of the media, Ugochukwu said to imply that the exercise is meant to stifle the #EndSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed.

"My attention has been drawn to several media publications unjustly condemning the Nigeria Army and its Leadership over the announcement of 'Cyber Warfare Operation'," he said.

"This year’s Exercise Crocodile Smile VI is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020.

"For the records the Operation Crocodile Smile is a yearly exercise in the Nigeria Army calendar which usually holds from October till December.

"Thus to now insinuate that it is an exercise meant to stifle the on going ENDSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed .The Crocodile Smile VI has nothing to do with the protest ongoing and the Military has never involved themselves in the ongoing civil protest at all in any form whatsoever. Nobody can claim or accuse the Military of interfering with the ENDSARS protest at all including the hardest of the critics. The Army has acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago". 

The human rights lawyer, however, urged Nigerians to go about their lawful actyivities as the Crocodile Smile VI exercise starting nationwide from next week has nothing to do with ENDSARS but a yearly operation set out by the Military to discharge its constitutional duties .
By Dansu Peter 

Contrary to reports, a civil rights lawyer, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, says the Nigerian Army's operation 'Crocodile Smile' has no relationship with the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country.  

In a statement on Sunday, Ugochukwu said the military has never involved itself in the civil uproar at all in any form whatsoever. 

Protest across the country demanding an end to Police brutality has intensified despite disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and subsequent formation of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT). 

In the last couple of days, the protest has taken a violent twist, raising questions about the original intents. 

However, despite insinuations in some section of the media, Ugochukwu said to imply that the exercise is meant to stifle the #EndSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed.

"My attention has been drawn to several media publications unjustly condemning the Nigeria Army and its Leadership over the announcement of 'Cyber Warfare Operation'," he said.

"This year’s Exercise Crocodile Smile VI is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020.

"For the records the Operation Crocodile Smile is a yearly exercise in the Nigeria Army calendar which usually holds from October till December.

"Thus to now insinuate that it is an exercise meant to stifle the on going ENDSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed .The Crocodile Smile VI has nothing to do with the protest ongoing and the Military has never involved themselves in the ongoing civil protest at all in any form whatsoever. Nobody can claim or accuse the Military of interfering with the ENDSARS protest at all including the hardest of the critics. The Army has acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago". 

The human rights lawyer, however, urged Nigerians to go about their lawful actyivities as the Crocodile Smile VI exercise starting nationwide from next week has nothing to do with ENDSARS but a yearly operation set out by the Military to discharge its constitutional duties .

Nigerian Army will not clampdown on protesters - Kuanum

Nigerian Army will not clampdown on protesters - Kuanum

By Dansu Peter 

Human Rights Activists and field researcher of the Global Amnesty Watch, Terrance Kuanum has stated that the Launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army would not clamp down on peaceful protesters across the country. 

He stated this during an interview with select news media on Sunday. Mr Terrance Kuanum believed that the Nigerian Army has evolved into a professional force with respect for human rights.  

“The Nigerian Army of today is not what it used to be. This is what most Nigerians have not come to realize. I say this in my capacity as a field researcher that has traversed most parts of the country and where the Nigerian Army are in operation in North-East Nigeria, as well as other parts of the country. The conduct I must state has been exceptional."  

“This is not the first operation or exercise  the Nigerian Army has conducted. Don’t forget that only recently, Operation Sahel Sanity was extended for a further three months and its scope expanded to include states in North Central. And I must add that they have conducted themselves most professionally that resulted in tremendous success.” 

On the timing of the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile to coincide with the protest across the country, the Human Rights activists rubbished the claims that it was intended to clamp down on peaceful protesters demanding reforms for the Nigerian Police Force.

"I disagree with such a position. I am not sure the Chief of Army Staff would sanction such a move owing to his track record in ensuring that the operations of the Nigerian Army conform to human rights tenets. We must not also forget in a hurry that indeed the Nigerian Army has a Human rights desk across all its units and formations to investigate complaints from individuals, organizations and institution on rights violation involving Nigerian Army personnel.” 

“If this has been the norm, why on earth would one imagine that the Nigerian Army would clampdown on peaceful protesters before the full glare of the whole world. If not for anything they should know that this is the digital age and almost all the protesters have smartphones with which they use to capture proceedings. It would be indeed foolhardy for such to happen. I think Nigerians must be circumspect in their assumptions at the risk of heating an already tensed polity."

Mr Terrance Kuanum also stated that the bulk of the misinformation making the rounds concerning the launch of Exercise  Crocodile Smile might be the handiwork of those that intend to capitalize and hijack the peaceful protest to achieve their aim.  
“As a field researcher, over the years, I have come to understand some of the dynamics inherent in the Nigerian society. We must realize that at every point in time, there are various interest struggling for relevance to the pursuit of their agenda. There are those whose stock in trade is to fan the embers of war so that their businesses can thrive. Some want to advance their political interest, and the only way they could get that done easily is to instigate conflict and spread mischief. Some are experts in causing distractions in the country so they can perpetuate their nefarious activities."  

“It is indeed a complicated chain we are dealing with, and I won’t be surprised that there are certain interests that have seen this peaceful protest by the youths as the perfect opportunity to discredit the government and the emphasis is to hijack it and cause mayhem of unquantifiable dimension. I think the launch of Exercise  Crocodile Smile indeed rattled them and they have elected to spread misinformation across the country. Was the mandate of Exercise Crocodile Smile not explicit? 

“The Nigerian Army has said its upcoming Exercise Crocodile Smile will tackle cyber warfare and insurgency in the country, particularly in the North-East, where Boko Haram insurgents have caused massive destruction. If this is the operational mandate, how does one then link it with an attempt to clampdown on peaceful protesters?” 

He added that Nigerians must understand that there is a grand plot been hatched to cause violence in the country by some individuals and organizations. 

“Without mincing words, I believe those that are afraid of  Crocodile Smile are those with ulterior motives. Not the peaceful protesters because so far they have conducted themselves in an appreciable manner devoid of confrontation or provocation. They are only demanding for an end to police brutality and a reform of the Nigerian Police Force. I do not see a crime in that, and I also do not see a justification for the Nigerian Army to clampdown on the protesters.” 

“It would indeed be a great disservice if the Nigerian Army does clamp down on the protesters, and not on the heels of the numerous initiatives that have been introduced by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TY Buratai towards the entrenchment of respect for the rule of law and tenets of human rights.” 

“I believe the Nigerian Army under Lt. Gen TY Buratai has set a very high standard in terms of human rights and the citizens have no reason to fear the troops at any point. But those that are planning to foment trouble by hijacking the protest to their advantage should have every reason to be afraid. This is my candid opinion.” 

On the effectiveness of such operations when there is widespread protest across the country, Mr Terrance Kuanum stated that the exercise is timely and would go a long way to identify and track down terrorist operating in the cyber world.

“We must admit that Nigeria has been experiencing cyber-attacks in recent times that is capable of undermining our territorial integrity. And it is to the credit of the Nigerian Army that such an operation is launched, which is an indication of advancement in the operations of the Nigerian Army. I believe if the Nigerian Army does not have such capacity, it will not launch an operation."  

"It is my considered opinion that the operation is timely and it behoves on well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support to the Nigerian Army by refusing to be misled by those vested interests that have ulterior motives occasioned by the misinformation passing the rounds. It must also be realized that the threat to Nigeria's sovereignty transcends beyond the physical, and that is the orientation that must change. This is indeed a proactive  step by the Nigerian Army.”
By Dansu Peter 

Human Rights Activists and field researcher of the Global Amnesty Watch, Terrance Kuanum has stated that the Launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army would not clamp down on peaceful protesters across the country. 

He stated this during an interview with select news media on Sunday. Mr Terrance Kuanum believed that the Nigerian Army has evolved into a professional force with respect for human rights.  

“The Nigerian Army of today is not what it used to be. This is what most Nigerians have not come to realize. I say this in my capacity as a field researcher that has traversed most parts of the country and where the Nigerian Army are in operation in North-East Nigeria, as well as other parts of the country. The conduct I must state has been exceptional."  

“This is not the first operation or exercise  the Nigerian Army has conducted. Don’t forget that only recently, Operation Sahel Sanity was extended for a further three months and its scope expanded to include states in North Central. And I must add that they have conducted themselves most professionally that resulted in tremendous success.” 

On the timing of the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile to coincide with the protest across the country, the Human Rights activists rubbished the claims that it was intended to clamp down on peaceful protesters demanding reforms for the Nigerian Police Force.

"I disagree with such a position. I am not sure the Chief of Army Staff would sanction such a move owing to his track record in ensuring that the operations of the Nigerian Army conform to human rights tenets. We must not also forget in a hurry that indeed the Nigerian Army has a Human rights desk across all its units and formations to investigate complaints from individuals, organizations and institution on rights violation involving Nigerian Army personnel.” 

“If this has been the norm, why on earth would one imagine that the Nigerian Army would clampdown on peaceful protesters before the full glare of the whole world. If not for anything they should know that this is the digital age and almost all the protesters have smartphones with which they use to capture proceedings. It would be indeed foolhardy for such to happen. I think Nigerians must be circumspect in their assumptions at the risk of heating an already tensed polity."

Mr Terrance Kuanum also stated that the bulk of the misinformation making the rounds concerning the launch of Exercise  Crocodile Smile might be the handiwork of those that intend to capitalize and hijack the peaceful protest to achieve their aim.  
“As a field researcher, over the years, I have come to understand some of the dynamics inherent in the Nigerian society. We must realize that at every point in time, there are various interest struggling for relevance to the pursuit of their agenda. There are those whose stock in trade is to fan the embers of war so that their businesses can thrive. Some want to advance their political interest, and the only way they could get that done easily is to instigate conflict and spread mischief. Some are experts in causing distractions in the country so they can perpetuate their nefarious activities."  

“It is indeed a complicated chain we are dealing with, and I won’t be surprised that there are certain interests that have seen this peaceful protest by the youths as the perfect opportunity to discredit the government and the emphasis is to hijack it and cause mayhem of unquantifiable dimension. I think the launch of Exercise  Crocodile Smile indeed rattled them and they have elected to spread misinformation across the country. Was the mandate of Exercise Crocodile Smile not explicit? 

“The Nigerian Army has said its upcoming Exercise Crocodile Smile will tackle cyber warfare and insurgency in the country, particularly in the North-East, where Boko Haram insurgents have caused massive destruction. If this is the operational mandate, how does one then link it with an attempt to clampdown on peaceful protesters?” 

He added that Nigerians must understand that there is a grand plot been hatched to cause violence in the country by some individuals and organizations. 

“Without mincing words, I believe those that are afraid of  Crocodile Smile are those with ulterior motives. Not the peaceful protesters because so far they have conducted themselves in an appreciable manner devoid of confrontation or provocation. They are only demanding for an end to police brutality and a reform of the Nigerian Police Force. I do not see a crime in that, and I also do not see a justification for the Nigerian Army to clampdown on the protesters.” 

“It would indeed be a great disservice if the Nigerian Army does clamp down on the protesters, and not on the heels of the numerous initiatives that have been introduced by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TY Buratai towards the entrenchment of respect for the rule of law and tenets of human rights.” 

“I believe the Nigerian Army under Lt. Gen TY Buratai has set a very high standard in terms of human rights and the citizens have no reason to fear the troops at any point. But those that are planning to foment trouble by hijacking the protest to their advantage should have every reason to be afraid. This is my candid opinion.” 

On the effectiveness of such operations when there is widespread protest across the country, Mr Terrance Kuanum stated that the exercise is timely and would go a long way to identify and track down terrorist operating in the cyber world.

“We must admit that Nigeria has been experiencing cyber-attacks in recent times that is capable of undermining our territorial integrity. And it is to the credit of the Nigerian Army that such an operation is launched, which is an indication of advancement in the operations of the Nigerian Army. I believe if the Nigerian Army does not have such capacity, it will not launch an operation."  

"It is my considered opinion that the operation is timely and it behoves on well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support to the Nigerian Army by refusing to be misled by those vested interests that have ulterior motives occasioned by the misinformation passing the rounds. It must also be realized that the threat to Nigeria's sovereignty transcends beyond the physical, and that is the orientation that must change. This is indeed a proactive  step by the Nigerian Army.”

Aniocha North Killings: Court to begin terrorism trial on the 21st of October

Aniocha North Killings: Court to begin terrorism trial on the 21st of October

By Dansu Peter 

Following the filing of terrorism charges against seven persons alleged to have been involved in the 2017 killing of indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko Community of Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State by the Federal Government, the Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed October 21 for the commencement of trial. 

The seven accused persons were said to have connived with others now at large within and outside ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, to unleash terror on the community by looting properties and burning houses while they unlawfully attacked and killed of an innocent Nigerian within the community which constitute acts of terrorism.

Those charged before the court in charge number FHC/ABJ/CR/11/19, are Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godwin Akaba Aniemeke,

 Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko and Emeka Bidoku.

The accused persons were said to have committed the offence sometime in May 2017.

The trial hat was initially slated  to commence on the 8th of October couldn't proceed due to the absence of the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang.

However, the adjourned date of the 21st October was communicated to all parties involved.

In the document attached to the charge, 14 witnesses are expected to give evidence during the trial.

The three count charge filed by Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, an Assistąnt Chief State Counsel reads, 

''That you, Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godvwin Akaba Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu And Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North L.ocal Government Area of Delta State between the 18th and 25th of iMay 2017 at ldumuie-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire with others still at large to commit acts of terrorism. 

You thereby committed an offence punishable under section 17 of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013.

COUNT TWO
That you, Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godvwin Akaba Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu And Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State between the 18th and 25th of May 2017/ at Idumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit an act of terrorism in that you and others still at large burnt down houses and destroyed properties belonging to members of the ldumuje-Ugboko community namely Chukwuma Nwoko, Chief Chris Ugwu, Victor Omezi, punishable under section 1(2)(a) of the Terroriem (Prevention) Peter Bama and Nwoko Kachido., You thereby committed an offence (Amendment) Act 2013.

COUNT THREE
That you, Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godvwin Akaba Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu And Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State between the 18th and 25th of May 2017 at ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit an act of terorism in that you and others still at large particinated in an attack on members of ldumuje-Ugboko Community and killed one Cyprain Kumaorun. You thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1(2)(e) of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013.
By Dansu Peter 

Following the filing of terrorism charges against seven persons alleged to have been involved in the 2017 killing of indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko Community of Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State by the Federal Government, the Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed October 21 for the commencement of trial. 

The seven accused persons were said to have connived with others now at large within and outside ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, to unleash terror on the community by looting properties and burning houses while they unlawfully attacked and killed of an innocent Nigerian within the community which constitute acts of terrorism.

Those charged before the court in charge number FHC/ABJ/CR/11/19, are Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godwin Akaba Aniemeke,

 Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko and Emeka Bidoku.

The accused persons were said to have committed the offence sometime in May 2017.

The trial hat was initially slated  to commence on the 8th of October couldn't proceed due to the absence of the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang.

However, the adjourned date of the 21st October was communicated to all parties involved.

In the document attached to the charge, 14 witnesses are expected to give evidence during the trial.

The three count charge filed by Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, an Assistąnt Chief State Counsel reads, 

''That you, Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godvwin Akaba Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu And Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North L.ocal Government Area of Delta State between the 18th and 25th of iMay 2017 at ldumuie-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire with others still at large to commit acts of terrorism. 

You thereby committed an offence punishable under section 17 of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013.

COUNT TWO
That you, Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godvwin Akaba Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu And Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State between the 18th and 25th of May 2017/ at Idumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit an act of terrorism in that you and others still at large burnt down houses and destroyed properties belonging to members of the ldumuje-Ugboko community namely Chukwuma Nwoko, Chief Chris Ugwu, Victor Omezi, punishable under section 1(2)(a) of the Terroriem (Prevention) Peter Bama and Nwoko Kachido., You thereby committed an offence (Amendment) Act 2013.

COUNT THREE
That you, Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godvwin Akaba Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu And Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State between the 18th and 25th of May 2017 at ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit an act of terorism in that you and others still at large particinated in an attack on members of ldumuje-Ugboko Community and killed one Cyprain Kumaorun. You thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1(2)(e) of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013.

Security: Northern Patriots score Nigerian Army, Operation Sahel Sanity high on war against banditry

Security: Northern Patriots score Nigerian Army, Operation Sahel Sanity high on war against banditry

By Dansu Peter 

Following a three-month appraisal exercise, the Northern Patriots (NP) have passed a vote of confidence on the Nigerian Army, rating its Operation Sahel Sanity as a success. 

The Northern Patriots gave this commendation at a media interactive session on Thursday in Abuja. 

Presenting the report on behalf of the group, National President, Alhaji Nuruddeen Dodo said sanity has been restored to the Sahel since the introduction of the exercise. 

Launched in July, the operation was aimed to tackle banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other crimes in the North-West and parts of North-Central. 

Barely two months after, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai extended the exercise to sustain the progress achieved within the period and enable troops to wipe out remnants of criminals from the zone.

In its report covering July 6 to October 10, 2020, the Northern Patriots said within a month of launching the operation, the people of the North-West witnessed a sigh of relief. 

The report revealed that thousands of people that ran away from their communities after the bandit attacks immediately returned home.

It added that troops eliminated a good number of armed bandits, recovering a large cache of arms and ammunition. 

The Northern Patriots, therefore, commended the COAS for extending the Operation Sahel Sanity to December as that will give it ample time to deal with the criminals in that region.

It, however, urged authorities to extend the exercise to other zones to sustain the successes achieved within the period.

Read the full report below:

Introduction:

You will recall that as military operations focused on Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorist activities in the Northeastern part of the country, there were pockets of disturbances in some parts of the country especially the Northwest and  Northcentral parts of Nigeria. 

Military operations in the Northeast became intense because the terrorists were killing people at random, abducting persons,  blowing up buildings to the extent that they were threatening the territorial integrity of the country.

As the military clamped down on the terrorists killing many of them and sending the remaining fleeing out of Nigeria, certain criminal elements thought they could take advantage of the situation to ply their heinous trade in other parts of the country. 

They assumed that since the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai had relocated to the Northeast and was dealing ruthlessly with the terrorists by leading troops from the front, other zones would be safe to terrorise and be visited with mayhem as they may be off the radar for the military. 

Within a short period, therefore, what started as hit and run attacks on distant and separate communities in the Northwest began to assume another dimension.

Criminal elements in no time invaded the spaces in the Northwest states of Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kaduna, moving up to the Northcentral state of Niger and began to terrorize communities in no less proportion than what Boko Haram was doing in the Northeast. 

Scores were being killed and abducted daily, entire villages were sacked, people were being abducted and abused, houses were touched and valuables forcefully were taken away.

These acts of criminalities stagnated economic growth as it crippled the agricultural, social and economic activities of the people of the region. 

Anarchy was fast descending in that part of the country despite other security arrangements in place.

When the bandits in a similar fashion, attacked several communities in Katsina and Sokoto States almost on the same day and killed hundreds of people which led to an explosion in the number of victims of terror attacks and several displaced persons in the country, the military realised that if it did not adopt a method that was beyond reactionary, Nigeria may soon have another problem of equal proportion with Boko Haram in the Northwest.

Operation SAHEL SANITY:

On the 6th of July 2020, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, flagged off Operation SAHEL SANITY in Katsina as part of activities of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2020.

The operation is meant to support Operation HADARIN DAJI in stemming the tides of the activities of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers, incessant killings and other crimes in the North-West zone of the country. 

The Army Chief also flagged off military operation in Faskar, and explained that military operation, was meant to comprehensively tackle banditry and other crimes in the Northwest and parts of Northcentral to restore peace in the affected states and Nigeria.

He said the Nigerian Army will be conducting the operation with the support of other sister security agencies, including the police, the Department of State Services and the authorities of the affected states and to show the seriousness of the operation, launched the newly acquired 10 Mines Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (M-RAP) as part of the military hardware for Operation SAHEL SANITY.

Appraisal:

Within a month of launching the operation, the people of the North-West Zone began to heave sighs of relief.

Thousands of people that ran away from their communities after bandit attacks, began to return.

Markets and hospitals closed at the height of the attacks began to reopen.

And people began to travel on roads leading to such communities thereby reconnecting them with the rest of the country. 

This is consequent on the success of the military operation launched by the Army Chief which overwhelmed the bandits. 

Before the end of July, The gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and other aggressive and confidence-building patrols within Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara States which led to the rescue of kidnapped victims, recovery of rustled cattle, the arrest of suspected armed bandits, the arrest of bandits informants and collaborators. 

The troops also recovered a large cache of arms and ammunition as well as motorcycles and other bandits logistics.

In less than a month, troops of the Operation SAHEL SANITY eliminated armed bandits, recovered 943 cows, 633 sheep/rams recovered; 33 suspected bandits arrested; 7 AK47 Rifles, 1 GPMG and 16 Dane guns captured.

The troops also rescued 17 kidnapped victims and arrested 14 bandits informants and collaborators. 

The troops did not stop at that but penetrated several bandits camps including the notorious Dangote Triangle and destroyed their logistics bases.

Troops also mounted sentry in areas hitherto occupied by bandits making it impossible for them to regroup or launch fresh attacks.

Our Position;

We, therefore, commend the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for their resilience, doggedness and braver which has led to the success of the operation. 

We also commend the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Buratai for the tactic he brought into the exercise by introducing the Super Camp Strategy which has produced results.

We commend the Nigerian Army for extending Operation Sahel Sanity to December as that will give it ample time to deal with the criminals in that region.

Our Recommendations;

Given the enormity of the problem in the Northwest, we believe the authorities must extend the coverage of the exercise to other zones especially the Northcentral to sustain the successes achieved within the period.

This will also enable troops to avert a situation where the criminals can overlap to cause havoc in other territories and ensure peace in all parts of the country.

We call also call on host communities of Zamfara and Katsina to continue to support and cooperate with the military especially in the area of information sharing and intelligence gathering.

Communities in the NNorthwestmust be ready to report criminal element in their midst while political leaders must step up their games to provide support for troops.  

We believe that if these measures are taken, the entire Northwest, Northcentral and Nigeria would be free from criminal activities as well as benefit more from the military operation. 
By Dansu Peter 

Following a three-month appraisal exercise, the Northern Patriots (NP) have passed a vote of confidence on the Nigerian Army, rating its Operation Sahel Sanity as a success. 

The Northern Patriots gave this commendation at a media interactive session on Thursday in Abuja. 

Presenting the report on behalf of the group, National President, Alhaji Nuruddeen Dodo said sanity has been restored to the Sahel since the introduction of the exercise. 

Launched in July, the operation was aimed to tackle banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other crimes in the North-West and parts of North-Central. 

Barely two months after, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai extended the exercise to sustain the progress achieved within the period and enable troops to wipe out remnants of criminals from the zone.

In its report covering July 6 to October 10, 2020, the Northern Patriots said within a month of launching the operation, the people of the North-West witnessed a sigh of relief. 

The report revealed that thousands of people that ran away from their communities after the bandit attacks immediately returned home.

It added that troops eliminated a good number of armed bandits, recovering a large cache of arms and ammunition. 

The Northern Patriots, therefore, commended the COAS for extending the Operation Sahel Sanity to December as that will give it ample time to deal with the criminals in that region.

It, however, urged authorities to extend the exercise to other zones to sustain the successes achieved within the period.

Read the full report below:

Introduction:

You will recall that as military operations focused on Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorist activities in the Northeastern part of the country, there were pockets of disturbances in some parts of the country especially the Northwest and  Northcentral parts of Nigeria. 

Military operations in the Northeast became intense because the terrorists were killing people at random, abducting persons,  blowing up buildings to the extent that they were threatening the territorial integrity of the country.

As the military clamped down on the terrorists killing many of them and sending the remaining fleeing out of Nigeria, certain criminal elements thought they could take advantage of the situation to ply their heinous trade in other parts of the country. 

They assumed that since the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai had relocated to the Northeast and was dealing ruthlessly with the terrorists by leading troops from the front, other zones would be safe to terrorise and be visited with mayhem as they may be off the radar for the military. 

Within a short period, therefore, what started as hit and run attacks on distant and separate communities in the Northwest began to assume another dimension.

Criminal elements in no time invaded the spaces in the Northwest states of Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kaduna, moving up to the Northcentral state of Niger and began to terrorize communities in no less proportion than what Boko Haram was doing in the Northeast. 

Scores were being killed and abducted daily, entire villages were sacked, people were being abducted and abused, houses were touched and valuables forcefully were taken away.

These acts of criminalities stagnated economic growth as it crippled the agricultural, social and economic activities of the people of the region. 

Anarchy was fast descending in that part of the country despite other security arrangements in place.

When the bandits in a similar fashion, attacked several communities in Katsina and Sokoto States almost on the same day and killed hundreds of people which led to an explosion in the number of victims of terror attacks and several displaced persons in the country, the military realised that if it did not adopt a method that was beyond reactionary, Nigeria may soon have another problem of equal proportion with Boko Haram in the Northwest.

Operation SAHEL SANITY:

On the 6th of July 2020, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, flagged off Operation SAHEL SANITY in Katsina as part of activities of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2020.

The operation is meant to support Operation HADARIN DAJI in stemming the tides of the activities of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers, incessant killings and other crimes in the North-West zone of the country. 

The Army Chief also flagged off military operation in Faskar, and explained that military operation, was meant to comprehensively tackle banditry and other crimes in the Northwest and parts of Northcentral to restore peace in the affected states and Nigeria.

He said the Nigerian Army will be conducting the operation with the support of other sister security agencies, including the police, the Department of State Services and the authorities of the affected states and to show the seriousness of the operation, launched the newly acquired 10 Mines Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (M-RAP) as part of the military hardware for Operation SAHEL SANITY.

Appraisal:

Within a month of launching the operation, the people of the North-West Zone began to heave sighs of relief.

Thousands of people that ran away from their communities after bandit attacks, began to return.

Markets and hospitals closed at the height of the attacks began to reopen.

And people began to travel on roads leading to such communities thereby reconnecting them with the rest of the country. 

This is consequent on the success of the military operation launched by the Army Chief which overwhelmed the bandits. 

Before the end of July, The gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and other aggressive and confidence-building patrols within Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara States which led to the rescue of kidnapped victims, recovery of rustled cattle, the arrest of suspected armed bandits, the arrest of bandits informants and collaborators. 

The troops also recovered a large cache of arms and ammunition as well as motorcycles and other bandits logistics.

In less than a month, troops of the Operation SAHEL SANITY eliminated armed bandits, recovered 943 cows, 633 sheep/rams recovered; 33 suspected bandits arrested; 7 AK47 Rifles, 1 GPMG and 16 Dane guns captured.

The troops also rescued 17 kidnapped victims and arrested 14 bandits informants and collaborators. 

The troops did not stop at that but penetrated several bandits camps including the notorious Dangote Triangle and destroyed their logistics bases.

Troops also mounted sentry in areas hitherto occupied by bandits making it impossible for them to regroup or launch fresh attacks.

Our Position;

We, therefore, commend the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for their resilience, doggedness and braver which has led to the success of the operation. 

We also commend the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Buratai for the tactic he brought into the exercise by introducing the Super Camp Strategy which has produced results.

We commend the Nigerian Army for extending Operation Sahel Sanity to December as that will give it ample time to deal with the criminals in that region.

Our Recommendations;

Given the enormity of the problem in the Northwest, we believe the authorities must extend the coverage of the exercise to other zones especially the Northcentral to sustain the successes achieved within the period.

This will also enable troops to avert a situation where the criminals can overlap to cause havoc in other territories and ensure peace in all parts of the country.

We call also call on host communities of Zamfara and Katsina to continue to support and cooperate with the military especially in the area of information sharing and intelligence gathering.

Communities in the NNorthwestmust be ready to report criminal element in their midst while political leaders must step up their games to provide support for troops.  

We believe that if these measures are taken, the entire Northwest, Northcentral and Nigeria would be free from criminal activities as well as benefit more from the military operation. 

Boko Haram: Group condemns call for redeployment of defunct SARS operatives to Borno

Boko Haram: Group condemns call for redeployment of defunct SARS operatives to Borno

 By Dansu Peter 


The Arewa Citizens for Peace (ACP) has condemned the call for the redeployment of operatives of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to the North-East to fight Boko Haram terrorists, describing it as "misplaced, senseless and capable of throwing the country into turmoil". 

While welcoming the disbandment of the anti-robbery unit of the Police, the ACP noted that such a move is capable of worsening the security situation in the country.

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had on Tuesday, announced the creation of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team to replace the SARS unit. 

The IGP assured that operatives of the defunct anti-robbery squad will not be part of the new formation as they will be redeployed into mainstream policing duties.

Some Nigerians, though, have maintained that the officers be sent to the North-East. 

However, in a statement signed by its National President, Comrade Nazir Ibrahim, on Wednesday, the Arewa group said SARS operatives were not trained for warfare and if deployed may ultimately turn against Nigerians they are supposed to protect. 

"The Arewa Citizens for Peace (ACP) is pleased with the dissolution of the erstwhile Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across the country over the high handedness and right abuses by the policemen that operated under the squad. We are however appalled by the misguided calls for deploying the personnel of the defunct SARS to fight Boko Haram in the northeast of the country," Comrade Ibrahim said. 

"It is our view that the calls are misplaced, senseless and capable of throwing the country into turmoil by further worsening the security situation that has so far been creatively managed in the face of the diverse factors militating against peace and security in Nigeria. Those came up with the har-brained idea failed to properly evaluate the situation. The calls by some disgruntled individuals and elements are therefore totally misplaced, unacceptable and in bad light. 

"They failed to realize that the SARS operatives were not trained in warfare but in policing with specific focus on taking on armed robbers and violent crime, an assignment they failed in and rather diverted to exploiting the youth under the guise of going after cyber criminals. Deploying these same persons to fight Boko Haram will see them again turn their weapons on the Nigerians they are paid to protect. Even the Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU) of the Nigeria Police Force has not been deployed to fight Boko Haram in the north east so there is no point sending in personnel that have been relieved of their assignment in disgrace.

"ACP is worried that those making these calls have forgotten so soon that the Nigerian Army would not have been deployed to clean up the mess created in some parts of the country owing to the failure of civil policing that SARS was part of. Had SARS been able to deal with the problem of banditry, killer herdsmen and kidnappers as envisaged for its role then the Army would not have been stretched thin by deploying to areas that have these violent crimes.

"While sending the ex-SARS operatives, as damaged goods, to die at the hands of Boko Haram may appear like an attractive or workable option, the potential downsides are too high and they pose risks that the country can ill afford". 

According to the ACP, the intensity of the battles waged by the Army against Boko Haram in the North-East is such that operatives of the defunct SARS will simply desert if they were assigned to fight the anti-terrorism war. 

It reasoned that since these operatives will flee the battleground with their weapons and would be unable to return to their organizations, Nigeria will be flooded with armed and trained killers who will end up becoming the new criminals that the system must deal with.

Ibrahim added: "Even in instances where the military handed liberated areas to the Police to resume normal civil policing, the areas usually get infested with Boko Haram in the shortest time possible even with the defunct SARS being active at those times. There is therefore more than enough evidence to prove that there is no unit of the police that is well suited for fighting Boko Haram terrorists. 

"We restate that the genuine concerns raised by all Nigerians for enduring reforms in the Nigeria Police Force should not be trivialized or converted into a farce by throwing up puerile suggestions like asking the rested SARS operative be drafted to fight Boko Haram. We believe there should be an independent panel of inquiry that hear testimonies of those that have documented instances of SARS abuse and brutality so that culpable operatives of the disgraceful institution would be held to account. This would go a long way in bringing closure to individuals and families while also serving as a warning to law enforcement agents that their position should not be abused"

The ACP, however, urged the Nigerian Army to continue excelling at what it does and not be drawn into the distraction constituted by these calls for the posting of the personnel of the defunct SARS to any part of north-east, especially Borno State in the name of fighting insurgency.

The group warned those behind the ill-informed call to desist from such going forward.

 By Dansu Peter 


The Arewa Citizens for Peace (ACP) has condemned the call for the redeployment of operatives of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to the North-East to fight Boko Haram terrorists, describing it as "misplaced, senseless and capable of throwing the country into turmoil". 

While welcoming the disbandment of the anti-robbery unit of the Police, the ACP noted that such a move is capable of worsening the security situation in the country.

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had on Tuesday, announced the creation of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team to replace the SARS unit. 

The IGP assured that operatives of the defunct anti-robbery squad will not be part of the new formation as they will be redeployed into mainstream policing duties.

Some Nigerians, though, have maintained that the officers be sent to the North-East. 

However, in a statement signed by its National President, Comrade Nazir Ibrahim, on Wednesday, the Arewa group said SARS operatives were not trained for warfare and if deployed may ultimately turn against Nigerians they are supposed to protect. 

"The Arewa Citizens for Peace (ACP) is pleased with the dissolution of the erstwhile Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across the country over the high handedness and right abuses by the policemen that operated under the squad. We are however appalled by the misguided calls for deploying the personnel of the defunct SARS to fight Boko Haram in the northeast of the country," Comrade Ibrahim said. 

"It is our view that the calls are misplaced, senseless and capable of throwing the country into turmoil by further worsening the security situation that has so far been creatively managed in the face of the diverse factors militating against peace and security in Nigeria. Those came up with the har-brained idea failed to properly evaluate the situation. The calls by some disgruntled individuals and elements are therefore totally misplaced, unacceptable and in bad light. 

"They failed to realize that the SARS operatives were not trained in warfare but in policing with specific focus on taking on armed robbers and violent crime, an assignment they failed in and rather diverted to exploiting the youth under the guise of going after cyber criminals. Deploying these same persons to fight Boko Haram will see them again turn their weapons on the Nigerians they are paid to protect. Even the Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU) of the Nigeria Police Force has not been deployed to fight Boko Haram in the north east so there is no point sending in personnel that have been relieved of their assignment in disgrace.

"ACP is worried that those making these calls have forgotten so soon that the Nigerian Army would not have been deployed to clean up the mess created in some parts of the country owing to the failure of civil policing that SARS was part of. Had SARS been able to deal with the problem of banditry, killer herdsmen and kidnappers as envisaged for its role then the Army would not have been stretched thin by deploying to areas that have these violent crimes.

"While sending the ex-SARS operatives, as damaged goods, to die at the hands of Boko Haram may appear like an attractive or workable option, the potential downsides are too high and they pose risks that the country can ill afford". 

According to the ACP, the intensity of the battles waged by the Army against Boko Haram in the North-East is such that operatives of the defunct SARS will simply desert if they were assigned to fight the anti-terrorism war. 

It reasoned that since these operatives will flee the battleground with their weapons and would be unable to return to their organizations, Nigeria will be flooded with armed and trained killers who will end up becoming the new criminals that the system must deal with.

Ibrahim added: "Even in instances where the military handed liberated areas to the Police to resume normal civil policing, the areas usually get infested with Boko Haram in the shortest time possible even with the defunct SARS being active at those times. There is therefore more than enough evidence to prove that there is no unit of the police that is well suited for fighting Boko Haram terrorists. 

"We restate that the genuine concerns raised by all Nigerians for enduring reforms in the Nigeria Police Force should not be trivialized or converted into a farce by throwing up puerile suggestions like asking the rested SARS operative be drafted to fight Boko Haram. We believe there should be an independent panel of inquiry that hear testimonies of those that have documented instances of SARS abuse and brutality so that culpable operatives of the disgraceful institution would be held to account. This would go a long way in bringing closure to individuals and families while also serving as a warning to law enforcement agents that their position should not be abused"

The ACP, however, urged the Nigerian Army to continue excelling at what it does and not be drawn into the distraction constituted by these calls for the posting of the personnel of the defunct SARS to any part of north-east, especially Borno State in the name of fighting insurgency.

The group warned those behind the ill-informed call to desist from such going forward.

#ENDSARS Protest: What President Buhari told me today at Aso Rock - Gov Sanwo-Olu

#ENDSARS Protest: What President Buhari told me today at Aso Rock - Gov Sanwo-Olu

By Babajide Sanwo-Olu 

Today, I met President Muhammed Buhari to present the demands of the Lagos #EndSARS protesters. 

The President restated his commitment to embark on a holistic reform of the entire Police Force. 

Just today, the President has approved a panel made up of Civil Society leaders to look at all the cases of abuse by the police.

The benefits of this genuine protest will be fully realized and I will continue to work to defend the rights of all Lagosians any and everyday.

- Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

By Babajide Sanwo-Olu 

Today, I met President Muhammed Buhari to present the demands of the Lagos #EndSARS protesters. 

The President restated his commitment to embark on a holistic reform of the entire Police Force. 

Just today, the President has approved a panel made up of Civil Society leaders to look at all the cases of abuse by the police.

The benefits of this genuine protest will be fully realized and I will continue to work to defend the rights of all Lagosians any and everyday.

- Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Special Rapporteur, report blame poor infrastructure for Boko Haram attacks on Governor, presence in northern Borno

Special Rapporteur, report blame poor infrastructure for Boko Haram attacks on Governor, presence in northern Borno

By Dansu Peter 

A special rapporteur has blamed poor infrastructure for the continous presence of Boko Haram terrorits in northern Borno and  recent attacks on the convoy of Governor Babagana Zulum.  

Professor Philip Daheeda of the Department of Public Administration, University of Abuja, made this revelation in a detailed report on behalf of the Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC). 

Daheeda said it uncovered the actual circumstances surrounding the attack after leading the SHAC together with other credible non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations on a fact-finding mission to Northern Borno. 

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, Prof. Daheeda said the troops have made substantive progress in the north of Borno, particularly the Kukawa/Baga axis once regarded as the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency due to its proximity to the Lake Chad Basin.  

He further disclosed that the radical sect has been significantly incapacitated and have now turned to guerrilla tactics, planting Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) on routes frequently used by IDPs returning to their communities. 

Daheeda, however, admitted that the poor state of roads has made it possible for the terrorists to plant the IEDs, plan attacks and unleash mayhem on citizens, such as the governor.

The special rapporteur, therefore, urged the state government to compliments the efforts of the military through the provision of necessary infrastructures such as road constructions, provision of electricity and other facilities that would aid their operations.

Read the full report below:

Introduction:

In light of the recent attacks on the convoy of the Governor of Borno State in Northern Borno state, the Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC) in collaboration with some credible Non-Governmental Organizations as well as some Civil Society Organizations commissioned an investigative panel to unravel the circumstances that led to the attacks to put issues in proper perspectives.  

The investigative panel consisted of a special rapporteur and other representatives with a mandate to physically visit Borno State and collate information on a first-hand basis. The core area of assignment includes but not limited to close interaction with citizens in Borno state, stakeholders, state actors and the media on the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in Northern Borno state.

The investigative panel consequently visited Northern Borno, especially the Kukawa/Baga axis where it was alleged that the attacks on the convoy of the governor took place.

The findings from the investigative visit are reproduced after extensive scrutiny of the facts presented through a multiple channel mechanism put in place to ensure objectivity and accuracy in fulfilment of its overarching objective.

The Issues:

The governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum in its efforts at assessing the relocation of Internally Displaced Persons back to their communities have been visiting liberated communities in various parts of Borno state. On a couple of occasions in recent times, the convoy of the governor was attacked, which indeed ignited rounds of commentary in the country with regards to the efforts of the Nigerian Military in its efforts towards ridding Borno State of Boko Haram elements, especially in Northern Borno state.

There were also allegations that indeed the Nigerian Military have not done enough to investigate the various incidences where the governors' convoy was attacked thereby fueling the suspicion that the Nigerian Military was complicit in the whole saga.

The investigative panel as a result of the aforementioned undertook a trip to Baga and environs, wherein extensive consultations and interactions were made with all stakeholders in the theatre of operations.

Findings:

The investigative panel was able to glean on the first-hand basis that indeed the narrative making the rounds in the media with regards to the attacks on the convoy of the governor is in contrast with the events surrounding the attack on the convoy of the governor.

It was clear from all that was gathered that the Nigerian Military has made substantial gains in addressing the Boko Haram threats in Borno state as a whole, and specifically in the Kukawa/Baga axis which is regarded as the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency due to its proximity to the Lake Chad Basin region where Nigeria shares boundaries with Chad and some francophone counties.  

This fact was enforced with a strong presence of security operatives which were seen on constant patrol of the region and making advancement towards the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region where it is believed houses a seizable number of Boko Haram insurgents after their displacement from their operational headquarters in Sambisa forest, as well as other areas in North-East Nigeria where they hitherto held sway.  

It is indeed a statement of the fact that the Boko Haram group has significantly been incapacitated and they have consequently employed the use of guerrilla tactics that involve the planting of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) on routes frequently used by IDPs returning to their communities as against their known strategy of engaging the Nigerian Military in exchanges of gunfire.

This new plot by the Boko Haram insurgents was indeed responsible for the attack on the convoy of the governor and not a confrontation with security operatives in the convoy of the governor. This much was also confirmed by on the spot assessment of the areas where the governor’s convoy was attacked. There were visible signs of craters that came about as a result of the impact of the IEDs detonated. It was stated further that as a result of such explosions, the security operatives in the convoy of the governor returned gunfire in various directions as a reflex action.

There was also an absence of infrastructures in Kukawa/Baga axis as virtually all roads were impassible due to years of neglect which inturn emboldened the Boko Haram insurgents to freely plant IEDs as they made their way towards the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region.

It was also revealed that the state of the roads indeed enhanced terrorist activities in Northern Borno as a whole where pockets of Boko Haram activities still thrives. There was also a dearth of other infrastructures such as communication masts, electricity water and other necessities in most parts of Northern Borno state, which the Boko Haram group has taken advantage of in the furtherance of their nefarious activities.

The investigative panel also discovered that the bulk of the casualties recorded during the attacks on the governors’ convoy were mainly as a result of IED explosions and not gunshot injuries as widely reported in the media. And the bad road network in Baga and environs is indeed responsible for the casually figures as commuting the injured to the nearest medical facility was as well daunting the number of deaths recorded.

Conclusion:

The efforts of the Nigerian Military in addressing the Boko Haram threats in Northern Borno state cannot be overemphasized. The Boko Haram group have significantly been degraded with the Military constantly on their trail into the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region.

It must be noted that the terrain in the Kukawa/Baga axis is impassible, thereby making some of the operations of the Nigerian Military difficult. However, there seems to a collective resolve by the officers and soldiers in the theatre of operations to bring the activities of the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents to an end as soon as possible. This much was gathered from interactions with officers and soldiers in the theatre of operations, especially in Doron Baga.

Recommendations:

It is therefore reasonable that the state government compliments the efforts of the Nigerian Military through the provision of necessary infrastructures such as road constructions, provision of electricity and other facilities that would aid the operations of the Nigerian Military.

The state government also has a responsibility to the task to various stakeholders in Borno state and Northern Borno to be precise on the need to galvanize support for the operations of the Nigerian Military in the quest to rid Northern Borno of the activities of Boko Haram insurgents.
By Dansu Peter 

A special rapporteur has blamed poor infrastructure for the continous presence of Boko Haram terrorits in northern Borno and  recent attacks on the convoy of Governor Babagana Zulum.  

Professor Philip Daheeda of the Department of Public Administration, University of Abuja, made this revelation in a detailed report on behalf of the Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC). 

Daheeda said it uncovered the actual circumstances surrounding the attack after leading the SHAC together with other credible non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations on a fact-finding mission to Northern Borno. 

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, Prof. Daheeda said the troops have made substantive progress in the north of Borno, particularly the Kukawa/Baga axis once regarded as the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency due to its proximity to the Lake Chad Basin.  

He further disclosed that the radical sect has been significantly incapacitated and have now turned to guerrilla tactics, planting Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) on routes frequently used by IDPs returning to their communities. 

Daheeda, however, admitted that the poor state of roads has made it possible for the terrorists to plant the IEDs, plan attacks and unleash mayhem on citizens, such as the governor.

The special rapporteur, therefore, urged the state government to compliments the efforts of the military through the provision of necessary infrastructures such as road constructions, provision of electricity and other facilities that would aid their operations.

Read the full report below:

Introduction:

In light of the recent attacks on the convoy of the Governor of Borno State in Northern Borno state, the Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC) in collaboration with some credible Non-Governmental Organizations as well as some Civil Society Organizations commissioned an investigative panel to unravel the circumstances that led to the attacks to put issues in proper perspectives.  

The investigative panel consisted of a special rapporteur and other representatives with a mandate to physically visit Borno State and collate information on a first-hand basis. The core area of assignment includes but not limited to close interaction with citizens in Borno state, stakeholders, state actors and the media on the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in Northern Borno state.

The investigative panel consequently visited Northern Borno, especially the Kukawa/Baga axis where it was alleged that the attacks on the convoy of the governor took place.

The findings from the investigative visit are reproduced after extensive scrutiny of the facts presented through a multiple channel mechanism put in place to ensure objectivity and accuracy in fulfilment of its overarching objective.

The Issues:

The governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum in its efforts at assessing the relocation of Internally Displaced Persons back to their communities have been visiting liberated communities in various parts of Borno state. On a couple of occasions in recent times, the convoy of the governor was attacked, which indeed ignited rounds of commentary in the country with regards to the efforts of the Nigerian Military in its efforts towards ridding Borno State of Boko Haram elements, especially in Northern Borno state.

There were also allegations that indeed the Nigerian Military have not done enough to investigate the various incidences where the governors' convoy was attacked thereby fueling the suspicion that the Nigerian Military was complicit in the whole saga.

The investigative panel as a result of the aforementioned undertook a trip to Baga and environs, wherein extensive consultations and interactions were made with all stakeholders in the theatre of operations.

Findings:

The investigative panel was able to glean on the first-hand basis that indeed the narrative making the rounds in the media with regards to the attacks on the convoy of the governor is in contrast with the events surrounding the attack on the convoy of the governor.

It was clear from all that was gathered that the Nigerian Military has made substantial gains in addressing the Boko Haram threats in Borno state as a whole, and specifically in the Kukawa/Baga axis which is regarded as the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency due to its proximity to the Lake Chad Basin region where Nigeria shares boundaries with Chad and some francophone counties.  

This fact was enforced with a strong presence of security operatives which were seen on constant patrol of the region and making advancement towards the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region where it is believed houses a seizable number of Boko Haram insurgents after their displacement from their operational headquarters in Sambisa forest, as well as other areas in North-East Nigeria where they hitherto held sway.  

It is indeed a statement of the fact that the Boko Haram group has significantly been incapacitated and they have consequently employed the use of guerrilla tactics that involve the planting of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) on routes frequently used by IDPs returning to their communities as against their known strategy of engaging the Nigerian Military in exchanges of gunfire.

This new plot by the Boko Haram insurgents was indeed responsible for the attack on the convoy of the governor and not a confrontation with security operatives in the convoy of the governor. This much was also confirmed by on the spot assessment of the areas where the governor’s convoy was attacked. There were visible signs of craters that came about as a result of the impact of the IEDs detonated. It was stated further that as a result of such explosions, the security operatives in the convoy of the governor returned gunfire in various directions as a reflex action.

There was also an absence of infrastructures in Kukawa/Baga axis as virtually all roads were impassible due to years of neglect which inturn emboldened the Boko Haram insurgents to freely plant IEDs as they made their way towards the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region.

It was also revealed that the state of the roads indeed enhanced terrorist activities in Northern Borno as a whole where pockets of Boko Haram activities still thrives. There was also a dearth of other infrastructures such as communication masts, electricity water and other necessities in most parts of Northern Borno state, which the Boko Haram group has taken advantage of in the furtherance of their nefarious activities.

The investigative panel also discovered that the bulk of the casualties recorded during the attacks on the governors’ convoy were mainly as a result of IED explosions and not gunshot injuries as widely reported in the media. And the bad road network in Baga and environs is indeed responsible for the casually figures as commuting the injured to the nearest medical facility was as well daunting the number of deaths recorded.

Conclusion:

The efforts of the Nigerian Military in addressing the Boko Haram threats in Northern Borno state cannot be overemphasized. The Boko Haram group have significantly been degraded with the Military constantly on their trail into the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region.

It must be noted that the terrain in the Kukawa/Baga axis is impassible, thereby making some of the operations of the Nigerian Military difficult. However, there seems to a collective resolve by the officers and soldiers in the theatre of operations to bring the activities of the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents to an end as soon as possible. This much was gathered from interactions with officers and soldiers in the theatre of operations, especially in Doron Baga.

Recommendations:

It is therefore reasonable that the state government compliments the efforts of the Nigerian Military through the provision of necessary infrastructures such as road constructions, provision of electricity and other facilities that would aid the operations of the Nigerian Military.

The state government also has a responsibility to the task to various stakeholders in Borno state and Northern Borno to be precise on the need to galvanize support for the operations of the Nigerian Military in the quest to rid Northern Borno of the activities of Boko Haram insurgents.

BREAKING: Sanwo-Olu joins #ENDSARS protest in Lagos - See photos

BREAKING: Sanwo-Olu joins #ENDSARS protest in Lagos - See photos

By Babajide Sanwo-Olu 
I joined the #ENDSARS protesters in Alausa and received a letter of their demands and once again I reiterated my support. 

I am now on my way to Abuja to meet with H.E President Muhammed Buhari and the goal of the conversation is clear. 

Tangible next steps to #EndPoliceBrutality


More photos:
By Babajide Sanwo-Olu 
I joined the #ENDSARS protesters in Alausa and received a letter of their demands and once again I reiterated my support. 

I am now on my way to Abuja to meet with H.E President Muhammed Buhari and the goal of the conversation is clear. 

Tangible next steps to #EndPoliceBrutality


More photos:

#ENDSARS: Sanwo-Olu to meet Buhari as protest turns violent in Lagos

#ENDSARS: Sanwo-Olu to meet Buhari as protest turns violent in Lagos

•Governor Addresses Demonstrators In Lekki

 By Dansu Peter 
For the third time in about 10 days, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has identified with the protests against the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The Governor braved all odds on Monday to address the protesters in Lekki where crowds of youths camped and blocked the expressway. He urged them to be decorous and peaceful while expressing their grievances against the excessive use of force by SARS.

Sanwo-Olu left the weekly meeting of the State Executive Council and moved to address the EndSARS protesters.

The Governor told the demonstrators that their protest was legitimate, but pleaded with them not to block the roads while passing on their grievances to the authorities.

Sanwo-Olu said he identified with the EndSARS campaigners, noting that their agitations touched the essence of democratic freedom. He said citizens must never be denied the rights to protest, but urged the protesters not to employ wrong methods to drive home their message.

He said: “Your voice has been heard clearly and a clear pronouncement has been made on the activities of SARS. The operation has been dissolved by the police leadership and just a moment ago, Mr. President addressed the nation on the issues you have raised. The President has said all SARS officers that are involved in the killing of innocent people and engaging in human rights abuses will be brought to justice.

“My stance on this EndSARS is unmistakable and I have told you that we identify with this protest because you have legitimate concerns. I am saying it again here that this protest is in good faith. But, we must not be unruly when going out on a protest like this. We want you to be peaceful and decorous in expressing yourselves.”

Sanwo-Olu said he spoke with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu, on Monday to outline the position of the Lagos State Government on police reforms, adding that he will visit President Buhari on Tuesday (tomorrow) and present the demands of Lagos youths on the issues.

The Governor praised the courage of the protesters and urged them not to block the key road.

The protesters were largely uncoordinated. They rebuffed pleas to open the road and  demanded the physical presence of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The protesters remained unruly but the Governor made his point - they should not allow their legitimate campaign hijacked by hoodlums who may have another agenda.

Sanwo-Olu agreed with the demand of the protesters on reforms in the operations of law enforcement agencies, adding that the State Government would work with the police leadership on compensation for the family members of victims of SARS brutality in Lagos.
•Governor Addresses Demonstrators In Lekki

 By Dansu Peter 
For the third time in about 10 days, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has identified with the protests against the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The Governor braved all odds on Monday to address the protesters in Lekki where crowds of youths camped and blocked the expressway. He urged them to be decorous and peaceful while expressing their grievances against the excessive use of force by SARS.

Sanwo-Olu left the weekly meeting of the State Executive Council and moved to address the EndSARS protesters.

The Governor told the demonstrators that their protest was legitimate, but pleaded with them not to block the roads while passing on their grievances to the authorities.

Sanwo-Olu said he identified with the EndSARS campaigners, noting that their agitations touched the essence of democratic freedom. He said citizens must never be denied the rights to protest, but urged the protesters not to employ wrong methods to drive home their message.

He said: “Your voice has been heard clearly and a clear pronouncement has been made on the activities of SARS. The operation has been dissolved by the police leadership and just a moment ago, Mr. President addressed the nation on the issues you have raised. The President has said all SARS officers that are involved in the killing of innocent people and engaging in human rights abuses will be brought to justice.

“My stance on this EndSARS is unmistakable and I have told you that we identify with this protest because you have legitimate concerns. I am saying it again here that this protest is in good faith. But, we must not be unruly when going out on a protest like this. We want you to be peaceful and decorous in expressing yourselves.”

Sanwo-Olu said he spoke with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu, on Monday to outline the position of the Lagos State Government on police reforms, adding that he will visit President Buhari on Tuesday (tomorrow) and present the demands of Lagos youths on the issues.

The Governor praised the courage of the protesters and urged them not to block the key road.

The protesters were largely uncoordinated. They rebuffed pleas to open the road and  demanded the physical presence of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The protesters remained unruly but the Governor made his point - they should not allow their legitimate campaign hijacked by hoodlums who may have another agenda.

Sanwo-Olu agreed with the demand of the protesters on reforms in the operations of law enforcement agencies, adding that the State Government would work with the police leadership on compensation for the family members of victims of SARS brutality in Lagos.

BREAKING: Police IG bows, scraps SARS

BREAKING: Police IG bows, scraps SARS

By Dansu Peter 

Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police has announced the dissolution the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.

According to the IG, the operatives will be redeployed to other police formations and commands.

Adamu announced this in a live broadcast on Sunday afternoon.

The announcement came after days of online and offline protests against the brutality and extra-judicial killings by SARS operatives nationwide.

At the briefing, the IGP said, “The Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force otherwise known as SARS is hereby dissolved in all the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory.”
By Dansu Peter 

Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police has announced the dissolution the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.

According to the IG, the operatives will be redeployed to other police formations and commands.

Adamu announced this in a live broadcast on Sunday afternoon.

The announcement came after days of online and offline protests against the brutality and extra-judicial killings by SARS operatives nationwide.

At the briefing, the IGP said, “The Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force otherwise known as SARS is hereby dissolved in all the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory.”

Aniocha North Killings: FG Files Charges Against Seven Over Alleged Terrorism

Aniocha North Killings: FG Files Charges Against Seven Over Alleged Terrorism

By Dansu Peter 

The Federal government has filed  criminal charges against seven persons alleged to have been involved in the 2017 killing of indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko Community of Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.

The seven accused persons were said to have connived with others now at large within and outside ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, to unleash terror on the community by burning Houses and unlawfully attacked and killed of an innocent Nigerian within the community which constitute acts of terrorism.

Those charged before the court in charge number FHC/ABJ/CR/11/19, are Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godwin Akaba Aniemeke, 
 Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko and Emeka Bidoku.

The accused persons were said to have committed the offence between 18th and 25th of May 2017.

When the case came up this morning, proceedings could not go on because of the absence of the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang.

In the document attached to the charge, 14 witnesses are expected to give evidence during the trial.

The three count charge filed by Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, an Assistąnt Chief State Counsel read, ''That you, Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godvwin Akaba Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu And Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North L.ocal Government Area of Delta State between the 18th and 25th of iMay 2017 at ldumuie-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire with others still at large to commit acts of terrorism. You thereby committed an offence punishable under section 17 of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013.

COUNT TWO

That you, Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godvwin Akaba Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu And Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State between the 18th and 25th of May 2017/ at Idumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit an act of terrorism in that you and others still at large burnt down houses and destroyed properties belonging to members of the ldumuje-Ugboko community namely Chukwuma Nwoko, Chief Chris Ugwu, Victor Omezi, punishable under section 1(2)(a) of the Terroriem (Prevention) Peter Bama and Nwoko Kachido., You thereby committed an offence (Amendment) Act 2013.

COUNT THREE

That you, Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godvwin Akaba Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu And Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State between the 18th and 25th of May 2017 at ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit an act of terorism in that you and others still at large particinated in an attack on members of ldumuje-Ugboko Community and killed one Cyprain Kumaorun. You thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1(2)(e) of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013.
By Dansu Peter 

The Federal government has filed  criminal charges against seven persons alleged to have been involved in the 2017 killing of indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko Community of Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.

The seven accused persons were said to have connived with others now at large within and outside ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, to unleash terror on the community by burning Houses and unlawfully attacked and killed of an innocent Nigerian within the community which constitute acts of terrorism.

Those charged before the court in charge number FHC/ABJ/CR/11/19, are Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godwin Akaba Aniemeke, 
 Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko and Emeka Bidoku.

The accused persons were said to have committed the offence between 18th and 25th of May 2017.

When the case came up this morning, proceedings could not go on because of the absence of the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang.

In the document attached to the charge, 14 witnesses are expected to give evidence during the trial.

The three count charge filed by Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, an Assistąnt Chief State Counsel read, ''That you, Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godvwin Akaba Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu And Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North L.ocal Government Area of Delta State between the 18th and 25th of iMay 2017 at ldumuie-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire with others still at large to commit acts of terrorism. You thereby committed an offence punishable under section 17 of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013.

COUNT TWO

That you, Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godvwin Akaba Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu And Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State between the 18th and 25th of May 2017/ at Idumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit an act of terrorism in that you and others still at large burnt down houses and destroyed properties belonging to members of the ldumuje-Ugboko community namely Chukwuma Nwoko, Chief Chris Ugwu, Victor Omezi, punishable under section 1(2)(a) of the Terroriem (Prevention) Peter Bama and Nwoko Kachido., You thereby committed an offence (Amendment) Act 2013.

COUNT THREE

That you, Nwochie Agiliga Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godvwin Akaba Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu And Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State between the 18th and 25th of May 2017 at ldumuje-Ugboko Community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit an act of terorism in that you and others still at large particinated in an attack on members of ldumuje-Ugboko Community and killed one Cyprain Kumaorun. You thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1(2)(e) of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013.

Gen Buratai’s gallantry and Nigeria @ 60, By Ibrahim Bulama

Gen Buratai’s gallantry and Nigeria @ 60, By Ibrahim Bulama

By Ibrahim Bulama 

As Nigeria is celebrating 60 years of independence, it presents a picture of a mixture of spark and dim. Those inclined to the negative hold on to the challenges experienced in the quest towards nationhood to draw conclusions linking occurrences such as military putsch, civil war, religious uprising, corruption and lately Boko Haram terrorism to define Nigeria.

But such occurrences, while they lend certain perspectives to the overall picture, they're more of the evidence of the resilience of nation rather than emblematic of its being. 

Likewise certain positives and experiences that shoot Nigeria high up on the ladder, like its vast population, abundant natural resources and unity in diversity. Both the negative and the positive combine to depict Nigeria at 60.

But while it is safe to strike a balance between the two, one cannot ignore the fact that certain developments have been remarkable in their impact on nationhood. A Nigerian had for instance won the Nobel prize for literature, others  have set world records in medicine , sports and many have been listed among the most resourceful in the world.

Sectoral leaders in the academia, economics, the military and others have also been widely acclaimed as some of the best. As an academic, I am not in any position to pass a favorable mark on any specific leader. But the obvious truth is that our progress in some critical sectors must be appraised and kudos given to individuals who have piloted the affairs of the nation directly or indirectly with all honesty and sincerity of purpose. 

One of such individuals is the current Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Yusufu  Buratai who has become a phenomenon in the history of Nigeria as a nation.  

The Buratai phenomenon is enormous to the extent that many attribute the continued existence of Nigeria to the ingenuity of President Muhammadu Buhari who appointed him the Chief of Army Staff. 

Before July 2015, Nigeria was literally on its knees and was on the verge of losing its cooperate identity. It was so wracked by terrorism and  insurgency that it was losing territories that combined are bigger in land mass to many countries of the world. 

The feats recorded by its citizens in medicine, sports, literature etc the world over no longer mean anything as the country was becoming a laughing stock due to how it was unable to manage its internal crisis. 

But on appointment in July 2015, Lt. Gen Buratai, assessed the security  situation on ground and rather than feel intimidated vowed not only to defeat the insurgents but compel them to beg for peace.

He said under his command, Boko Haram would either beg for peace or face the wrath of highly motivated and combat ready soldiers and to show his seriousness, changed the operational code of the counter insurgency in Northeast Nigeria from “Operation Zaman Lafiya” to “Operation  Lafiya Dole.:

He explained that “Since Boko Haram terrorists have refused peace we will now force them to accept peace and promised to be actively involved in the operations to end Boko Haram. 
He added: “The peace that permeated Borno and transcended Lake Chad will soon return. My wish was to clear Konduga of Boko Haram vestige so that people can return home to rebuild their houses."

The terrorists probably using their old template which they used in terrorising Nigerians in the past thought they could intimidate him, hence went and attacked his village, Buratai; but like a typical tactician, the Army Chief did not allow emotions get the better of him and focussed on his mission.

Less than six months after he gave his word, Nigerian troops penetrated the den of the insurgents in all parts of the Northeast, liberated the 19 local governments held by the insurgents and destroyed their camps. In less than a year after his appointment,   troops entered what could be termed the operational headquarters of the terrorists group at Camp Zero in Sambisa Forest, killing many of the terrorists, totally dislodging them and took the flag and the Qur'an of their  leader, Abubakar Shekau and handed it over to President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Since then, it had been a series of winning streaks against the insurgents, the height of which was an audio tape intercepted around July this year, in which the Boko Haram leader was heared crying and pleading for mercy for his members who he admitted are being pummeled by Nigerian troops. 

In between, several of the Boko Haram top commanders have either been captured, killed or surrendered and submitted themselves to troops.
The feats at the battlefield were a radical departure from what obtained in the past when the insurgents were attacking cities and towns as well as military camps at will with the most humiliating being the attack of the operational headquarters of the Mutinationak Joint Task Force (MNJTF) at Baga, Borno State and the slaughter of nearly 1000 number of civilians.

Buratai has been outstanding in the swift manner he turned around the army, restructured the institution and restored peoples' confidence in the institution. It is said that without Buratai's leadership of the Nigerian Army, there probably would have been no Nigeria to celebrate 60 years of independence.

Many wonder how, the Chief of Army Staff has succeeded where his predecessors failed. Many say it has to do with his style of leadership where he sees only success and is totally blind to the possibility of falling on a mission. The tactic of leading the troops from the front has also contributed to the success of the fight while other strategies like the introduction of Super Camps has also helped.

To show his level of confidence, the COAS has only recently tasked troops in the Northeast theatre of operation to brace up for the final defeat of Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgents.

While speaking with troops who were on training at the army special super camp at Ngamdu Lt. General Buratai directed them to take their training seriously in preparation for the speedy conclusion of the war against insurgency in Nigeria.

He said "As you all know, we have been on this ground for long and I expect us to remain resolute, selflessly committed and push for the total defeat of the Insurgents in the coming days.

“I assure you that what is remaining is very small but it will require us to put more effort, more determination and more courage to complete the remaining part of the battle soon.

Beyond that, the Chief of Army  Staff has encouraged troops to deploy more intelligence in prosecuting the ongoing counter insurgency in the North East which has brought positive results. 
Lt. General Buratai has also ensured the provision of additional military hardware and platforms to enhance the speedy completion of the ongoing war against insurgency in the North East and has taken delivery of more equipment and platforms that have been deployed to various theatres of operations across the country.

The Army Chief has also undertaken  operational tours to areas generally seen as the routes and directions of approach into Maiduguri by the Boko Haram/ISWAP Criminals seriously.

He has in that bid, visited carious troops’ locations in the North East theatre of operation such as the Army Super Camp 1 at Molai and the Special Forces Super Camp 12 in Chabbol near Maiduguri, Forward Operating Base at Alau Dam, outskirts of Maiduguri and also personally led the troops on reconnaissance around Mairimari Forest located southeast of Tamsu Ngamdua in Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State.

He has also been to Maigilari Forest in the east of Tamsu Ngamdua in the southwest of the same Mafa Local Government Area.

This is why Nigerians in marking 60 years of independence are also celebrating the gallantry of the Chief of Army Staff.

Bulama PhD wrote this article from Yola.
By Ibrahim Bulama 

As Nigeria is celebrating 60 years of independence, it presents a picture of a mixture of spark and dim. Those inclined to the negative hold on to the challenges experienced in the quest towards nationhood to draw conclusions linking occurrences such as military putsch, civil war, religious uprising, corruption and lately Boko Haram terrorism to define Nigeria.

But such occurrences, while they lend certain perspectives to the overall picture, they're more of the evidence of the resilience of nation rather than emblematic of its being. 

Likewise certain positives and experiences that shoot Nigeria high up on the ladder, like its vast population, abundant natural resources and unity in diversity. Both the negative and the positive combine to depict Nigeria at 60.

But while it is safe to strike a balance between the two, one cannot ignore the fact that certain developments have been remarkable in their impact on nationhood. A Nigerian had for instance won the Nobel prize for literature, others  have set world records in medicine , sports and many have been listed among the most resourceful in the world.

Sectoral leaders in the academia, economics, the military and others have also been widely acclaimed as some of the best. As an academic, I am not in any position to pass a favorable mark on any specific leader. But the obvious truth is that our progress in some critical sectors must be appraised and kudos given to individuals who have piloted the affairs of the nation directly or indirectly with all honesty and sincerity of purpose. 

One of such individuals is the current Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Yusufu  Buratai who has become a phenomenon in the history of Nigeria as a nation.  

The Buratai phenomenon is enormous to the extent that many attribute the continued existence of Nigeria to the ingenuity of President Muhammadu Buhari who appointed him the Chief of Army Staff. 

Before July 2015, Nigeria was literally on its knees and was on the verge of losing its cooperate identity. It was so wracked by terrorism and  insurgency that it was losing territories that combined are bigger in land mass to many countries of the world. 

The feats recorded by its citizens in medicine, sports, literature etc the world over no longer mean anything as the country was becoming a laughing stock due to how it was unable to manage its internal crisis. 

But on appointment in July 2015, Lt. Gen Buratai, assessed the security  situation on ground and rather than feel intimidated vowed not only to defeat the insurgents but compel them to beg for peace.

He said under his command, Boko Haram would either beg for peace or face the wrath of highly motivated and combat ready soldiers and to show his seriousness, changed the operational code of the counter insurgency in Northeast Nigeria from “Operation Zaman Lafiya” to “Operation  Lafiya Dole.:

He explained that “Since Boko Haram terrorists have refused peace we will now force them to accept peace and promised to be actively involved in the operations to end Boko Haram. 
He added: “The peace that permeated Borno and transcended Lake Chad will soon return. My wish was to clear Konduga of Boko Haram vestige so that people can return home to rebuild their houses."

The terrorists probably using their old template which they used in terrorising Nigerians in the past thought they could intimidate him, hence went and attacked his village, Buratai; but like a typical tactician, the Army Chief did not allow emotions get the better of him and focussed on his mission.

Less than six months after he gave his word, Nigerian troops penetrated the den of the insurgents in all parts of the Northeast, liberated the 19 local governments held by the insurgents and destroyed their camps. In less than a year after his appointment,   troops entered what could be termed the operational headquarters of the terrorists group at Camp Zero in Sambisa Forest, killing many of the terrorists, totally dislodging them and took the flag and the Qur'an of their  leader, Abubakar Shekau and handed it over to President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Since then, it had been a series of winning streaks against the insurgents, the height of which was an audio tape intercepted around July this year, in which the Boko Haram leader was heared crying and pleading for mercy for his members who he admitted are being pummeled by Nigerian troops. 

In between, several of the Boko Haram top commanders have either been captured, killed or surrendered and submitted themselves to troops.
The feats at the battlefield were a radical departure from what obtained in the past when the insurgents were attacking cities and towns as well as military camps at will with the most humiliating being the attack of the operational headquarters of the Mutinationak Joint Task Force (MNJTF) at Baga, Borno State and the slaughter of nearly 1000 number of civilians.

Buratai has been outstanding in the swift manner he turned around the army, restructured the institution and restored peoples' confidence in the institution. It is said that without Buratai's leadership of the Nigerian Army, there probably would have been no Nigeria to celebrate 60 years of independence.

Many wonder how, the Chief of Army Staff has succeeded where his predecessors failed. Many say it has to do with his style of leadership where he sees only success and is totally blind to the possibility of falling on a mission. The tactic of leading the troops from the front has also contributed to the success of the fight while other strategies like the introduction of Super Camps has also helped.

To show his level of confidence, the COAS has only recently tasked troops in the Northeast theatre of operation to brace up for the final defeat of Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgents.

While speaking with troops who were on training at the army special super camp at Ngamdu Lt. General Buratai directed them to take their training seriously in preparation for the speedy conclusion of the war against insurgency in Nigeria.

He said "As you all know, we have been on this ground for long and I expect us to remain resolute, selflessly committed and push for the total defeat of the Insurgents in the coming days.

“I assure you that what is remaining is very small but it will require us to put more effort, more determination and more courage to complete the remaining part of the battle soon.

Beyond that, the Chief of Army  Staff has encouraged troops to deploy more intelligence in prosecuting the ongoing counter insurgency in the North East which has brought positive results. 
Lt. General Buratai has also ensured the provision of additional military hardware and platforms to enhance the speedy completion of the ongoing war against insurgency in the North East and has taken delivery of more equipment and platforms that have been deployed to various theatres of operations across the country.

The Army Chief has also undertaken  operational tours to areas generally seen as the routes and directions of approach into Maiduguri by the Boko Haram/ISWAP Criminals seriously.

He has in that bid, visited carious troops’ locations in the North East theatre of operation such as the Army Super Camp 1 at Molai and the Special Forces Super Camp 12 in Chabbol near Maiduguri, Forward Operating Base at Alau Dam, outskirts of Maiduguri and also personally led the troops on reconnaissance around Mairimari Forest located southeast of Tamsu Ngamdua in Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State.

He has also been to Maigilari Forest in the east of Tamsu Ngamdua in the southwest of the same Mafa Local Government Area.

This is why Nigerians in marking 60 years of independence are also celebrating the gallantry of the Chief of Army Staff.

Bulama PhD wrote this article from Yola.

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