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Showing posts with label Crime. Show all posts

Al-Qaeda: Anti- Terrorism Coalition tasks Police, DSS to be vigilant

Al-Qaeda: Anti- Terrorism Coalition tasks Police, DSS to be vigilant

...warns citizens against promoting false narratives

By Dansu Peter 

Following a report by the United States over plans by Islamic militant group, al-Qaeda, to infiltrate Southern Nigeria and expand its network across West Africa, the Coalition Against Terrorism in Nigeria (CATN) has charged the police, Department of States Services and other security agencies to be on red alert.  

The anti-terrorism organisation also warned Nigerians to equally be vigilant and avoid promoting attempts by some individuals or groups to sow unwholesome propaganda at a time the military has shoved these terrorists to obscure parts of the north.

The Coalition Against Terrorism in Nigeria gave this charge at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja. 

Speaking on behalf of the group, Barr. Abdulmalik Alfa said all hands must be on deck to compliment the efforts of the military. 

According to Alfa, the police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, DSS and other stakeholders have critical roles to play to support the troops. 

"There is no doubt that the sustained offensive by the Nigerian Army against the Boko Haram terrorists and other militant groups across the country has indeed placed these nefarious groups in disarray," he said. 

"This fact was buttressed by the exploits of the Chief of Army Staff, who had been leading the charge against the Boko Haram terror group by physically relocating to North-East Nigeria and directing the counter-insurgency operations.

"The Coalition Against Terrorism in Nigeria has, on numerous occasions encountered the Nigerian troops in operations in North-East Nigeria during some of our on the spot assessment surveys in North-East Nigeria. This is indeed commendable and mostly responsible for the abandonment of the mission of the terror group towards expanding their nefarious activities to other parts of the country.  

"We consequently wish to state that there is an urgent need for other critical stakeholders to join hands with the Nigerian Military by extending support in areas necessary towards addressing the threats posed by the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist group in the country. 

"We also state that the Nigerian Air force has a critical role to play in the war against terrorism by ensuring seamless cooperation with the ground troops in their various operations. This is the applicable norm in countries battling insurgencies. The Nigerian Airforce as a critical stakeholder should continue to sustain and weaken the terrorists through airpower while the ground troops continue to engage in clearance operations. 

"The Coalition Against Terrorism in Nigeria also states that from our preliminary reports, other security agencies such as the State Security Services, Nigerian Police, the Civil Defense, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Nigerian Immigration and the Nigerian Customs Service all have invaluable roles to play in addressing the various security challenges in the country.  

" We wish to state that the Nigerian Police Force, as well as the DSS, have the responsibility of ensuring that they secure areas that have been cleared of Boko Haram terrorists because the operations of the Nigerian Army is mobile and not stationary. After liberating communities of Boko Haram elements, it is expected that the security of these communities automatically rests on their shoulders. "

CATN, however, urged the international community to render genuine assistance to Nigeria due to the country's strategic importance in the African region and among the comity of nations. 

Going forward, it advised the US and others to adopt "proper channels of sharing Intel with the security agencies in Nigeria rather than going public as this would go a long way in ensuring that Nigerian citizens do not panic unnecessarily given the sensitivity of such information and the impact it would have on the psychological wellbeing of Nigerians.

"We wish to at this point state that there is a need for the anti-terrorism wing of the Nigerian Police Force to be on alert to ensure that terrorist cells do not spring up anywhere in Nigeria. This is especially necessary with the recent Intel of the attempt by the Al-Qaeda terrorist group to set up terrorist cells in some parts of Nigeria." 

While calling on Nigerians to avoid being used to promote terrorists' agenda, the group urged "security agencies to be vigilant in their operations to ensure that terrorist networks across the world do not infiltrate any part of Nigeria."
...warns citizens against promoting false narratives

By Dansu Peter 

Following a report by the United States over plans by Islamic militant group, al-Qaeda, to infiltrate Southern Nigeria and expand its network across West Africa, the Coalition Against Terrorism in Nigeria (CATN) has charged the police, Department of States Services and other security agencies to be on red alert.  

The anti-terrorism organisation also warned Nigerians to equally be vigilant and avoid promoting attempts by some individuals or groups to sow unwholesome propaganda at a time the military has shoved these terrorists to obscure parts of the north.

The Coalition Against Terrorism in Nigeria gave this charge at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja. 

Speaking on behalf of the group, Barr. Abdulmalik Alfa said all hands must be on deck to compliment the efforts of the military. 

According to Alfa, the police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, DSS and other stakeholders have critical roles to play to support the troops. 

"There is no doubt that the sustained offensive by the Nigerian Army against the Boko Haram terrorists and other militant groups across the country has indeed placed these nefarious groups in disarray," he said. 

"This fact was buttressed by the exploits of the Chief of Army Staff, who had been leading the charge against the Boko Haram terror group by physically relocating to North-East Nigeria and directing the counter-insurgency operations.

"The Coalition Against Terrorism in Nigeria has, on numerous occasions encountered the Nigerian troops in operations in North-East Nigeria during some of our on the spot assessment surveys in North-East Nigeria. This is indeed commendable and mostly responsible for the abandonment of the mission of the terror group towards expanding their nefarious activities to other parts of the country.  

"We consequently wish to state that there is an urgent need for other critical stakeholders to join hands with the Nigerian Military by extending support in areas necessary towards addressing the threats posed by the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist group in the country. 

"We also state that the Nigerian Air force has a critical role to play in the war against terrorism by ensuring seamless cooperation with the ground troops in their various operations. This is the applicable norm in countries battling insurgencies. The Nigerian Airforce as a critical stakeholder should continue to sustain and weaken the terrorists through airpower while the ground troops continue to engage in clearance operations. 

"The Coalition Against Terrorism in Nigeria also states that from our preliminary reports, other security agencies such as the State Security Services, Nigerian Police, the Civil Defense, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Nigerian Immigration and the Nigerian Customs Service all have invaluable roles to play in addressing the various security challenges in the country.  

" We wish to state that the Nigerian Police Force, as well as the DSS, have the responsibility of ensuring that they secure areas that have been cleared of Boko Haram terrorists because the operations of the Nigerian Army is mobile and not stationary. After liberating communities of Boko Haram elements, it is expected that the security of these communities automatically rests on their shoulders. "

CATN, however, urged the international community to render genuine assistance to Nigeria due to the country's strategic importance in the African region and among the comity of nations. 

Going forward, it advised the US and others to adopt "proper channels of sharing Intel with the security agencies in Nigeria rather than going public as this would go a long way in ensuring that Nigerian citizens do not panic unnecessarily given the sensitivity of such information and the impact it would have on the psychological wellbeing of Nigerians.

"We wish to at this point state that there is a need for the anti-terrorism wing of the Nigerian Police Force to be on alert to ensure that terrorist cells do not spring up anywhere in Nigeria. This is especially necessary with the recent Intel of the attempt by the Al-Qaeda terrorist group to set up terrorist cells in some parts of Nigeria." 

While calling on Nigerians to avoid being used to promote terrorists' agenda, the group urged "security agencies to be vigilant in their operations to ensure that terrorist networks across the world do not infiltrate any part of Nigeria."

Al- Qaeda Scare: Nigerian Army's Operation positive identification as the antidote, By Kennedy Nwaboshi

Al- Qaeda Scare: Nigerian Army's Operation positive identification as the antidote, By Kennedy Nwaboshi

By Kennedy Nwaboshi 

The recent scare of the infiltration of Nigeria by elements of the terror network Al-Qaeda calls for concern from critical stakeholders in Nigeria.  I am convinced that this is indeed not the time to play to the gallery in the task of preserving the territorial integrity of the country. 

I recall some months ago when the Nigerian Army introduced Operation Positive Identification to combat the threats of criminal insurgency, terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping, herdsmen-farmers clashes, cultism, and communal crises in the country, some mischief makers questioned the legality of such operations without looking at it overarching benefit to the country. 

In some quarters eyebrows were raised questioning the rationale for such exercise and ignoring the explanations put forward by the Nigerian Army.

In a nutshell, Operation Positive Identification is a strategy introduced by the Nigerian Army to combat crimes and threats from within and outside the country to checkmate the activities of bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, ethnic militia, cattle rustlers, and others.

I have long stated in numerous forums that the Nigerian Army has not just been proactive, but also integrated its operations to include internal security operations that the civil police ought to be in charge of. This is a dynamic strategy that calls for commendation from stakeholders that are desirous of the entrenchment of peace and sustainable development in Nigeria.

As we all know, the role of the Nigerian Army is explicitly stated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, again it must be noted that there are also provisions for the Nigerian Military to be called upon if the civil police is overwhelmed. This is the reality before us, and we must commend the Nigerian Army for its efforts in internal security operations in the country so far. 

The crux of this piece is hinged in the fact that there is an urgent need for  the civil police as well as the secret police to embark on the positive identification of citizens and implore all possible means to ensure that no terror component extends into the Southern parts of the country to establish terror cells. This is necessary in light of the recent revelations that some terrorist organizations are planning to establish cells across the country up south in the latest Intel by the United States of America. 

I have issues with the way and manner the United States of America decided to share such Intel in the public domain rather than with security agencies in Nigeria. As an aside, I could not help but question the motive behind the stands of the United States of America, a country that ought to know better about counter-insurgency operations and the sharing of Intel amongst countries. Nevertheless, it becomes imperative for the Nigerian Military as well as the Nigerian police and other security agencies to continue to do all within its powers to ensure that Nigeria remains safe for all and that the activities of terror and militant organizations are not propagated in any part of the country. 

I stand to be corrected, as stated earlier; one of such ways this could be achieved is through the Operation Positive Identification earlier introduced by the Nigerian Army across the country. The Nigerian Police must see that no terrorist cell is established in any part of the country. The reason being that the Nigerian Army has set the standard in an operation that is strictly internal security. 

It must also be stated that the Military should not be responsible for chasing Boko Haram elements and ensuring that they don't infiltrate our population. That is why we have the civil police as well as the secret police. This is what is applicable in other climes. However, unfortunately, in Nigeria, the Military is seen as the super force with magical powers to be everywhere at the same time. 

I must state that if we continue in this manner, then defeating terrorism and other forms of criminalities in Nigeria would be a mirage because the ranks of these terror organizations would continue to grow. They would operate freely in the country, and Nigeria would be doomed.  The Nigerian police must rise to the occasion in this critical point of our existence. They must ensure a system in place that would easily give out strangers in our midst. 

They must deploy modern-day crime prevention tools that would trace criminal elements in their tracks and nip their activities in the bud before it escalates. That is how to be proactive, and that is why it must remain the collective duty of the civil police as well as the secret police to ensure that Nigeria is free from radicals that bent on inflicting terror on the people.

This inadvertently brings me to the leadership strides of the Chief of Army Staff in the operations of the Nigerian Army. As I mentioned earlier, the civil police, as well as the secret police, must take a cue from the various operations of the Nigerian Army and model theirs in such a way that would bring about the required results in internal security operations.

Operation Positive Identification remains valuable and must be built upon by the civil police and the secret police. The Nigerian Army has indeed set the foundation for its smooth takeoff. In my opinion, it would be against the interest of the country if this initiative is not expanded and utilized, especially with the recent threats posed by the Al-Qaida terrorist organizations in Nigeria.  

As a people, we must also realize that we all have a role to play in addressing the Al-Qaeda scare in Nigeria. We must extend that total cooperation to the security agencies by providing information as at when necessary whenever we notice strange faces and movements in our localities. We should also form the habit of putting in place mechanisms that would ensure seamless communication with the security agencies. If this is done, it will go a long way in addressing the security issues in the country. 

It is also my considered opinion that our actions are also crucial to the success of whatever security operation that would be introduced either by the police or the Military. We must ensure that wherever we are going, we must carry at least a necessary means of identification. That is essentially what the Operation Positive Identification is about before mischief-makers twisted the narrative.  

I am convinced that with the right attitude, we can defeat terrorism and other acts of criminalities in Nigeria. All that is needed is the will, and once there is a will, there would be a way. There must also be a synergy between the various arms of the Armed Forces, as well as with the various paramilitary organizations.  

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, as well as the Nigerian Immigration Service, must be partners in this venture. They must come to terms that their operations are as critical as those of the Army, the civil police and the secret police when one uses the principle of structural functionalism is a framework that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. 

The mistakes of the past must not be repeated. We all witnessed the consequences of our lackadaisical approach to dealing with the issues as they came up till Boko Haram and its affiliates almost grounded Nigeria. Operation Positive Identification is indeed a time tested strategy and must be put into action by all the security agencies in Nigeria without exception, and not until then; it is not yet Uhuru.

Nwaboshi is a public affairs analyst and wrote from Abuja.
By Kennedy Nwaboshi 

The recent scare of the infiltration of Nigeria by elements of the terror network Al-Qaeda calls for concern from critical stakeholders in Nigeria.  I am convinced that this is indeed not the time to play to the gallery in the task of preserving the territorial integrity of the country. 

I recall some months ago when the Nigerian Army introduced Operation Positive Identification to combat the threats of criminal insurgency, terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping, herdsmen-farmers clashes, cultism, and communal crises in the country, some mischief makers questioned the legality of such operations without looking at it overarching benefit to the country. 

In some quarters eyebrows were raised questioning the rationale for such exercise and ignoring the explanations put forward by the Nigerian Army.

In a nutshell, Operation Positive Identification is a strategy introduced by the Nigerian Army to combat crimes and threats from within and outside the country to checkmate the activities of bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, ethnic militia, cattle rustlers, and others.

I have long stated in numerous forums that the Nigerian Army has not just been proactive, but also integrated its operations to include internal security operations that the civil police ought to be in charge of. This is a dynamic strategy that calls for commendation from stakeholders that are desirous of the entrenchment of peace and sustainable development in Nigeria.

As we all know, the role of the Nigerian Army is explicitly stated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, again it must be noted that there are also provisions for the Nigerian Military to be called upon if the civil police is overwhelmed. This is the reality before us, and we must commend the Nigerian Army for its efforts in internal security operations in the country so far. 

The crux of this piece is hinged in the fact that there is an urgent need for  the civil police as well as the secret police to embark on the positive identification of citizens and implore all possible means to ensure that no terror component extends into the Southern parts of the country to establish terror cells. This is necessary in light of the recent revelations that some terrorist organizations are planning to establish cells across the country up south in the latest Intel by the United States of America. 

I have issues with the way and manner the United States of America decided to share such Intel in the public domain rather than with security agencies in Nigeria. As an aside, I could not help but question the motive behind the stands of the United States of America, a country that ought to know better about counter-insurgency operations and the sharing of Intel amongst countries. Nevertheless, it becomes imperative for the Nigerian Military as well as the Nigerian police and other security agencies to continue to do all within its powers to ensure that Nigeria remains safe for all and that the activities of terror and militant organizations are not propagated in any part of the country. 

I stand to be corrected, as stated earlier; one of such ways this could be achieved is through the Operation Positive Identification earlier introduced by the Nigerian Army across the country. The Nigerian Police must see that no terrorist cell is established in any part of the country. The reason being that the Nigerian Army has set the standard in an operation that is strictly internal security. 

It must also be stated that the Military should not be responsible for chasing Boko Haram elements and ensuring that they don't infiltrate our population. That is why we have the civil police as well as the secret police. This is what is applicable in other climes. However, unfortunately, in Nigeria, the Military is seen as the super force with magical powers to be everywhere at the same time. 

I must state that if we continue in this manner, then defeating terrorism and other forms of criminalities in Nigeria would be a mirage because the ranks of these terror organizations would continue to grow. They would operate freely in the country, and Nigeria would be doomed.  The Nigerian police must rise to the occasion in this critical point of our existence. They must ensure a system in place that would easily give out strangers in our midst. 

They must deploy modern-day crime prevention tools that would trace criminal elements in their tracks and nip their activities in the bud before it escalates. That is how to be proactive, and that is why it must remain the collective duty of the civil police as well as the secret police to ensure that Nigeria is free from radicals that bent on inflicting terror on the people.

This inadvertently brings me to the leadership strides of the Chief of Army Staff in the operations of the Nigerian Army. As I mentioned earlier, the civil police, as well as the secret police, must take a cue from the various operations of the Nigerian Army and model theirs in such a way that would bring about the required results in internal security operations.

Operation Positive Identification remains valuable and must be built upon by the civil police and the secret police. The Nigerian Army has indeed set the foundation for its smooth takeoff. In my opinion, it would be against the interest of the country if this initiative is not expanded and utilized, especially with the recent threats posed by the Al-Qaida terrorist organizations in Nigeria.  

As a people, we must also realize that we all have a role to play in addressing the Al-Qaeda scare in Nigeria. We must extend that total cooperation to the security agencies by providing information as at when necessary whenever we notice strange faces and movements in our localities. We should also form the habit of putting in place mechanisms that would ensure seamless communication with the security agencies. If this is done, it will go a long way in addressing the security issues in the country. 

It is also my considered opinion that our actions are also crucial to the success of whatever security operation that would be introduced either by the police or the Military. We must ensure that wherever we are going, we must carry at least a necessary means of identification. That is essentially what the Operation Positive Identification is about before mischief-makers twisted the narrative.  

I am convinced that with the right attitude, we can defeat terrorism and other acts of criminalities in Nigeria. All that is needed is the will, and once there is a will, there would be a way. There must also be a synergy between the various arms of the Armed Forces, as well as with the various paramilitary organizations.  

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, as well as the Nigerian Immigration Service, must be partners in this venture. They must come to terms that their operations are as critical as those of the Army, the civil police and the secret police when one uses the principle of structural functionalism is a framework that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. 

The mistakes of the past must not be repeated. We all witnessed the consequences of our lackadaisical approach to dealing with the issues as they came up till Boko Haram and its affiliates almost grounded Nigeria. Operation Positive Identification is indeed a time tested strategy and must be put into action by all the security agencies in Nigeria without exception, and not until then; it is not yet Uhuru.

Nwaboshi is a public affairs analyst and wrote from Abuja.

Buhari, Current Service Chiefs Still The Best for Nigeria - South- East Traditional Ruler

Buhari, Current Service Chiefs Still The Best for Nigeria - South- East Traditional Ruler

By Dansu Peter 

A prominent traditional ruler in the Southeast, Igwe Friday Imoko of Effium, in Ebonyi State, has described President Muhammadu Buhari and the current set of Service Chiefs as the best for the country. 

The Traditional Ruler said while speaking with newsmen at Abakaliki during the launch of the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, that if one is to go by uninformed comments about the fight against insecurity in Nigeria, one may be misled into thinking that the President and the military are not doing enough. 

The Igwe cautioned against what he described as herd mentality in the assesment of the ongoing bid to address the security challenges in Nigeria stating that what is being reported in most media houses does not capture the reality on ground. 

He said from the close interaction he has had with the military recently, he has been able to do his own assesment of the situation and has come to appreciate the much the military is doing to address all the security challenges facing  the country. 

"If you go by the herd mentality, you will think that the service chiefs are just sitting down and doing nothing and you may try to justify calls for their removal.

"But if you're privileged to observe as I've done lately, the efforts of the military at a close range, then you'll come to understand what is happening and the level of sacrifice by the military," he stated.

The Igwe said from what he has observed of the military of recent, that they are committed not just to ward off external aggression, but are ready to defend the territorial integrity of the nation as well as collaborate with the civil authority to check other forms of crime.

He described the current set of service chiefs as the best the country has had saying the success of troops over banditry and insurgency is a reflection of the professional sophistication of the army.

He said, "The Nigerian military has never been tasked to this extent since independence. They are all over the country either fighting to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria or enforce peace or fight criminals. 

"They are in the Niger Delta, the Southwest, Southeast, Northcentral, Northwest and Northeast at the same time"

He said apart from the insurgency in the Northeast, there are other challenges like banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, cattle rustling and communal clashes that the military is dealing with that Nigerians should appreciate. 

The Igwe particularly commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai for going to the Northeast to stay in the trenches with troops saying that is a sign of good leadership.

The Traditional Ruler expressed surprise that the army could still find the time to embark on projects at a time they are contending with many security issues from different parts of the country

He said, "I am surprised that the army could still find time and embark on projects for communities like the Army Reference Hospital in Abakaliki which they're building. 

"This is a good gesture and we appreciate it because that is what we need here especially in this era where medicare is of utmost importance to people "

The Igwe blasted  those  who have continued to say negative things about the country and the military saying they do not  mean well for the country adding it is high time people begin to appreciate the President's commitment towards making Nigeria a peaceful and secured place to live in.

Igwe Imoko , said he and many traditional rulers had come to Abakaliki to thank the Chief of Army Staff for considering Abakaliki for the good work he is doing on security and for the siting of the Army Reference Hospital in Abakaliki.

He said though they did not meet the army chief in person but were still happy with the kind gesture and prayed for the good health and wellbeing of Buratai and the other sevice chiefs.

The Chief of Army Staff was represented at the occasion which held in Abakaliki last week.

The Army Reference Hospital is expected to serve the host community as well as the entire Southeast in the provision of medical health services.
By Dansu Peter 

A prominent traditional ruler in the Southeast, Igwe Friday Imoko of Effium, in Ebonyi State, has described President Muhammadu Buhari and the current set of Service Chiefs as the best for the country. 

The Traditional Ruler said while speaking with newsmen at Abakaliki during the launch of the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, that if one is to go by uninformed comments about the fight against insecurity in Nigeria, one may be misled into thinking that the President and the military are not doing enough. 

The Igwe cautioned against what he described as herd mentality in the assesment of the ongoing bid to address the security challenges in Nigeria stating that what is being reported in most media houses does not capture the reality on ground. 

He said from the close interaction he has had with the military recently, he has been able to do his own assesment of the situation and has come to appreciate the much the military is doing to address all the security challenges facing  the country. 

"If you go by the herd mentality, you will think that the service chiefs are just sitting down and doing nothing and you may try to justify calls for their removal.

"But if you're privileged to observe as I've done lately, the efforts of the military at a close range, then you'll come to understand what is happening and the level of sacrifice by the military," he stated.

The Igwe said from what he has observed of the military of recent, that they are committed not just to ward off external aggression, but are ready to defend the territorial integrity of the nation as well as collaborate with the civil authority to check other forms of crime.

He described the current set of service chiefs as the best the country has had saying the success of troops over banditry and insurgency is a reflection of the professional sophistication of the army.

He said, "The Nigerian military has never been tasked to this extent since independence. They are all over the country either fighting to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria or enforce peace or fight criminals. 

"They are in the Niger Delta, the Southwest, Southeast, Northcentral, Northwest and Northeast at the same time"

He said apart from the insurgency in the Northeast, there are other challenges like banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, cattle rustling and communal clashes that the military is dealing with that Nigerians should appreciate. 

The Igwe particularly commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai for going to the Northeast to stay in the trenches with troops saying that is a sign of good leadership.

The Traditional Ruler expressed surprise that the army could still find the time to embark on projects at a time they are contending with many security issues from different parts of the country

He said, "I am surprised that the army could still find time and embark on projects for communities like the Army Reference Hospital in Abakaliki which they're building. 

"This is a good gesture and we appreciate it because that is what we need here especially in this era where medicare is of utmost importance to people "

The Igwe blasted  those  who have continued to say negative things about the country and the military saying they do not  mean well for the country adding it is high time people begin to appreciate the President's commitment towards making Nigeria a peaceful and secured place to live in.

Igwe Imoko , said he and many traditional rulers had come to Abakaliki to thank the Chief of Army Staff for considering Abakaliki for the good work he is doing on security and for the siting of the Army Reference Hospital in Abakaliki.

He said though they did not meet the army chief in person but were still happy with the kind gesture and prayed for the good health and wellbeing of Buratai and the other sevice chiefs.

The Chief of Army Staff was represented at the occasion which held in Abakaliki last week.

The Army Reference Hospital is expected to serve the host community as well as the entire Southeast in the provision of medical health services.

Nigerian Army as agent of development, By Hyacinth Ogbu

Nigerian Army as agent of development, By Hyacinth Ogbu

By Hyacinth Ogbu 

Worldwide, the Army traditionally plays the role of securing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations. Excitingly, in Nigeria, the Army has gone a notch higher by establishing its imprimatur as a strong agent of development through the provision of awful and charming infrastructural facilities and social amenities to various communities in the country which play host to them.

Never in the recent history of Nigeria has the country been troubled by multifaceted insecurities than what it is experiencing at the moment. To say, civil security has been overwhelmed by these orchestrated insecurities is stating the obvious. However, the Nigerian Army has never belched each time it is called for intervention; but rescues the endangered Nigerians.

And almost always, the Nigerian Army has been the last resort and proved its mettle as the guardian angel of the Nigerian people. In the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and North Central, the Army has shadowed as great and admirable emancipators of a people trapped by a vicious circle of violence and bloodbath.

Even with the resurgent insecurities, the Army has risen to task, especially in containing the acts of armed banditry and other criminalities troubling the Northwest. The launch of “Operation Sahel Sanity” by the COAS and leader of the counter-insurgency operations, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai has landed with resounding success; restoring peace and security. 

President Muhammadu Buhari has never flinched on his responsibility of deploying the Army to assist civil security to provide security and to ensure that there is peace in every part of Nigeria. 

But sometimes, appreciation from beneficiaries of an effort or project is difficult and rare. It is normal with human beings. In any case, one part of Nigeria that  deeply appreciatives  and excited with the Nigerian Army is the Southeast. This is a region once held captive in their fatherland by armed criminal elements. 

These evil men masterminded gruesome murders, violence, constantly sealed up the Southeast unlawfully and recklessly in exercise of barbaric might. Citizens  were subjected to untold hardships in the region. Innocent and law-abiding Nigerians became targets of molestations, harassments and intimidations by the criminal elements assembled into various gangs. Many Ndi’gbo and our visitors were even afraid to travel home to celebrate yuletide and new yam  festivities because these elements laced the killings with armed robbery and kidnappings.

Nonetheless, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General TY Buratai launched the first military exercise code named “Operation Python Dance I” (Egwu Eke I), spanning from November 27 to December 27, 2016. The one-month military exercise crushed the season of armed robberies, kidnappings, cultism, inter-communal clashes, herdsmen-farmers clashes and associated violence in Nigeria’s Southeast region. The Army patrols, road blocks and checkpoints restored instant peace, tranquility and security to a people immensely troubled by bands of armed criminals, ethnic militias, miscreants and hoodlums.

Similarly, a repeat edition of the “Operation Python Dance II” (Egwu Eke II) was also conducted in the Southeast a year later, in 2017. It recorded similar positive impacts in securing the lives and property of law-abiding Nigerians in the region. Largely, the Nigerian Army has been able to rescue a region once in the jaws of armed men, tormentors and killers. Every part of Nigeria has experienced the saving interventions of the Army.

But apart from performing its natural and constitutional obligations, the Nigerian Army has marketed itself uniquely under the Buhari Presidency and its leadership by Gen. Buratai for introducing a third mandate in its operations. The Nigerian Army today is vigorously pursuing the agenda of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  in various sectors in host communities across Nigeria.

Anywhere there is the presence of the Nigerian Army, the host communities have had the special privilege of benefitting from water, road, electricity projects or health services. It is a deliberate strategy by Gen. Buratai  to win the heart and minds of host communities as well as endear them  to the Army. These critical capital projects have immensely supported civilian populations.

Therefore in 2017 in the Southeast, the 82 Division, Nigerian Army built an over N200 million water plant at  its Abakpa Cantonment Enugu.  It was personally commissioned by Gen. Buratai. The water treatment plant with a capacity of over one million litres per day was conceptualized to serve the military personnel of the Abakpa cantonment and the members of the host community of Abakpa.

Strikingly, though, the primary source of the water plant is the Ekulu River, but the efforts of the Nigerian Army in constructing the water treatment plant is the first time the Abakpa community accessed treated, portable and hygienic water in the history of their existence.  The residents were faced with the severe problem of availability of water. The natives usually go to distant places in search of water to perform domestic chores. But the Army had ended the era of suffering over water.  

And the Army has not rested on its oars in pursuing the agenda of repositioning the Army as well as consolidating on CSR gestures and benevolence  to host communities. A few days ago, Gen. Buratai performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital at Nkwagu Cantonment, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state.

The Army Reference Hospital is conceptualized as  a world class and state-of-the-art hospital designed to serve both the  Nigerian Army personnel and the civil populace in the South-East region of the country generally. Access to quality healthcare has been a major problem in most communities in Nigeria.  This is where the excitement over the project is derived.

Therefore, the decision of the Nigerian Army to avail the people of the Southeast this rare health facility is commendable and a legacy the people will enjoy for generations. It is an indication that the Army leadership, does not only think about security of the people, but also the health and physical wellbeing of Nigerians.

An elated Ebonyi state Governor David Umahi was full of eulogies for the Nigerian Army. The action of the Army leadership in establishing the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Abakaliki  has for the umpteenth time confirmed to the Governor that the Service Chiefs are indeed committed to defending the territorial integrity of the country and fond of the Nigerian people.

This latest action by the Army has compelled Gov. Umahi to stoutly dispute the National Assembly (NASS)on sack of the Service Chiefs. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of  the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Gov. Umahi hotly disputed the position of the NASS demanding  for the sack of the Service Chiefs in the wake of resurgent insecurities.

The Governor rather canvassed for more support and funding to security agencies.  Particularly, Umahi echoed that the Nigerian Army is not only appreciated in the region, but a blessing to the Southeast. 

His words; “I want to disagree with the National Assembly in my own view about the change of service chiefs. One thing I have realized is that we like change too much in this country. We want everybody to taste every seat. That is not what we need at this critical time of our security challenges. What we need is cooperation with the security agencies. The Chief of Army staff is also a very committed person. Very friendly to the civil society.”

Interpreting the issue  with the eye  and wisdom of an elder and a true leader, Gov. Umahi aligned with the position of President Buhari by insisting that “I will be suggesting to Mr. President in support of his retaining the Service Chiefs that we should increase their funding of the Armed Forces, we should increase their logistics, we should increase the programme that will bring information to the security agencies.”

He added; “So, I support Mr. President that instead of changing the Service Chiefs he should rather increase their funding and increase the frequency of his meetings with them. And also encourage civil society to come up with information that will assist the security agencies.”

Clairvoyant minds have sighted the capacity of the Nigerian Army and believe that with a little support by government and the civil population, Gen. Buratai’s leadership of the Army will surmount all insecurities soonest. Gen.  Buratai’s leadership of the Army has seamlessly continued to win more converts for the Buhari administration, in degrees even far more than the core politicians. 

The latest verdict of Nigerians in the Southeast is crystal that the Service Chiefs, particularly the COAS are all performing excellent jobs. Gen. Buratai particularly has brought uncommon values and panache to the Army such as professionalism, discipline, loyalty and patriotism.  Even the doubting Thomases are now beginning to see the wisdom of President Buhari  in insisting on still keeping  the Service Chiefs in office. The effects are palpable, as seen by everyone from the activities of Operation Sahel Sanity in the Northwest to now the Southeast. #


Ogbu PhD wrote this piece from Ebonyi State University,
By Hyacinth Ogbu 

Worldwide, the Army traditionally plays the role of securing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations. Excitingly, in Nigeria, the Army has gone a notch higher by establishing its imprimatur as a strong agent of development through the provision of awful and charming infrastructural facilities and social amenities to various communities in the country which play host to them.

Never in the recent history of Nigeria has the country been troubled by multifaceted insecurities than what it is experiencing at the moment. To say, civil security has been overwhelmed by these orchestrated insecurities is stating the obvious. However, the Nigerian Army has never belched each time it is called for intervention; but rescues the endangered Nigerians.

And almost always, the Nigerian Army has been the last resort and proved its mettle as the guardian angel of the Nigerian people. In the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and North Central, the Army has shadowed as great and admirable emancipators of a people trapped by a vicious circle of violence and bloodbath.

Even with the resurgent insecurities, the Army has risen to task, especially in containing the acts of armed banditry and other criminalities troubling the Northwest. The launch of “Operation Sahel Sanity” by the COAS and leader of the counter-insurgency operations, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai has landed with resounding success; restoring peace and security. 

President Muhammadu Buhari has never flinched on his responsibility of deploying the Army to assist civil security to provide security and to ensure that there is peace in every part of Nigeria. 

But sometimes, appreciation from beneficiaries of an effort or project is difficult and rare. It is normal with human beings. In any case, one part of Nigeria that  deeply appreciatives  and excited with the Nigerian Army is the Southeast. This is a region once held captive in their fatherland by armed criminal elements. 

These evil men masterminded gruesome murders, violence, constantly sealed up the Southeast unlawfully and recklessly in exercise of barbaric might. Citizens  were subjected to untold hardships in the region. Innocent and law-abiding Nigerians became targets of molestations, harassments and intimidations by the criminal elements assembled into various gangs. Many Ndi’gbo and our visitors were even afraid to travel home to celebrate yuletide and new yam  festivities because these elements laced the killings with armed robbery and kidnappings.

Nonetheless, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General TY Buratai launched the first military exercise code named “Operation Python Dance I” (Egwu Eke I), spanning from November 27 to December 27, 2016. The one-month military exercise crushed the season of armed robberies, kidnappings, cultism, inter-communal clashes, herdsmen-farmers clashes and associated violence in Nigeria’s Southeast region. The Army patrols, road blocks and checkpoints restored instant peace, tranquility and security to a people immensely troubled by bands of armed criminals, ethnic militias, miscreants and hoodlums.

Similarly, a repeat edition of the “Operation Python Dance II” (Egwu Eke II) was also conducted in the Southeast a year later, in 2017. It recorded similar positive impacts in securing the lives and property of law-abiding Nigerians in the region. Largely, the Nigerian Army has been able to rescue a region once in the jaws of armed men, tormentors and killers. Every part of Nigeria has experienced the saving interventions of the Army.

But apart from performing its natural and constitutional obligations, the Nigerian Army has marketed itself uniquely under the Buhari Presidency and its leadership by Gen. Buratai for introducing a third mandate in its operations. The Nigerian Army today is vigorously pursuing the agenda of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  in various sectors in host communities across Nigeria.

Anywhere there is the presence of the Nigerian Army, the host communities have had the special privilege of benefitting from water, road, electricity projects or health services. It is a deliberate strategy by Gen. Buratai  to win the heart and minds of host communities as well as endear them  to the Army. These critical capital projects have immensely supported civilian populations.

Therefore in 2017 in the Southeast, the 82 Division, Nigerian Army built an over N200 million water plant at  its Abakpa Cantonment Enugu.  It was personally commissioned by Gen. Buratai. The water treatment plant with a capacity of over one million litres per day was conceptualized to serve the military personnel of the Abakpa cantonment and the members of the host community of Abakpa.

Strikingly, though, the primary source of the water plant is the Ekulu River, but the efforts of the Nigerian Army in constructing the water treatment plant is the first time the Abakpa community accessed treated, portable and hygienic water in the history of their existence.  The residents were faced with the severe problem of availability of water. The natives usually go to distant places in search of water to perform domestic chores. But the Army had ended the era of suffering over water.  

And the Army has not rested on its oars in pursuing the agenda of repositioning the Army as well as consolidating on CSR gestures and benevolence  to host communities. A few days ago, Gen. Buratai performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital at Nkwagu Cantonment, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state.

The Army Reference Hospital is conceptualized as  a world class and state-of-the-art hospital designed to serve both the  Nigerian Army personnel and the civil populace in the South-East region of the country generally. Access to quality healthcare has been a major problem in most communities in Nigeria.  This is where the excitement over the project is derived.

Therefore, the decision of the Nigerian Army to avail the people of the Southeast this rare health facility is commendable and a legacy the people will enjoy for generations. It is an indication that the Army leadership, does not only think about security of the people, but also the health and physical wellbeing of Nigerians.

An elated Ebonyi state Governor David Umahi was full of eulogies for the Nigerian Army. The action of the Army leadership in establishing the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Abakaliki  has for the umpteenth time confirmed to the Governor that the Service Chiefs are indeed committed to defending the territorial integrity of the country and fond of the Nigerian people.

This latest action by the Army has compelled Gov. Umahi to stoutly dispute the National Assembly (NASS)on sack of the Service Chiefs. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of  the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Gov. Umahi hotly disputed the position of the NASS demanding  for the sack of the Service Chiefs in the wake of resurgent insecurities.

The Governor rather canvassed for more support and funding to security agencies.  Particularly, Umahi echoed that the Nigerian Army is not only appreciated in the region, but a blessing to the Southeast. 

His words; “I want to disagree with the National Assembly in my own view about the change of service chiefs. One thing I have realized is that we like change too much in this country. We want everybody to taste every seat. That is not what we need at this critical time of our security challenges. What we need is cooperation with the security agencies. The Chief of Army staff is also a very committed person. Very friendly to the civil society.”

Interpreting the issue  with the eye  and wisdom of an elder and a true leader, Gov. Umahi aligned with the position of President Buhari by insisting that “I will be suggesting to Mr. President in support of his retaining the Service Chiefs that we should increase their funding of the Armed Forces, we should increase their logistics, we should increase the programme that will bring information to the security agencies.”

He added; “So, I support Mr. President that instead of changing the Service Chiefs he should rather increase their funding and increase the frequency of his meetings with them. And also encourage civil society to come up with information that will assist the security agencies.”

Clairvoyant minds have sighted the capacity of the Nigerian Army and believe that with a little support by government and the civil population, Gen. Buratai’s leadership of the Army will surmount all insecurities soonest. Gen.  Buratai’s leadership of the Army has seamlessly continued to win more converts for the Buhari administration, in degrees even far more than the core politicians. 

The latest verdict of Nigerians in the Southeast is crystal that the Service Chiefs, particularly the COAS are all performing excellent jobs. Gen. Buratai particularly has brought uncommon values and panache to the Army such as professionalism, discipline, loyalty and patriotism.  Even the doubting Thomases are now beginning to see the wisdom of President Buhari  in insisting on still keeping  the Service Chiefs in office. The effects are palpable, as seen by everyone from the activities of Operation Sahel Sanity in the Northwest to now the Southeast. #


Ogbu PhD wrote this piece from Ebonyi State University,

Boko Haram : Understanding Why Borno Elites Must Do More, By Pita Agbese

Boko Haram : Understanding Why Borno Elites Must Do More, By Pita Agbese

 By Pita Agbese 

No insurgent group can operate for long by relying exclusively on its own resources. To operate beyond a few weeks, an insurgent group requires external resources such as money, territory, weapons, intelligence, materiel, and new recruits. It may also need ideological support derived from common ethnic, religious or regional identities. These resources may be given voluntarily, or the insurgent group may acquire them forcefully through looting and pillage. For instance, the insurgent group may be able to raise a huge sum of money from groups in the diaspora with which it shares bonds of ethnicity or religious identities. Such an avenue of funding from Palestinians living outside the Israeli-occupied territories has been crucial for the survival of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Without cutting off its sources of funding, it is difficult if not impossible to defeat an insurgent group. Thus, the resiliency of an insurgent group is the function of its support base.
Boko Haram, an insurgent group based largely in the North East geopolitical zone and using terrorism as its main insurgent strategy, has been terrorizing Nigeria and its closest neighbors, Chad, Cameron and Niger, since its violent phase began in 2009. It has survived, despite military and diplomatic onslaught by Nigeria and its neighbors, for more than eleven years. Part of its ability to survive has been its clever adaptability to changing circumstances, For instance, by establishing linkages with Islamic terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Islamic State, it has been able to draw on weapons, funding and fighters. As important as foreign assistance has been to Boko Haram’s resiliency, it could not have operated without assistance, voluntary or coerced, from its immediate geographical area of operation. It first, much of this assistance was coerced. Boko Haram would raid a village and steal food, looting banks and pilfering other essential commodities. It also killed people, abducted women and children and conscript men and young boys as fighters. Boko Haram has relied on assassinations of targeted individuals and those opposed to its ideology. Terrorizing people in the North East Zone and pillaging their resources allowed Boko Haram to sustain itself. Terrorism and pillaging were particularly useful to the terrorist organization when it seized a large swathe of Nigerian territory even before receiving outside help. Today, it no longer controls much of any territory. The thirteen local government areas that it had seized have been taking away from it.
Although Boko Haram no longer controls any definable territory of the Nigerian federation, it is still able to launch deadly attacks on the Nigerian population and the Nigerian armed forces. As military operations against the terrorist group has mounted, it has resorted to ambushing Nigerian soldiers. It is no longer able to launch spectacular attacks as it did in bombing police headquarters and UN offices in Abuja, but it remains a very deadly force. It has killed scores of Nigerian soldiers in the last few months. Much of its successes against the soldiers has derived from its ability to gather actionable intelligence on troop movements.

There are speculations that Boko Haram gains intelligence on troop movements because of saboteurs within the armed forces. While such rumors cannot be dismissed with flippancy, it must be noted that Boko Haram cannot gather such intelligence and operate with deadly accuracy without some open or tacit support from the local communities where it operates. Whether such support is voluntary or coerced, it must be recognized that military actions alone, short of a scorched-earth policy, would not eradicate the scourge of Boko Haram. As frustrating as it is not to unleash every firepower in the arsenal of the Nigerian armed forces against Boko Haram, that frustration must be tempered with the reality that fighting against Boko Haram in ways that violate Nigerian and international law would be counterproductive.

The only viable option is to engender greater cooperation from the communities where Boko Haram operates. First, it must be clearly demonstrated to the communities that despite sharing ethnic, religious and regional affinities with Boko Haram, Boko Haram’s goals are antithetical to the welfare, peace and security of the zone. What does Boko Haram want and how are its goals and objective in direct conflict with the interests of the people in the region? The terrorist group has spelt out its goals and objectives. It has also vividly made clear through extreme violence, the strategies it uses and intends to use in achieving its set goals and objectives.
Boko Haram’s aims and objectives are quite clear. Its’ leader, Abubakar Shekau, has publicly stated what the group stands for. As he puts it, “we are an Islamic caliphate. We have nothing to do Nigeria. We don’t believe in this name.” Among the most fundamental of Boko Haram’s goals and objectives are following: the overthrow of the Nigerian government and its replacement it with an Islamic State; the rejection of Westernization, including forbidding any participation in Western-style political activity such as voting in elections and running as candidates; and prohibition against engagement in social activities. Boko Haram also rejects Western-style secular education and it seeks to replace secular education with an unspecified Islamic education. The terrorist group is particularly vehemently opposed to girls receiving Western education and it has demonstrated its disdain and its total rejection of Western education by killing students, abducting them and forcefully marrying off the female students, and bombing schools as well as assassinating teachers. Boko Haram rejects the Nigerian government labelling its leaders, even if they are Muslims, as infidels.
Until March 2015 when Boko Haram was forcibly driven out of the Nigerian territories that it had seized, Boko Haram had established what it called an Islamic State in those territories. We therefore have a clear idea of the type of society Boko Haram would create if its goal of overthrowing the Nigerian government was met. It would be a deadly and an ultra-conservative and highly theocratic state. Although it would be said to be an Islamic state, it would have very little resemblance to Islam. While Islam reveres learning and knowledge, Boko Haram’s Islamic caliphate would be anchored on abhorrence to learning and knowledge. It would be a caliphate steeped in ignorance and fear of knowledge. Boko Haram’s caliphate, from what we saw of the territories that it briefly administered, would be a highly autocratic state. It would not be rooted in justice, even for its Muslim population. It would also be a state anchored on prejudice as the non-Muslim population under its control would be subjected to extreme oppression, brutality and brigandage. Shekau himself has justified the abduction of non-Muslim girls proclaiming that Islam gives him right to enslave such abductees.

Most of the victims of Boko Haram’s capricious rule would be Muslims. This is already quite clear. Although proclaiming that it was fighting for Islam, most of Boko Haram’s victims have been Muslims. Yes, Boko Haram has attacked churches and killed hundreds of Christians but a large majority of its victims, in terms of those assassinated and bombed out of existence, have been Muslims. Thus, for Muslims openly and tacitly supporting the terrorist group, the sobering lesson is that if Boko Haram succeeds in its objectives, Muslims would be the worse for it. Muslims would not receive any education at all because while Boko Haram makes vague references to Islamic education, the contents of such education remain inchoate. Moreover, where are the teachers who would provide Boko Haram’s style of Islamic education?
Second, the fact that Boko Haram is willing to bring in foreign terrorists to help it overthrow the Nigerian government should be of concern to people in Boko Haram’s major theater of operation. If Boko Haram succeeds, it would deprive the people of their Nigerian identity without being able to provide a better identity for its inhabitants. A Boko Haram caliphate over Nigeria would be a pariah state. It cannot count on cooperation among its neighbors. It would have to deal with the Western countries whose culture and whose education Boko Haram has rejected, from a very weak position.

What Must Be Done

The Nigerian military needs maximum cooperation from communities in the North-East Zone to be able to decimate, and ultimately, eliminate Boko Haram. Some of the communities have set up vigilantes in the form of civilian joint task forces. This is commendable. Some members of these outfits have paid the supreme sacrifice as they have been killed by Boko Haram. While this level of cooperation is appreciated, it is not enough. The military needs other forms of proactive cooperation. It needs prompt and effective intelligence on Boko Haram to enable it launch attacks on the group and in helping to forestall attacks by Boko Haram. The military also requires the communities to stop aiding and abetting Boko Haram and from shielding Boko Haram leaders and fighters from justice.

It is equally important for people in the North-East Zone to recognize that Boko Haram cannot overthrow the Nigerian government or over-run the entire country. At best, Boko Haram may succeed in capturing and holding a swathe of the country but its ability to extend its territorial control beyond a few local government areas in the North-East is highly circumscribed. We have seen the dastardly acts that pass for Boko Haram’s administration of a conquered territory. I do not think that most people in that part of Nigeria would look forward to that type of violent, oppressive and capricious governance.

While some people may be taken in by Boko Haram’s trenchant criticisms of the Nigerian government as corrupt, it should be noted that Boko Haram does not present any viable alternative to corruption in Nigeria. In fact, a Boko Haram administration, as we have seen in the brief period it governed the occupied territories, is far more corrupt than the Nigerian government whose corruption Boko Haram condemns. It is corruption for the Boko Haram leadership to send young men, other people’s children, to die while Boko Haram leaders stay away from the battlefield.

Communities in the North-East must refrain from cooperating with Boko Haram, openly or tacitly. They also stop seeing members of Boko Haram as their own people. Boko Haram does not see them as their brothers and sisters, fathers and grandfathers and mothers, sisters and aunts. They just see them as objects to be sacrificed to attain their atrocious and immoral goals and objectives.

Prof Agbese is a scholar at the University of Northern Iowa, USA.
 By Pita Agbese 

No insurgent group can operate for long by relying exclusively on its own resources. To operate beyond a few weeks, an insurgent group requires external resources such as money, territory, weapons, intelligence, materiel, and new recruits. It may also need ideological support derived from common ethnic, religious or regional identities. These resources may be given voluntarily, or the insurgent group may acquire them forcefully through looting and pillage. For instance, the insurgent group may be able to raise a huge sum of money from groups in the diaspora with which it shares bonds of ethnicity or religious identities. Such an avenue of funding from Palestinians living outside the Israeli-occupied territories has been crucial for the survival of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Without cutting off its sources of funding, it is difficult if not impossible to defeat an insurgent group. Thus, the resiliency of an insurgent group is the function of its support base.
Boko Haram, an insurgent group based largely in the North East geopolitical zone and using terrorism as its main insurgent strategy, has been terrorizing Nigeria and its closest neighbors, Chad, Cameron and Niger, since its violent phase began in 2009. It has survived, despite military and diplomatic onslaught by Nigeria and its neighbors, for more than eleven years. Part of its ability to survive has been its clever adaptability to changing circumstances, For instance, by establishing linkages with Islamic terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Islamic State, it has been able to draw on weapons, funding and fighters. As important as foreign assistance has been to Boko Haram’s resiliency, it could not have operated without assistance, voluntary or coerced, from its immediate geographical area of operation. It first, much of this assistance was coerced. Boko Haram would raid a village and steal food, looting banks and pilfering other essential commodities. It also killed people, abducted women and children and conscript men and young boys as fighters. Boko Haram has relied on assassinations of targeted individuals and those opposed to its ideology. Terrorizing people in the North East Zone and pillaging their resources allowed Boko Haram to sustain itself. Terrorism and pillaging were particularly useful to the terrorist organization when it seized a large swathe of Nigerian territory even before receiving outside help. Today, it no longer controls much of any territory. The thirteen local government areas that it had seized have been taking away from it.
Although Boko Haram no longer controls any definable territory of the Nigerian federation, it is still able to launch deadly attacks on the Nigerian population and the Nigerian armed forces. As military operations against the terrorist group has mounted, it has resorted to ambushing Nigerian soldiers. It is no longer able to launch spectacular attacks as it did in bombing police headquarters and UN offices in Abuja, but it remains a very deadly force. It has killed scores of Nigerian soldiers in the last few months. Much of its successes against the soldiers has derived from its ability to gather actionable intelligence on troop movements.

There are speculations that Boko Haram gains intelligence on troop movements because of saboteurs within the armed forces. While such rumors cannot be dismissed with flippancy, it must be noted that Boko Haram cannot gather such intelligence and operate with deadly accuracy without some open or tacit support from the local communities where it operates. Whether such support is voluntary or coerced, it must be recognized that military actions alone, short of a scorched-earth policy, would not eradicate the scourge of Boko Haram. As frustrating as it is not to unleash every firepower in the arsenal of the Nigerian armed forces against Boko Haram, that frustration must be tempered with the reality that fighting against Boko Haram in ways that violate Nigerian and international law would be counterproductive.

The only viable option is to engender greater cooperation from the communities where Boko Haram operates. First, it must be clearly demonstrated to the communities that despite sharing ethnic, religious and regional affinities with Boko Haram, Boko Haram’s goals are antithetical to the welfare, peace and security of the zone. What does Boko Haram want and how are its goals and objective in direct conflict with the interests of the people in the region? The terrorist group has spelt out its goals and objectives. It has also vividly made clear through extreme violence, the strategies it uses and intends to use in achieving its set goals and objectives.
Boko Haram’s aims and objectives are quite clear. Its’ leader, Abubakar Shekau, has publicly stated what the group stands for. As he puts it, “we are an Islamic caliphate. We have nothing to do Nigeria. We don’t believe in this name.” Among the most fundamental of Boko Haram’s goals and objectives are following: the overthrow of the Nigerian government and its replacement it with an Islamic State; the rejection of Westernization, including forbidding any participation in Western-style political activity such as voting in elections and running as candidates; and prohibition against engagement in social activities. Boko Haram also rejects Western-style secular education and it seeks to replace secular education with an unspecified Islamic education. The terrorist group is particularly vehemently opposed to girls receiving Western education and it has demonstrated its disdain and its total rejection of Western education by killing students, abducting them and forcefully marrying off the female students, and bombing schools as well as assassinating teachers. Boko Haram rejects the Nigerian government labelling its leaders, even if they are Muslims, as infidels.
Until March 2015 when Boko Haram was forcibly driven out of the Nigerian territories that it had seized, Boko Haram had established what it called an Islamic State in those territories. We therefore have a clear idea of the type of society Boko Haram would create if its goal of overthrowing the Nigerian government was met. It would be a deadly and an ultra-conservative and highly theocratic state. Although it would be said to be an Islamic state, it would have very little resemblance to Islam. While Islam reveres learning and knowledge, Boko Haram’s Islamic caliphate would be anchored on abhorrence to learning and knowledge. It would be a caliphate steeped in ignorance and fear of knowledge. Boko Haram’s caliphate, from what we saw of the territories that it briefly administered, would be a highly autocratic state. It would not be rooted in justice, even for its Muslim population. It would also be a state anchored on prejudice as the non-Muslim population under its control would be subjected to extreme oppression, brutality and brigandage. Shekau himself has justified the abduction of non-Muslim girls proclaiming that Islam gives him right to enslave such abductees.

Most of the victims of Boko Haram’s capricious rule would be Muslims. This is already quite clear. Although proclaiming that it was fighting for Islam, most of Boko Haram’s victims have been Muslims. Yes, Boko Haram has attacked churches and killed hundreds of Christians but a large majority of its victims, in terms of those assassinated and bombed out of existence, have been Muslims. Thus, for Muslims openly and tacitly supporting the terrorist group, the sobering lesson is that if Boko Haram succeeds in its objectives, Muslims would be the worse for it. Muslims would not receive any education at all because while Boko Haram makes vague references to Islamic education, the contents of such education remain inchoate. Moreover, where are the teachers who would provide Boko Haram’s style of Islamic education?
Second, the fact that Boko Haram is willing to bring in foreign terrorists to help it overthrow the Nigerian government should be of concern to people in Boko Haram’s major theater of operation. If Boko Haram succeeds, it would deprive the people of their Nigerian identity without being able to provide a better identity for its inhabitants. A Boko Haram caliphate over Nigeria would be a pariah state. It cannot count on cooperation among its neighbors. It would have to deal with the Western countries whose culture and whose education Boko Haram has rejected, from a very weak position.

What Must Be Done

The Nigerian military needs maximum cooperation from communities in the North-East Zone to be able to decimate, and ultimately, eliminate Boko Haram. Some of the communities have set up vigilantes in the form of civilian joint task forces. This is commendable. Some members of these outfits have paid the supreme sacrifice as they have been killed by Boko Haram. While this level of cooperation is appreciated, it is not enough. The military needs other forms of proactive cooperation. It needs prompt and effective intelligence on Boko Haram to enable it launch attacks on the group and in helping to forestall attacks by Boko Haram. The military also requires the communities to stop aiding and abetting Boko Haram and from shielding Boko Haram leaders and fighters from justice.

It is equally important for people in the North-East Zone to recognize that Boko Haram cannot overthrow the Nigerian government or over-run the entire country. At best, Boko Haram may succeed in capturing and holding a swathe of the country but its ability to extend its territorial control beyond a few local government areas in the North-East is highly circumscribed. We have seen the dastardly acts that pass for Boko Haram’s administration of a conquered territory. I do not think that most people in that part of Nigeria would look forward to that type of violent, oppressive and capricious governance.

While some people may be taken in by Boko Haram’s trenchant criticisms of the Nigerian government as corrupt, it should be noted that Boko Haram does not present any viable alternative to corruption in Nigeria. In fact, a Boko Haram administration, as we have seen in the brief period it governed the occupied territories, is far more corrupt than the Nigerian government whose corruption Boko Haram condemns. It is corruption for the Boko Haram leadership to send young men, other people’s children, to die while Boko Haram leaders stay away from the battlefield.

Communities in the North-East must refrain from cooperating with Boko Haram, openly or tacitly. They also stop seeing members of Boko Haram as their own people. Boko Haram does not see them as their brothers and sisters, fathers and grandfathers and mothers, sisters and aunts. They just see them as objects to be sacrificed to attain their atrocious and immoral goals and objectives.

Prof Agbese is a scholar at the University of Northern Iowa, USA.

Insecurity: Understanding The Power Of Divine Intercession In Warfare, By Bishop Sunday Garuba

Insecurity: Understanding The Power Of Divine Intercession In Warfare, By Bishop Sunday Garuba


By Bishop Sunday Garuba


 The issue of insecurity in Nigeria is such that should elicit concern from all well-meaning Nigerians. It is a statement of fact that the Nigerian authorities have been relentless in their efforts towards addressing the various security threats in the country. 

As a start, I must add that the task of securing a country like Nigeria is daunting for obvious reasons. Nigeria is a plural state with diverse ethnicity that makes things more complicated. However, our diversity that is supposed to be our source of strength has now become an albatross that is rocking the foundation of our country. 

I have been in the vanguard of praying for peace and stability of Nigeria from time immemorial. This I have been consistent with alongside a great man of God that has gone to be with the Lord, Bishop Musa Fomson. Bishop Musa Fomson and I share a very long affinity in intercession for Nigeria right from the regime of the late General Sani Abacha.   

We were in the vanguard of prayers for the country, always beseeching God for a leadership that will come from him that would lead Nigeria on the path of greatness and sustainable growth and development. And to the glory of God, our prayers were answered, and Nigeria overcame its challenges. When Bishop Musa Famson passed unto glory, the mantle of leadership consequently fell on me to lead the National Inter-faith Religious Organizations for Peace. And to the glory of God, I have led by the wisdom and guidance of God to the benefit of humanity.   

Back to the crux, this piece is as a result of the security issues experienced in the country that is of great concern to me. I recall that I have stated in numerous forums on the strategic importance of the power of divine intercession in warfare. My position is hinged on worthy examples in the bible when God gave his people victory over their adversaries in warfare. 

In the Book of Psalms 18:50, the bible gave us a promise of victory over our adversaries. “God gives great victories to his king; he shows constant love to the one he has chosen, to David and his descendants forever.” I must add that this bible passage was a revelation I received from God during one of our prayer and fasting programmes for God to bless Nigeria with a David sometime in 2013.  

We did not relent. As a fact, I recall that sometime in 2014, I also had a revelation from God where he told me that he was sending a helper to Nigeria to redeem it and that helper would indeed take Nigeria back to where it rightly belongs. 

I shared this revelation with our members, and we prayed for the fulfilment of God’s purpose for Nigeria. It was during this prayer session that God indeed revealed to us that a man of integrity would lead Nigeria. But many would attempt to discredit him because of his tough stance, but at the end of the day, he would triumph over his enemies.

And that marked the beginning of our prayer and fasting sessions for President Muhammadu Buhari when he was running for President of the country. But before then we had known Buhari, and I recall that the late Bishop Musa Fomson and I visited him a couple of times and prayed with him the while he was contesting for elections.  

We noticed his strong and burning desire to lead the country, and we also saw his disappointment with the way the country was drifting. I recall that we always encouraged him to see the outcome of the elections as God’s will and that in due time and season, the will of God would manifest in his desire to lead the country. And today the rest is history.

The buildup to the 2015 general elections was a tensed one. When Muhammadu Buhari signified interest once again, we organized a fasting and prayer session for God’s will to be done for Nigeria, and for God to bless Nigeria with that credible leader that would lead with the fear of God and to the benefit of humanity. It was during that prayer meeting that God revealed to us that indeed Muhammadu Buhari is the chosen one to lead Nigeria. 

I recall that I paused for a while and shared the revelation with our members, and there was a pin drop silence. It was such that almost tested the faith of our members that consisted of Christians and Muslims. But to the glory of God, there was unity in spirit, and we thanked God in praises and prayed fervently for the candidature of Muhammadu Buhari. 

I also recall that I led a delegation to him to give him a message from God on His expectations once elected as President of the country and how God told us not to relent in prayers until the President delivers on all that God has asked him to do for the country. And today again the rest is history and the National Inter-faith Religious Organizations for Peace has been fervent in our prayers and supplications for President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. 

This brings us back to the role of divine intercession in warfare and how we have been praying for our troops to overcome the various security challenges in the country. The exploits of King David in the bible gives us this reassurance. 

In the Book of 2 Samuel 8:1-6, we saw how God helped David to win battles “While David was king of Israel, he won many battles over the Philistines. He brought them under his control. He took Metheg Ammah away from them.  David also won the battle over the people of Moab. David also fought against Hadadezer, the son of Rehob. Hadadezer was king of Zobah. He had gone to repair his monument at the Euphrates River when David captured 1,000 of Hadadezer’s chariots, 7,000 chariot riders and 20,000 soldiers on foot. He cut the legs of all but 100 of the chariot horses.

The Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer, the king of Zobah. But David struck down 22,000 of them. He stationed some soldiers in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus. The people of Aram were brought under his rule. They gave him the gifts he required them to bring him. The Lord helped David win his battles everywhere he went.” 

This can also happen in Nigeria if we elect to join forces to pray for our troops, the commanders as well as all the others that are involved in the war against all forms of criminalities in Nigeria. I must add that, but for God’s wisdom in the life of President Muhammadu Buhari, things would have been worse in this country.

All those that have been criticizing the Service Chiefs are doing so out of ignorance or for political gains. They do not have an idea what these Service Chiefs go through daily. If they had an idea, they would join hands together and pray for God to grant our President wisdom in leading the country. 

For us at the National Inter-Faith Religious Organizations for Peace, our commitment to interceding on behalf of this country is unflinching. We have been praying, and we shall continue to fast and pray for God to grant our troops great victory. Our country Nigeria cannot be defeated because God has promised us great victory over our adversaries. We shall continue to intercede on behalf of our President in our quest for the Nigeria of our dreams because we understand the power of divine intervention in warfare. 

All those that are fueling the crisis in the country should have a rethink because the wrath of God would come upon them because in the Book of Psalms 105:15, the bible states that “Do not touch my chosen people, and do not hurt my prophets.”


Garuba is National Coordinator, National Inter- Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace.

By Bishop Sunday Garuba


 The issue of insecurity in Nigeria is such that should elicit concern from all well-meaning Nigerians. It is a statement of fact that the Nigerian authorities have been relentless in their efforts towards addressing the various security threats in the country. 

As a start, I must add that the task of securing a country like Nigeria is daunting for obvious reasons. Nigeria is a plural state with diverse ethnicity that makes things more complicated. However, our diversity that is supposed to be our source of strength has now become an albatross that is rocking the foundation of our country. 

I have been in the vanguard of praying for peace and stability of Nigeria from time immemorial. This I have been consistent with alongside a great man of God that has gone to be with the Lord, Bishop Musa Fomson. Bishop Musa Fomson and I share a very long affinity in intercession for Nigeria right from the regime of the late General Sani Abacha.   

We were in the vanguard of prayers for the country, always beseeching God for a leadership that will come from him that would lead Nigeria on the path of greatness and sustainable growth and development. And to the glory of God, our prayers were answered, and Nigeria overcame its challenges. When Bishop Musa Famson passed unto glory, the mantle of leadership consequently fell on me to lead the National Inter-faith Religious Organizations for Peace. And to the glory of God, I have led by the wisdom and guidance of God to the benefit of humanity.   

Back to the crux, this piece is as a result of the security issues experienced in the country that is of great concern to me. I recall that I have stated in numerous forums on the strategic importance of the power of divine intercession in warfare. My position is hinged on worthy examples in the bible when God gave his people victory over their adversaries in warfare. 

In the Book of Psalms 18:50, the bible gave us a promise of victory over our adversaries. “God gives great victories to his king; he shows constant love to the one he has chosen, to David and his descendants forever.” I must add that this bible passage was a revelation I received from God during one of our prayer and fasting programmes for God to bless Nigeria with a David sometime in 2013.  

We did not relent. As a fact, I recall that sometime in 2014, I also had a revelation from God where he told me that he was sending a helper to Nigeria to redeem it and that helper would indeed take Nigeria back to where it rightly belongs. 

I shared this revelation with our members, and we prayed for the fulfilment of God’s purpose for Nigeria. It was during this prayer session that God indeed revealed to us that a man of integrity would lead Nigeria. But many would attempt to discredit him because of his tough stance, but at the end of the day, he would triumph over his enemies.

And that marked the beginning of our prayer and fasting sessions for President Muhammadu Buhari when he was running for President of the country. But before then we had known Buhari, and I recall that the late Bishop Musa Fomson and I visited him a couple of times and prayed with him the while he was contesting for elections.  

We noticed his strong and burning desire to lead the country, and we also saw his disappointment with the way the country was drifting. I recall that we always encouraged him to see the outcome of the elections as God’s will and that in due time and season, the will of God would manifest in his desire to lead the country. And today the rest is history.

The buildup to the 2015 general elections was a tensed one. When Muhammadu Buhari signified interest once again, we organized a fasting and prayer session for God’s will to be done for Nigeria, and for God to bless Nigeria with that credible leader that would lead with the fear of God and to the benefit of humanity. It was during that prayer meeting that God revealed to us that indeed Muhammadu Buhari is the chosen one to lead Nigeria. 

I recall that I paused for a while and shared the revelation with our members, and there was a pin drop silence. It was such that almost tested the faith of our members that consisted of Christians and Muslims. But to the glory of God, there was unity in spirit, and we thanked God in praises and prayed fervently for the candidature of Muhammadu Buhari. 

I also recall that I led a delegation to him to give him a message from God on His expectations once elected as President of the country and how God told us not to relent in prayers until the President delivers on all that God has asked him to do for the country. And today again the rest is history and the National Inter-faith Religious Organizations for Peace has been fervent in our prayers and supplications for President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. 

This brings us back to the role of divine intercession in warfare and how we have been praying for our troops to overcome the various security challenges in the country. The exploits of King David in the bible gives us this reassurance. 

In the Book of 2 Samuel 8:1-6, we saw how God helped David to win battles “While David was king of Israel, he won many battles over the Philistines. He brought them under his control. He took Metheg Ammah away from them.  David also won the battle over the people of Moab. David also fought against Hadadezer, the son of Rehob. Hadadezer was king of Zobah. He had gone to repair his monument at the Euphrates River when David captured 1,000 of Hadadezer’s chariots, 7,000 chariot riders and 20,000 soldiers on foot. He cut the legs of all but 100 of the chariot horses.

The Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer, the king of Zobah. But David struck down 22,000 of them. He stationed some soldiers in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus. The people of Aram were brought under his rule. They gave him the gifts he required them to bring him. The Lord helped David win his battles everywhere he went.” 

This can also happen in Nigeria if we elect to join forces to pray for our troops, the commanders as well as all the others that are involved in the war against all forms of criminalities in Nigeria. I must add that, but for God’s wisdom in the life of President Muhammadu Buhari, things would have been worse in this country.

All those that have been criticizing the Service Chiefs are doing so out of ignorance or for political gains. They do not have an idea what these Service Chiefs go through daily. If they had an idea, they would join hands together and pray for God to grant our President wisdom in leading the country. 

For us at the National Inter-Faith Religious Organizations for Peace, our commitment to interceding on behalf of this country is unflinching. We have been praying, and we shall continue to fast and pray for God to grant our troops great victory. Our country Nigeria cannot be defeated because God has promised us great victory over our adversaries. We shall continue to intercede on behalf of our President in our quest for the Nigeria of our dreams because we understand the power of divine intervention in warfare. 

All those that are fueling the crisis in the country should have a rethink because the wrath of God would come upon them because in the Book of Psalms 105:15, the bible states that “Do not touch my chosen people, and do not hurt my prophets.”


Garuba is National Coordinator, National Inter- Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace.

PMB, Buratai get kudos for establishing Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Abakaliki

PMB, Buratai get kudos for establishing Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Abakaliki

By Dansu Peter 

President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai have received plaudits for siting a state-of-the-art Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State. 

Describing the president as a "friend of the south-east", the Igbos in Nigeria Movement (INN) said he has once again shamed his naysayers and rubbished all their narration of hatred with this act. 

According to the group, indeed the COAS' several security interventions and projects in the region were for good and for the betterment of the lives of the people.

Recall that the groundbreaking ceremony of the ultra-modern army health facility took place at Nkwagu Cantonment on Friday.

At the event, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi expressed support for Lt. Gen. Buratai and other security chiefs, adding that "what these people need are cooperation and information".

In reaction through a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Anthony Igbokwe, on Saturday, the Igbos in Nigeria Movement admitted that this is the latest in a long list of developmental projects initiated by both the Buhari-led administration and Army under Lt. Gen. Buratai. 

Among others, the group recalled the water treatment plant in Enugu, partnership with Innoson Motors and indigenous shoemakers in Aba as well as several ongoing FG projects including airports, roads and Niger Bridge. 

On behalf of all its members worldwide, Mr Igbokwe expressed gratitude to the president and the COAS for achieving another milestone despite the wholesome propaganda. 

While throwing its weight behind President Buhari and the Army chief, Mr Igbokwe, however, urged them to continue the giant strides in the region and across the country.

Read the full statement below:

The Army and indeed the military remain a major pillar of stability for our great nation, Nigeria. The army is one institution that has paid and continues to pay a huge price to secure and keep the nation united. Even though they have had to pay the ultimate price sometimes, yet they remain unrelenting in their resolve to achieve this goal.

The Army though mainly charged with the duty of securing the country against foreign aggression, has not limited itself to that alone but has also had to join in internal security operations to help defend the sovereignty of the nation. Though totally stretched and operating under lean resources, they continue to give all of their best to secure us all, yet they barely get the credits they deserve.

For those who do not forget quickly, they may recall the times before the emergence of the current chief of army Staff (COAS) LT Gen Tukur Buratai, the southeastern part of the country was battling several criminal onslaughts such as kidnapping, armed robbery, ritual killings and all sorts of criminality.

Upon coming on board, the COAS in collaboration with other security agencies swung into action. Operation “ Exercise Egwu Eke” was set up to tackle all sorts of criminality in the south-east. This was later named “ Exercise Atilogwu Udo”. The successes of these operations are evident to the residents of the South East as they witnessed the quick and steady reduction in criminal activities in the region. Many robbers, cultist, kidnappers etc. were apprehended. The operations were no doubt a success.

The Army under Lt. General Buratai beyond providing security in the south-east has also made it a point of duty to continue to support the provision of developmental projects across the southeastern part of the country. One of such laudable project is the water treatment plant in Abakpa, Enugu State capable of supplying over one million litres of water daily. This is a great intervention for residents of this community who have suffered years of the perennial water problem.

While thanking the COAS for this laudable project, we feel it is also important to acknowledge the Lt Gen Buratai led army for its partnership with Innoson motors. This partnership is a sign of a sincere commitment to the unity of the country by the army. The partnership no doubt will help provide more jobs for the people of the south-east.

Also very commendable is the partnership with shoemakers in Aba, Abia State to produce shoes and boots for the Nigeria army. Some may not grasp the significance of these partnerships immediately, but we at INM see further than the initial gains of these partnerships. We see the multiplier effects on the economy of the region.

We see the new jobs that will be created from the workers in the factory to the suppliers that will build a living around these partnerships to the communities that will benefit from the improved economy of these transactions.

To crown it, we would like to appreciate the Nigeria Army for the recent groundbreaking ceremony of an Army reference hospital in Abakaliki Ebonyi State. This world-class hospital project when completed will meet the medical needs of both the army personnel in the south-east and civilian populace in the region.

This is despite the narration by champions of division and propagandist who continuously attempt to poison the mind of the good people of the south-east against the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Army. The citing of world-class projects like the army reference hospital in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State has shamed the naysayers and rubbished all their narration of hatred.

Contrary to the propaganda by those who want to continue to hold the south-east hostage under a false guise, it is now clear that the security interventions in the south-east region were for the liberation of the region from the shackles of criminals parading themselves as social crusaders. The truth is that these operations by the Nigerian Army have actually helped to secure the south-east from criminals and miscreants who hide under secession propaganda to perpetuate their criminal activities. There is no doubt that the majority of the populace appreciate the peace and tranquillity the region now enjoys.

With the several laudable projects by the army in the south-east, we have no doubt that the army, and indeed the government of President Buhari are friends of the south-east. The level of physical infrastructural development ongoing in the south-east at the moment is a testament to this fact. The airports, roads, Niger bridge etc are unprecedented by any government before now.

We use this opportunity on behalf of all our members worldwide and indeed all the good people of the south-east to thank Lt. Gen. Buratai for his unflinching support for peace and security in the south-east.

We also thank President Buhari for the rapid deployment of quality infrastructural projects to the south-east. We encourage the President as the father of the nation to see all critics from the region as his children and treat them as such. We assure him that the majority of the good people of the south-east see all these good works and appreciate them.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
By Dansu Peter 

President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai have received plaudits for siting a state-of-the-art Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State. 

Describing the president as a "friend of the south-east", the Igbos in Nigeria Movement (INN) said he has once again shamed his naysayers and rubbished all their narration of hatred with this act. 

According to the group, indeed the COAS' several security interventions and projects in the region were for good and for the betterment of the lives of the people.

Recall that the groundbreaking ceremony of the ultra-modern army health facility took place at Nkwagu Cantonment on Friday.

At the event, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi expressed support for Lt. Gen. Buratai and other security chiefs, adding that "what these people need are cooperation and information".

In reaction through a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Anthony Igbokwe, on Saturday, the Igbos in Nigeria Movement admitted that this is the latest in a long list of developmental projects initiated by both the Buhari-led administration and Army under Lt. Gen. Buratai. 

Among others, the group recalled the water treatment plant in Enugu, partnership with Innoson Motors and indigenous shoemakers in Aba as well as several ongoing FG projects including airports, roads and Niger Bridge. 

On behalf of all its members worldwide, Mr Igbokwe expressed gratitude to the president and the COAS for achieving another milestone despite the wholesome propaganda. 

While throwing its weight behind President Buhari and the Army chief, Mr Igbokwe, however, urged them to continue the giant strides in the region and across the country.

Read the full statement below:

The Army and indeed the military remain a major pillar of stability for our great nation, Nigeria. The army is one institution that has paid and continues to pay a huge price to secure and keep the nation united. Even though they have had to pay the ultimate price sometimes, yet they remain unrelenting in their resolve to achieve this goal.

The Army though mainly charged with the duty of securing the country against foreign aggression, has not limited itself to that alone but has also had to join in internal security operations to help defend the sovereignty of the nation. Though totally stretched and operating under lean resources, they continue to give all of their best to secure us all, yet they barely get the credits they deserve.

For those who do not forget quickly, they may recall the times before the emergence of the current chief of army Staff (COAS) LT Gen Tukur Buratai, the southeastern part of the country was battling several criminal onslaughts such as kidnapping, armed robbery, ritual killings and all sorts of criminality.

Upon coming on board, the COAS in collaboration with other security agencies swung into action. Operation “ Exercise Egwu Eke” was set up to tackle all sorts of criminality in the south-east. This was later named “ Exercise Atilogwu Udo”. The successes of these operations are evident to the residents of the South East as they witnessed the quick and steady reduction in criminal activities in the region. Many robbers, cultist, kidnappers etc. were apprehended. The operations were no doubt a success.

The Army under Lt. General Buratai beyond providing security in the south-east has also made it a point of duty to continue to support the provision of developmental projects across the southeastern part of the country. One of such laudable project is the water treatment plant in Abakpa, Enugu State capable of supplying over one million litres of water daily. This is a great intervention for residents of this community who have suffered years of the perennial water problem.

While thanking the COAS for this laudable project, we feel it is also important to acknowledge the Lt Gen Buratai led army for its partnership with Innoson motors. This partnership is a sign of a sincere commitment to the unity of the country by the army. The partnership no doubt will help provide more jobs for the people of the south-east.

Also very commendable is the partnership with shoemakers in Aba, Abia State to produce shoes and boots for the Nigeria army. Some may not grasp the significance of these partnerships immediately, but we at INM see further than the initial gains of these partnerships. We see the multiplier effects on the economy of the region.

We see the new jobs that will be created from the workers in the factory to the suppliers that will build a living around these partnerships to the communities that will benefit from the improved economy of these transactions.

To crown it, we would like to appreciate the Nigeria Army for the recent groundbreaking ceremony of an Army reference hospital in Abakaliki Ebonyi State. This world-class hospital project when completed will meet the medical needs of both the army personnel in the south-east and civilian populace in the region.

This is despite the narration by champions of division and propagandist who continuously attempt to poison the mind of the good people of the south-east against the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Army. The citing of world-class projects like the army reference hospital in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State has shamed the naysayers and rubbished all their narration of hatred.

Contrary to the propaganda by those who want to continue to hold the south-east hostage under a false guise, it is now clear that the security interventions in the south-east region were for the liberation of the region from the shackles of criminals parading themselves as social crusaders. The truth is that these operations by the Nigerian Army have actually helped to secure the south-east from criminals and miscreants who hide under secession propaganda to perpetuate their criminal activities. There is no doubt that the majority of the populace appreciate the peace and tranquillity the region now enjoys.

With the several laudable projects by the army in the south-east, we have no doubt that the army, and indeed the government of President Buhari are friends of the south-east. The level of physical infrastructural development ongoing in the south-east at the moment is a testament to this fact. The airports, roads, Niger bridge etc are unprecedented by any government before now.

We use this opportunity on behalf of all our members worldwide and indeed all the good people of the south-east to thank Lt. Gen. Buratai for his unflinching support for peace and security in the south-east.

We also thank President Buhari for the rapid deployment of quality infrastructural projects to the south-east. We encourage the President as the father of the nation to see all critics from the region as his children and treat them as such. We assure him that the majority of the good people of the south-east see all these good works and appreciate them.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Foreign Interests and the new terror propangada against Nigeria, By Richard Murphy

Foreign Interests and the new terror propangada against Nigeria, By Richard Murphy

By Richard Murphy 

There is nothing wrong with holding a media briefing, like the one held by the Commander of the US special operations command for Africa (AFRICOM) Dagvin Anderson. The United States’ military top brass warned that al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province now have presence in the northwest of Nigeria and that they are spreading their reach to the southern parts of the country. 

But when viewed against the backdrop acceptable behaviour, Anderson’s action, which in reality is United States' action, is wrong on more than one level. The US has advantage to glean intelligence on terrorists because sometimes these killers are its puppets, carrying out orgies of destruction while thinking they are in charge when in reality, they are implementing US programs. If the US became aware of al-Qaeda or Boko Haram incursion into southern Nigeria because of its participatory advantage, the responsible thing to do is called intelligence sharing. This involves making contact with the corresponding officials or desks on the Nigerian side. 

This did not however happen. Rather, apparently as part of a grand script and conspiracy, the US – as represented by Anderson, rushed to a media briefing to disclose its finding. This action is not a mistake but a premeditated and calculated move to undermine Nigeria as can be seen from the automatic consequences that are already trailing the media reveal.

The most prominent consequence has been the terror sown in the mind of Nigerians, who erroneously place misplace confidence in the capacities of the US as a superpower. The thinking is that if the United States said it then it must be accurate but that is a fallacy. The Council for Foreign Relations, the destabilizing think tank through which the US undermines sovereign nations, had predicted that Nigeria will unravel in a 15 years timeframe, which lapsed five years ago. The Council has become livid over the failure of its projection and its marketing officer for Nigeria, John Campbell, a former ambassador to Nigeria, has been on the offensive in the past few months; knowing that CFR uses implanted operatives and deep state strategy, it will not be surprising that Anderson's media briefing was crafted by the Council to advance its agenda following Campbell’s dismal failure at gaining traction in the quest to wreck Nigeria. So, sowing terror among the population was a major intent of that media briefing. 

For a country that practically exploited local discontent to create first the Taliban and later al-Qaeda, the US update about terrorists' push into southern Nigeria is more of a strategy for nudging their operatives and their terror cells in the direction their next round of crimes against humanity should take. There is the outside chance that the terrorists were not thinking of southern Nigeria short term, mid term and even long term but that briefing by Anderson has now put innocent people living in these areas within the cross hair of the terrorists. By the way, we should all be concerned about the nomenclature, “al-Qaeda” which is not an active brand name for the killers operating in Nigeria. If Africom is talking about the spread of a group that is not currently dominant in Nigeria, then questions should be asked whether the plan is to import them from Somalia or Egypt. 

The Media briefing is a false flag operation, one that is intended to initiate the process of conferring legitimacy on the scums that the US plans to export into Nigeria to continue and expand the terrorist acts at which Boko Haram had failed. A rebranding into ISIS franchise, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), had also failed given the recent outcomes of their engagements with the Nigerian military. If the US plans to replace them with a repackaged terror group then it is natural that it resorts to al-Qaeda, its creation over which it seems to have better control than Boko Haram and ISIS.

Nigerian authorities should read the danger signs well. In all its decade old insurgency, Boko Haram and its ISWAP variant, have been more of consigned to the Lake Chad Basin and Sambisa Forest, which means it is not able to do much damage to infrastructure – the towns and caught in the orgy of destruction are usually rebuilt in short time. Hinting the terrorists to go south is asking them to go into the parts of Nigeria with the economic infrastructure and population density that will hurt the country badly if attacked.  Is this big brother turning the screw on Nigeria for spurning its request to headquarter Africom on Nigerian soil?

The desire to see the terrorists move south has further disadvantages for Nigeria. The more built up southern Nigeria will be a major challenge for the military since that will call for urban warfare, something that few armies in the world have experience with. It must be noted that opening up a new frontier in the anti-terror war will spread the military thin in addition to throwing up human rights issues if such an unprecedented operation is allowed to become necessary. 

It would have been reassuring to see Anderson, Africom and the US deny these possibilities. Unfortunately, other engagements of these entities have only gone further in lending credence to the possibility that the plot against Nigeria is being accelerated. Campbell’s meddling for instance has proven to be a part of a larger operation to promote discontent, which will create the distraction necessary to provide cover for the terrorists to move around undetected – like them travelling with those supposedly mobilizing for anti-government protests being organized by his associates. The onetime American Ambassador to Nigeria recently took part in a virtual conference where the dissent that is now being used as cover to ferry terrorists across the country was planned and agreed. He is also leading these so-called activists to run propaganda that targets government troops for demoralization while new pro-terrorists’ allies are being recruited into the cyber arm of Boko Haram. There has thus been a consequent spike in the number of articles and posts that attack the military as corrupt and incompetent. 

By now, these foreign interests that are trying to spread terrorism across Nigeria should have learnt vital lessons. The first is the chain of unintended outcomes that accompany the destabilization of other countries over petty geo-strategic interest. There is the tendency for things to spread beyond what the plotter anticipates. We have seen that much in the Middle East where the terror grown by foreign interests is again exported to the countries that sought to destabilize others. There is also the risk that the puppet terrorists will eventually disown their masters and then get out of control as is the case with ISIS and those that sponsored them. 

But since Nigeria’s detractors will not relent, the responsibility falls on the government to take precautions while citizens must rise up to defend their land from invasive forces that are sabotaging their country from afar.

Murphy is a security expert based in Calabar.
By Richard Murphy 

There is nothing wrong with holding a media briefing, like the one held by the Commander of the US special operations command for Africa (AFRICOM) Dagvin Anderson. The United States’ military top brass warned that al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province now have presence in the northwest of Nigeria and that they are spreading their reach to the southern parts of the country. 

But when viewed against the backdrop acceptable behaviour, Anderson’s action, which in reality is United States' action, is wrong on more than one level. The US has advantage to glean intelligence on terrorists because sometimes these killers are its puppets, carrying out orgies of destruction while thinking they are in charge when in reality, they are implementing US programs. If the US became aware of al-Qaeda or Boko Haram incursion into southern Nigeria because of its participatory advantage, the responsible thing to do is called intelligence sharing. This involves making contact with the corresponding officials or desks on the Nigerian side. 

This did not however happen. Rather, apparently as part of a grand script and conspiracy, the US – as represented by Anderson, rushed to a media briefing to disclose its finding. This action is not a mistake but a premeditated and calculated move to undermine Nigeria as can be seen from the automatic consequences that are already trailing the media reveal.

The most prominent consequence has been the terror sown in the mind of Nigerians, who erroneously place misplace confidence in the capacities of the US as a superpower. The thinking is that if the United States said it then it must be accurate but that is a fallacy. The Council for Foreign Relations, the destabilizing think tank through which the US undermines sovereign nations, had predicted that Nigeria will unravel in a 15 years timeframe, which lapsed five years ago. The Council has become livid over the failure of its projection and its marketing officer for Nigeria, John Campbell, a former ambassador to Nigeria, has been on the offensive in the past few months; knowing that CFR uses implanted operatives and deep state strategy, it will not be surprising that Anderson's media briefing was crafted by the Council to advance its agenda following Campbell’s dismal failure at gaining traction in the quest to wreck Nigeria. So, sowing terror among the population was a major intent of that media briefing. 

For a country that practically exploited local discontent to create first the Taliban and later al-Qaeda, the US update about terrorists' push into southern Nigeria is more of a strategy for nudging their operatives and their terror cells in the direction their next round of crimes against humanity should take. There is the outside chance that the terrorists were not thinking of southern Nigeria short term, mid term and even long term but that briefing by Anderson has now put innocent people living in these areas within the cross hair of the terrorists. By the way, we should all be concerned about the nomenclature, “al-Qaeda” which is not an active brand name for the killers operating in Nigeria. If Africom is talking about the spread of a group that is not currently dominant in Nigeria, then questions should be asked whether the plan is to import them from Somalia or Egypt. 

The Media briefing is a false flag operation, one that is intended to initiate the process of conferring legitimacy on the scums that the US plans to export into Nigeria to continue and expand the terrorist acts at which Boko Haram had failed. A rebranding into ISIS franchise, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), had also failed given the recent outcomes of their engagements with the Nigerian military. If the US plans to replace them with a repackaged terror group then it is natural that it resorts to al-Qaeda, its creation over which it seems to have better control than Boko Haram and ISIS.

Nigerian authorities should read the danger signs well. In all its decade old insurgency, Boko Haram and its ISWAP variant, have been more of consigned to the Lake Chad Basin and Sambisa Forest, which means it is not able to do much damage to infrastructure – the towns and caught in the orgy of destruction are usually rebuilt in short time. Hinting the terrorists to go south is asking them to go into the parts of Nigeria with the economic infrastructure and population density that will hurt the country badly if attacked.  Is this big brother turning the screw on Nigeria for spurning its request to headquarter Africom on Nigerian soil?

The desire to see the terrorists move south has further disadvantages for Nigeria. The more built up southern Nigeria will be a major challenge for the military since that will call for urban warfare, something that few armies in the world have experience with. It must be noted that opening up a new frontier in the anti-terror war will spread the military thin in addition to throwing up human rights issues if such an unprecedented operation is allowed to become necessary. 

It would have been reassuring to see Anderson, Africom and the US deny these possibilities. Unfortunately, other engagements of these entities have only gone further in lending credence to the possibility that the plot against Nigeria is being accelerated. Campbell’s meddling for instance has proven to be a part of a larger operation to promote discontent, which will create the distraction necessary to provide cover for the terrorists to move around undetected – like them travelling with those supposedly mobilizing for anti-government protests being organized by his associates. The onetime American Ambassador to Nigeria recently took part in a virtual conference where the dissent that is now being used as cover to ferry terrorists across the country was planned and agreed. He is also leading these so-called activists to run propaganda that targets government troops for demoralization while new pro-terrorists’ allies are being recruited into the cyber arm of Boko Haram. There has thus been a consequent spike in the number of articles and posts that attack the military as corrupt and incompetent. 

By now, these foreign interests that are trying to spread terrorism across Nigeria should have learnt vital lessons. The first is the chain of unintended outcomes that accompany the destabilization of other countries over petty geo-strategic interest. There is the tendency for things to spread beyond what the plotter anticipates. We have seen that much in the Middle East where the terror grown by foreign interests is again exported to the countries that sought to destabilize others. There is also the risk that the puppet terrorists will eventually disown their masters and then get out of control as is the case with ISIS and those that sponsored them. 

But since Nigeria’s detractors will not relent, the responsibility falls on the government to take precautions while citizens must rise up to defend their land from invasive forces that are sabotaging their country from afar.

Murphy is a security expert based in Calabar.

Don’t sack service chiefs, increase army funds, Umahi tells Buhari

Don’t sack service chiefs, increase army funds, Umahi tells Buhari

By Dansu Peter 

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Friday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to increase funding and logistics to the Nigeria Army, rather than contemplating sacking the Service Chiefs.

The Governor who stated this during Ground Breaking Ceremony of Nigeria Army Reference Hospital, Abakaliki, praised the Army for their gallantry and dedication towards securing the Territory of the Nation.

He noted that the assignment of the Army was not an easy task and as such, needed the full cooperation of Citizens at all levels to succeed.

“The Chief of Army Staff needs cooperation and information so that they can do their work. We should increase the funding and logistics of the Army to aid their performance, rather than changing them. They should increase their funding. The Army is very crucial for the Nigerian people.

“Let me thank the President for finding Ebonyi fit to site this project. Ebonyi is very lucky with the Army. We will continue to partner you. we expect him, the Chief of Army Staff to Commission the internal roads we did for the Army.

“The new GOC is more like a brother. We want to thank you and appreciate you for being an Ebonyi man. Thanks for choosing this State for the citing of this project.”

Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai stated that the Nigeria Army had made tremendous progress in its fight against insurgency, terrorism and different forms of criminality in the Country.

Represented by Lt. Gen. Lamidu Adeosu, the Chief of Army Staff expressed optimism that the new Hospital upon completion will be able to render services to patients across the Southeast, South-South and other geopolitical zones of the country.

“The new Hospital will provide effective and efficient health care delivery to the people of the Southeast. it will provide medical care of our soldiers. It is a 200-bed capacity hospital to handle healthcare for our troops and the Nigerian populace in Cross River, Benue and south-east and South-South. It will take care of our troops and host communities.

“I am particularly happy that we can make it here despite the pandemic. We have made remarkable progress against insurgency and other forms of criminality. Our gallant troops should keep it up. May the gentle souls of those that have departed rest in perfect peace.”
By Dansu Peter 

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Friday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to increase funding and logistics to the Nigeria Army, rather than contemplating sacking the Service Chiefs.

The Governor who stated this during Ground Breaking Ceremony of Nigeria Army Reference Hospital, Abakaliki, praised the Army for their gallantry and dedication towards securing the Territory of the Nation.

He noted that the assignment of the Army was not an easy task and as such, needed the full cooperation of Citizens at all levels to succeed.

“The Chief of Army Staff needs cooperation and information so that they can do their work. We should increase the funding and logistics of the Army to aid their performance, rather than changing them. They should increase their funding. The Army is very crucial for the Nigerian people.

“Let me thank the President for finding Ebonyi fit to site this project. Ebonyi is very lucky with the Army. We will continue to partner you. we expect him, the Chief of Army Staff to Commission the internal roads we did for the Army.

“The new GOC is more like a brother. We want to thank you and appreciate you for being an Ebonyi man. Thanks for choosing this State for the citing of this project.”

Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai stated that the Nigeria Army had made tremendous progress in its fight against insurgency, terrorism and different forms of criminality in the Country.

Represented by Lt. Gen. Lamidu Adeosu, the Chief of Army Staff expressed optimism that the new Hospital upon completion will be able to render services to patients across the Southeast, South-South and other geopolitical zones of the country.

“The new Hospital will provide effective and efficient health care delivery to the people of the Southeast. it will provide medical care of our soldiers. It is a 200-bed capacity hospital to handle healthcare for our troops and the Nigerian populace in Cross River, Benue and south-east and South-South. It will take care of our troops and host communities.

“I am particularly happy that we can make it here despite the pandemic. We have made remarkable progress against insurgency and other forms of criminality. Our gallant troops should keep it up. May the gentle souls of those that have departed rest in perfect peace.”

Banditry: Katsina Government expresses gratitude to Nigerian Army, others for restoring normalcy

Banditry: Katsina Government expresses gratitude to Nigerian Army, others for restoring normalcy

By Dansu Peter 

The Katsina State Government has expressed gratitude to the Nigerian Army and other security forces for degrading the activities of bandits and restoring normalcy in the state. 

Governor Bello Masari gave this commendation in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Security Matters, Ibrahim Katsina on Friday. 

Hundreds of people have been killed in the last year by criminal gangs carrying out robberies and kidnappings in the northwestern state. 

With the final clearance operation in the northeast almost completed, the troops switched attention to Katsina in June under the code name 'Operation Accord'. 

Since then, however, the Army, in collaboration with other security agencies have launched multiple lands and air offensives, killing hundreds of bandits, leaving many others injured. 

And according to Ibrahim Katsina, the various operations are "achieving the desired result of dislodging the bandits from their hideouts and giving hope to the people to go back to their normal lives". 

He added that the "Katsina State Government is happy to note that the general security situation in the state is gradually returning to normalcy. 

"The current security operation by the combined efforts of the military and other security forces in achieving the desired result of dislodging the bandits from their hideouts and giving hope to the people to go back to their normal lives". 

The statement further stated that with the new lease of life, farmers have now gone back to their farms while others go about their normal duties without fear. 

While describing the efforts of the military as satisfactory, the state govt urged the military to sustain the momentum to flush out the remnants of bandits. 

"In this regard, we wish to acknowledge with satisfaction the efforts of the military and other security forces in the restoration of gradual peace and security in the affected areas. We hope that the tempo would be sustained so than expected banditry will be a thing of the past in the state," Katsina said. 

"As you can observe, in spite of the pockets of challenges to the security operations, most of the affected communities have gradually gone back to their farms and gone about their normal duties."

Katsina, however, appealed to citizens to avoid the temptation of joining the criminals and rather extend support to the troops to complete the good work they have started. 

"We are therefore calling on members of the public to shun all forms of inducement to go into crime, as it does not pay," Katsina said.

"Rather they should team up with the government and security forces towards sustainable peace and security."
By Dansu Peter 

The Katsina State Government has expressed gratitude to the Nigerian Army and other security forces for degrading the activities of bandits and restoring normalcy in the state. 

Governor Bello Masari gave this commendation in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Security Matters, Ibrahim Katsina on Friday. 

Hundreds of people have been killed in the last year by criminal gangs carrying out robberies and kidnappings in the northwestern state. 

With the final clearance operation in the northeast almost completed, the troops switched attention to Katsina in June under the code name 'Operation Accord'. 

Since then, however, the Army, in collaboration with other security agencies have launched multiple lands and air offensives, killing hundreds of bandits, leaving many others injured. 

And according to Ibrahim Katsina, the various operations are "achieving the desired result of dislodging the bandits from their hideouts and giving hope to the people to go back to their normal lives". 

He added that the "Katsina State Government is happy to note that the general security situation in the state is gradually returning to normalcy. 

"The current security operation by the combined efforts of the military and other security forces in achieving the desired result of dislodging the bandits from their hideouts and giving hope to the people to go back to their normal lives". 

The statement further stated that with the new lease of life, farmers have now gone back to their farms while others go about their normal duties without fear. 

While describing the efforts of the military as satisfactory, the state govt urged the military to sustain the momentum to flush out the remnants of bandits. 

"In this regard, we wish to acknowledge with satisfaction the efforts of the military and other security forces in the restoration of gradual peace and security in the affected areas. We hope that the tempo would be sustained so than expected banditry will be a thing of the past in the state," Katsina said. 

"As you can observe, in spite of the pockets of challenges to the security operations, most of the affected communities have gradually gone back to their farms and gone about their normal duties."

Katsina, however, appealed to citizens to avoid the temptation of joining the criminals and rather extend support to the troops to complete the good work they have started. 

"We are therefore calling on members of the public to shun all forms of inducement to go into crime, as it does not pay," Katsina said.

"Rather they should team up with the government and security forces towards sustainable peace and security."

Army, Airforce renewed war room will extinguish Boko Haram within 90 days, says security expert, Kuanum

Army, Airforce renewed war room will extinguish Boko Haram within 90 days, says security expert, Kuanum

By Dansu Peter 

The strategic war room collaboration between the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, officially signposts the final end of all acts of terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria, a security expert, Mr. Terence Kuanum has said.

Kuanum , in a chat with media practitioners in Abuja, said he decided to comment on the security issue in Nigeria after a short break due to the development within the armed forces of Nigeria which is of strategic importance to the ongoing war against insurgency, banditry and terrorism. 

He said the development has to do with the war room collaboration among the service chiefs especially between the airforce and the army to wipe out criminal elements in Nigeria and stated that if sustained, would see to the end of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorism in Nigeria within 90 days.

"It's not that the armed forces  have not been collaborating before, no; what is happening now which is of strategic importance to the ongoing war against terrorism and the other crimes is that the engagement has been enhanced at the highest level for an almost seamless interaction with the aim of emphasising results  and the elimination of excuses through the shifting of blames.

Kuanum said unlike in the past, when there were noticeable elements of inter agency rivalry, the two men  at the helm of affairs of the army and airforce have through the war room collaboration, being able to forge a common bond that trumps results at the theatre of operation rather than concern about which arm carried out the operations.

"Most of the operations are usualy joint in nature and the current strategy is deliberate to enhance efficiency through harmony. This has been highly successful in the recent past and promises better result in future because it mitigates trivialities and unhealthy competition," he stated.

The security expert said if the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists have any form of intelligence, they should know that the time has come for them to surrender as there is no way they can escape defeat this time.

Kuanum said while the army Chief has brought innovations to combat operations which have been used to dislodge the insurgents in the past, the chief of air staff has brought finese to air operations which have resulted in precise air strikes without casualty. 

"Buratai's coming has highly motivated the army especially with his presence at battlefield and the combat ideas he brought," the security expert explained.
According to him, “Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai is one of the best in the continent today having been able to lead the Army from ground zero to achieve successes that no nation has ever achieved in the global war against insurgency.” 

He further said the air chief on the other hand has also done much to enhance the efficiency of the force in so many ways.

"That is why recently, you don't hear of insurgents launching revenge attacks on the military as they are want to do in the past. This is because the operations from both land and air exert heavy tolls on them and exterminates their capacity to respond," he explained.

Kuanum said both the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Air Staff have added value to military operations that cannot be ignored.

"In the past, you hear of aircrafts being shot down by insurgents and air officers being captured while in operations, but the current chief of air staff has eliminated all that with the purchase of sophisticated ultra modern aircraft and high level training for personnel. 

He said when the CAS was appointed, he ensured the reactivation of 19 aircraft, three helicopters while reactivatimg most of the hitherto, unserviceable aircraft in the NAF fleet.

"He has also acquired 18 new aircraft, 12 Super Mushshak trainer aircraft, four Mi-35M helicopter gunships, two Agusta 101 helicopters, as well as two Bell 412 helicopters, which have been retrofitted to perform light combat functions," he said stressing that these have fully equipped personnel to go on operations successfully and the work of the joint efforts has been enhanced.

He said Nigerians have high expectations of the military which they must live up to saying the war room collaboration is one of the best ways of achieving that.

He commended the recent success of military operations in Katsina which dislodged a great number of bandits adding more of such instant actions are required to send strong warnings to criminals that they can no longer get away with such crimes.

The security expert said for the service chiefs to achieve better results however, they should like the President said, review their operations and overhaul their strategy against the terrorists.

He said with that, they would  deliver better results that will not only secure Nigeria but also make the people happy once again.
By Dansu Peter 

The strategic war room collaboration between the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, officially signposts the final end of all acts of terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria, a security expert, Mr. Terence Kuanum has said.

Kuanum , in a chat with media practitioners in Abuja, said he decided to comment on the security issue in Nigeria after a short break due to the development within the armed forces of Nigeria which is of strategic importance to the ongoing war against insurgency, banditry and terrorism. 

He said the development has to do with the war room collaboration among the service chiefs especially between the airforce and the army to wipe out criminal elements in Nigeria and stated that if sustained, would see to the end of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorism in Nigeria within 90 days.

"It's not that the armed forces  have not been collaborating before, no; what is happening now which is of strategic importance to the ongoing war against terrorism and the other crimes is that the engagement has been enhanced at the highest level for an almost seamless interaction with the aim of emphasising results  and the elimination of excuses through the shifting of blames.

Kuanum said unlike in the past, when there were noticeable elements of inter agency rivalry, the two men  at the helm of affairs of the army and airforce have through the war room collaboration, being able to forge a common bond that trumps results at the theatre of operation rather than concern about which arm carried out the operations.

"Most of the operations are usualy joint in nature and the current strategy is deliberate to enhance efficiency through harmony. This has been highly successful in the recent past and promises better result in future because it mitigates trivialities and unhealthy competition," he stated.

The security expert said if the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists have any form of intelligence, they should know that the time has come for them to surrender as there is no way they can escape defeat this time.

Kuanum said while the army Chief has brought innovations to combat operations which have been used to dislodge the insurgents in the past, the chief of air staff has brought finese to air operations which have resulted in precise air strikes without casualty. 

"Buratai's coming has highly motivated the army especially with his presence at battlefield and the combat ideas he brought," the security expert explained.
According to him, “Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai is one of the best in the continent today having been able to lead the Army from ground zero to achieve successes that no nation has ever achieved in the global war against insurgency.” 

He further said the air chief on the other hand has also done much to enhance the efficiency of the force in so many ways.

"That is why recently, you don't hear of insurgents launching revenge attacks on the military as they are want to do in the past. This is because the operations from both land and air exert heavy tolls on them and exterminates their capacity to respond," he explained.

Kuanum said both the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Air Staff have added value to military operations that cannot be ignored.

"In the past, you hear of aircrafts being shot down by insurgents and air officers being captured while in operations, but the current chief of air staff has eliminated all that with the purchase of sophisticated ultra modern aircraft and high level training for personnel. 

He said when the CAS was appointed, he ensured the reactivation of 19 aircraft, three helicopters while reactivatimg most of the hitherto, unserviceable aircraft in the NAF fleet.

"He has also acquired 18 new aircraft, 12 Super Mushshak trainer aircraft, four Mi-35M helicopter gunships, two Agusta 101 helicopters, as well as two Bell 412 helicopters, which have been retrofitted to perform light combat functions," he said stressing that these have fully equipped personnel to go on operations successfully and the work of the joint efforts has been enhanced.

He said Nigerians have high expectations of the military which they must live up to saying the war room collaboration is one of the best ways of achieving that.

He commended the recent success of military operations in Katsina which dislodged a great number of bandits adding more of such instant actions are required to send strong warnings to criminals that they can no longer get away with such crimes.

The security expert said for the service chiefs to achieve better results however, they should like the President said, review their operations and overhaul their strategy against the terrorists.

He said with that, they would  deliver better results that will not only secure Nigeria but also make the people happy once again.

'I fled because I could not get justice'

'I fled because I could not get justice'

By Our Reporter

In the last few years, alarming figures which emanated from National Bureau of Statistics data recently highlighted key flaws in Nigeria’s security and criminal justice system. The report shows that 72.5% of Nigeria’s total prison population are inmates serving terms while awaiting trial and without being sentenced.

The implication of this, is that victims of violent crimes such as armed robbery, banditry, insurgency, rape, sexual assault and other violent crimes are yet to get justice.

But few days ago, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, said security has improved from what it used to be. Many Nigerians disagreed with the Army Chief on this assertion. According to them, there is still violent killings, rape and many more across the country.

Particularly alarming are reports in the media of happenings threatening the security of the State in many parts of Nigeria. It is disturbing to read of a recent rape allegedly committed by a very terrorizing group known as the “One Million Boys” in Ogijo Area, Ogun State Nigeria as widely reported in the news. 

The horror and instability that have been established by these bandit groups can only be imagined as we have read of several rival groups clashes in communities leading to deaths of the group members and innocent residents in such areas. One of such widely reported was the assassination of the leader of the said One Million Boys gang in Ibadan. 

His name was said to be Biola Ebila who was feared for being a known leader of the said group in Olomi Area, Ibadan Oyo State.  He was said to have lost his life in a rival group clash with the Kudeti Boys another violent cult group in Ibadan. His death has reportedly led to orgy of violence in the area.  

The activities of these cult groups have caused the death of innocent citizens, displaced many residents from their homes and had led to many others fleeing from their abode for safety due to the overwhelming nature of the violent crimes. 

To further confirm the status of this report, we interviewed some individuals who had lived in areas with peculiar reports of the groups’ violent crimes.

According to a lady who pleaded for anonymity, she narrated a very ugly incident that happened to her about three years ago. She recounted that she was allegedly raped and molested by the members of the group and despite making reports to the Police, she could not get justice till date for want of evidence. Some leaders of community who also pleaded for anonymity for fear of reprisal pleaded that government should intensify its efforts to combat the violent crimes of the cult groups. They noted that several innocent citizens have been killed and properties worth millions destroyed by actions of these violent groups. 

A victim of violent attacks, who eventually fled the country told Law and Society how she escaped from armed gang, popularly know as ''One Million Boys'' in Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria.

According to the victim, Babalola Sukurat Olabisi, a Nigerian who was born in Cote D’Ivoire recounted that she relocated to Nigeria in the year 2002 from Cote Divoire, for her education and stayed with relatives in Ibadan. 

''In 2016, we had several attacks by cult and bandits’ groups in Kudeti Area Ibadan. It was a very terrorizing and agonizing experience as the cult groups known as the ONE MILLION boys supposedly retained by some politicians as machineries perpetrated all sorts of crimes from rape to armed robbery and some acts of militancy within the area. 

''I was particularly, a victim while staying with my relatives as I was attacked about two times and this led to my decision to run for my life first outside Oyo State and eventually outside Nigeria. 

''To state the exact details, we were attacked around December 2016 by the said cult group in their usual style and they raped and maimed young and the old. My cousin was raped by one of them and I identified the particular person and described him to the Police.

''The alleged rapist was arrested for the act but was not convicted for want of adequate evidence.  After the arrest of the suspect and the evidence i gave during police interrogation, I received threats to my life in the area via letters and notes which I reported to the Police. Eventually around late December 2016 there was an attempt on my life. I was attacked and was nearly beaten to death with marks left on parts of my body with a promise that I will be killed within 7 days. I fled the State and eventually the country in 2017”. she narrated.

The events narrated by Miss Sukurat made it obvious that the state of insecurity is more alarming than reported. There are many Nigerians living in fear of such reprisal attacks for their efforts in exposing the ills of the society as this. 

Consequently, it is pertinent for government at all levels to step up its efforts to ensure security of lives and property in Nigeria being a fundamental human right. 
Activities of groups such as the One Million Boys, Badoo Boys, the Kudeti Boys and the principal actors of the Boko Haram groups have worsened and have also hindered economic growth, stability and peaceful living in the country.
By Our Reporter

In the last few years, alarming figures which emanated from National Bureau of Statistics data recently highlighted key flaws in Nigeria’s security and criminal justice system. The report shows that 72.5% of Nigeria’s total prison population are inmates serving terms while awaiting trial and without being sentenced.

The implication of this, is that victims of violent crimes such as armed robbery, banditry, insurgency, rape, sexual assault and other violent crimes are yet to get justice.

But few days ago, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, said security has improved from what it used to be. Many Nigerians disagreed with the Army Chief on this assertion. According to them, there is still violent killings, rape and many more across the country.

Particularly alarming are reports in the media of happenings threatening the security of the State in many parts of Nigeria. It is disturbing to read of a recent rape allegedly committed by a very terrorizing group known as the “One Million Boys” in Ogijo Area, Ogun State Nigeria as widely reported in the news. 

The horror and instability that have been established by these bandit groups can only be imagined as we have read of several rival groups clashes in communities leading to deaths of the group members and innocent residents in such areas. One of such widely reported was the assassination of the leader of the said One Million Boys gang in Ibadan. 

His name was said to be Biola Ebila who was feared for being a known leader of the said group in Olomi Area, Ibadan Oyo State.  He was said to have lost his life in a rival group clash with the Kudeti Boys another violent cult group in Ibadan. His death has reportedly led to orgy of violence in the area.  

The activities of these cult groups have caused the death of innocent citizens, displaced many residents from their homes and had led to many others fleeing from their abode for safety due to the overwhelming nature of the violent crimes. 

To further confirm the status of this report, we interviewed some individuals who had lived in areas with peculiar reports of the groups’ violent crimes.

According to a lady who pleaded for anonymity, she narrated a very ugly incident that happened to her about three years ago. She recounted that she was allegedly raped and molested by the members of the group and despite making reports to the Police, she could not get justice till date for want of evidence. Some leaders of community who also pleaded for anonymity for fear of reprisal pleaded that government should intensify its efforts to combat the violent crimes of the cult groups. They noted that several innocent citizens have been killed and properties worth millions destroyed by actions of these violent groups. 

A victim of violent attacks, who eventually fled the country told Law and Society how she escaped from armed gang, popularly know as ''One Million Boys'' in Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria.

According to the victim, Babalola Sukurat Olabisi, a Nigerian who was born in Cote D’Ivoire recounted that she relocated to Nigeria in the year 2002 from Cote Divoire, for her education and stayed with relatives in Ibadan. 

''In 2016, we had several attacks by cult and bandits’ groups in Kudeti Area Ibadan. It was a very terrorizing and agonizing experience as the cult groups known as the ONE MILLION boys supposedly retained by some politicians as machineries perpetrated all sorts of crimes from rape to armed robbery and some acts of militancy within the area. 

''I was particularly, a victim while staying with my relatives as I was attacked about two times and this led to my decision to run for my life first outside Oyo State and eventually outside Nigeria. 

''To state the exact details, we were attacked around December 2016 by the said cult group in their usual style and they raped and maimed young and the old. My cousin was raped by one of them and I identified the particular person and described him to the Police.

''The alleged rapist was arrested for the act but was not convicted for want of adequate evidence.  After the arrest of the suspect and the evidence i gave during police interrogation, I received threats to my life in the area via letters and notes which I reported to the Police. Eventually around late December 2016 there was an attempt on my life. I was attacked and was nearly beaten to death with marks left on parts of my body with a promise that I will be killed within 7 days. I fled the State and eventually the country in 2017”. she narrated.

The events narrated by Miss Sukurat made it obvious that the state of insecurity is more alarming than reported. There are many Nigerians living in fear of such reprisal attacks for their efforts in exposing the ills of the society as this. 

Consequently, it is pertinent for government at all levels to step up its efforts to ensure security of lives and property in Nigeria being a fundamental human right. 
Activities of groups such as the One Million Boys, Badoo Boys, the Kudeti Boys and the principal actors of the Boko Haram groups have worsened and have also hindered economic growth, stability and peaceful living in the country.

Zulum: Passion should be matched with strategic action, Borno citizen writes governor on how to end Boko Haram

Zulum: Passion should be matched with strategic action, Borno citizen writes governor on how to end Boko Haram

By Dansu Peter 

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has been urged to match his passion and emotions with strategic action if at all he wants a lasting end to the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorism. 

This was contained in an open letter addressed to the governor on Thursday by a certain Alhaji Sherif Bulama, who simply described himself as a concerned native of Gubio Local Government Area of the state. 

Alhaji Bulama, while admitting that the governor has exhibited a "burning zeal and eagerness to confront terrorism and insurgency as evidenced by your passion and commitment" noted that a lot more needs to be done, one of which is a change in strategy. 

According to the Borno indegene, a stakeholders' dialogue involving Kanuri elders, elites and top government officials is crucial as youths would be educated after such session.

Instead of portraying the military as adversaries, he further charged Mr Zulum to sustain his earlier efforts of cooperating with troops and desist from castigating President Muhammadu Buhari at the slightest instance. 

Alhaji Bulama, however, advised  the governor to restrain from " impulsive outbursts as every word you say is potent and has far-reaching implications". 

Read full letter below:

Permit me to, first of all, felicitate with you on the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir which was peacefully celebrated in our dear state.

Your Excellency, I dare say that nobody who has followed your activities since you became governor in May 2019, would be enchanted by the passion you've shown in not only developing the state but in ensuring the security of lives and property of citizens. 

Sir, your escape from harm after an attack on your convoy on your way back from Baga where you had gone to distribute relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, has further confirmed that our affections for your charisma are rightly placed.

Your Excellency, as an indigene of Borno State, Gubio to be precise, I felt ashamed that my governor would suffer the kind of embarrassment you went through in the course of ensuring the distribution of relief materials to IDPs and I wish to assure you of our full support in the course of providing good governance to fellow natives and inhabitants of Borno.

Sir, for you to achieve the goal of developing and securing our state, permit me to as a well-meaning citizen, offer my candid advice and suggestions on some of the ways the security challenges in our dear state can be better eliminated. 

Why Passion Alone Cannot Suffice

Your Excellency, much as you have shown burning zeal and eagerness to confront terrorism and insurgency as evidenced by your passion and commitment, permit me to say that these emotions alone cannot be sufficient to take us to the promised land.

I have noticed also Sir, that in the course of trying to prove you're on the side of the masses, that you've thrown caution to the wind and have been attacking the military and even the President.

This, Your Excellency, is a path that you must avoid despite the initial cheers you're receiving as it is both uncharitable and counterintuitive for you to continue on the route given the level of sacrifice the military has put to protect citizens and defend the territorial integrity of our nation.

Like you stated in one of your speeches, the efforts and sacrifice of the military since the insurgency began in 2009, cannot be overemphasized.

At the risk of sounding pedagogical, let me remind Your Excellency, that the military has achieved a lot in the fight against insurgency and terrorism and are largely responsible for the current normalcy in the state. This is a well-known fact that no one on earth can ignore.

Why the Military Should be Appreciated

Apart from what they have achieved in the past, the military since the coming of the current administration has been able to overrun the operational base of the Boko Haram terrorists at Sambisa forest and recaptured not less than 11 local councils in Borno State alone. This is why it is possible for many of our people to return home again.

The Nigerian military has made it possible for many IDPs to return to their communities and opened up roads that were hitherto made too dangerous to travel on by the insurgents such that between 2015 and 2018 people do not need to cross-check before setting out on any journey within or outside the state.

Your Excellency, between April and July this year, the military also intensified its operations in Borno with the relocation of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, a proud indigene of Borno, to the state and in the process, killed more than 1500 of the terrorists including 30 of their top commanders while also arresting more than 40 of their informants. This is also another fact too glaring to ignore.

The Nigerian military had this year also been able to ward off attacks in so many locations in the state including the latest attempt to penetrate Maiduguri, the state capital. 

The Peculiarity of the Borno Situation 

Much as these have been achieved through combat operations, Your Excellency must have observed that while the activities of the terrorists have been curtailed in other Northeastern states of Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi and to a large extent, Yobe, it has continued to worsen in Borno.

At first glance, this may appear to be so because of the proximity of Borno to Chad, but on a second look, this reason appears untenable as some of the states mentioned equally share large swathe of their borders with other Boko Haram infested countries. 

What makes the case of Borno peculiar is that there are certain factors that exacerbate and fuel the crisis. 

The Real Problem 

Your Excellency, after more than a year in office, you must have noticed that the Boko Haram issue is not religious as it was initially made to appear. 

The truth Sir is that there are people who are making money off these terrorist activities and there are top politicians from our state who for selfish interests, do not want the insurgency to end. 

The elites, elders and stakeholders from our state are perpetrating this violence and benefitting financially from it and that is why this group of people hardly condemn the atrocities committed by these terrorists. 

Sir, I'm sure you are well aware that our people know these terrorists but have for reasons best known to them, failed to take the necessary actions against them.

Other factors militating against the successful clean up of terrorism in our state include the thriving but illegal smuggling along Bama axis, the turf war at the fishing business in Baga and other places and due to high wired politics. 

Need for Change in Strategy 

Your Excellency, I make bold to say that if we desire to see the end of this insurrection as quickly possible, then you must change your strategy due to the following reasons.

As you must have noticed, the majority of the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists are our Kanuri brothers and sons.

Due to that, I will suggest here Sir that you should initiate a stakeholders' dialogue and invite our Kanuri elders, elites and top government officials to discuss frankly among ourselves and find ways of getting the message across to these youths.

I'm sure Sir, that once this is done, the youths will see our seriousness and sincerity in ending the crisis and would have no problems withdrawing from their turfs.

Secondly and very important Sir, you must sustain your earlier efforts of cooperating with the military and desist from castigating Mr President which you started in the early days of your administration and discontinue this attitude of portraying them as adversaries. 

Your Excellency, you must as a leader restrain yourself from impulsive outbursts as every word you say is potent and has far-reaching implications.

Let me in conclusion, Sir, remind you that the Boko Haram conflict is in its 11th year now and has claimed the lives of several thousands of people, displaced more than 2.3 million and has left at least 7.7 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance and created deep social and psychological wounds which cannot be allowed to continue. 

It is my belief and that of many indigenes of Borno, that given your track record, these measures are not beyond you to take to achieve complete elimination of terrorists and insurgency activities in our state and Nigeria as a whole. 

I thank you and trust this will get your desired attention. 

May Allah guide you on the right path.
By Dansu Peter 

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has been urged to match his passion and emotions with strategic action if at all he wants a lasting end to the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorism. 

This was contained in an open letter addressed to the governor on Thursday by a certain Alhaji Sherif Bulama, who simply described himself as a concerned native of Gubio Local Government Area of the state. 

Alhaji Bulama, while admitting that the governor has exhibited a "burning zeal and eagerness to confront terrorism and insurgency as evidenced by your passion and commitment" noted that a lot more needs to be done, one of which is a change in strategy. 

According to the Borno indegene, a stakeholders' dialogue involving Kanuri elders, elites and top government officials is crucial as youths would be educated after such session.

Instead of portraying the military as adversaries, he further charged Mr Zulum to sustain his earlier efforts of cooperating with troops and desist from castigating President Muhammadu Buhari at the slightest instance. 

Alhaji Bulama, however, advised  the governor to restrain from " impulsive outbursts as every word you say is potent and has far-reaching implications". 

Read full letter below:

Permit me to, first of all, felicitate with you on the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir which was peacefully celebrated in our dear state.

Your Excellency, I dare say that nobody who has followed your activities since you became governor in May 2019, would be enchanted by the passion you've shown in not only developing the state but in ensuring the security of lives and property of citizens. 

Sir, your escape from harm after an attack on your convoy on your way back from Baga where you had gone to distribute relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, has further confirmed that our affections for your charisma are rightly placed.

Your Excellency, as an indigene of Borno State, Gubio to be precise, I felt ashamed that my governor would suffer the kind of embarrassment you went through in the course of ensuring the distribution of relief materials to IDPs and I wish to assure you of our full support in the course of providing good governance to fellow natives and inhabitants of Borno.

Sir, for you to achieve the goal of developing and securing our state, permit me to as a well-meaning citizen, offer my candid advice and suggestions on some of the ways the security challenges in our dear state can be better eliminated. 

Why Passion Alone Cannot Suffice

Your Excellency, much as you have shown burning zeal and eagerness to confront terrorism and insurgency as evidenced by your passion and commitment, permit me to say that these emotions alone cannot be sufficient to take us to the promised land.

I have noticed also Sir, that in the course of trying to prove you're on the side of the masses, that you've thrown caution to the wind and have been attacking the military and even the President.

This, Your Excellency, is a path that you must avoid despite the initial cheers you're receiving as it is both uncharitable and counterintuitive for you to continue on the route given the level of sacrifice the military has put to protect citizens and defend the territorial integrity of our nation.

Like you stated in one of your speeches, the efforts and sacrifice of the military since the insurgency began in 2009, cannot be overemphasized.

At the risk of sounding pedagogical, let me remind Your Excellency, that the military has achieved a lot in the fight against insurgency and terrorism and are largely responsible for the current normalcy in the state. This is a well-known fact that no one on earth can ignore.

Why the Military Should be Appreciated

Apart from what they have achieved in the past, the military since the coming of the current administration has been able to overrun the operational base of the Boko Haram terrorists at Sambisa forest and recaptured not less than 11 local councils in Borno State alone. This is why it is possible for many of our people to return home again.

The Nigerian military has made it possible for many IDPs to return to their communities and opened up roads that were hitherto made too dangerous to travel on by the insurgents such that between 2015 and 2018 people do not need to cross-check before setting out on any journey within or outside the state.

Your Excellency, between April and July this year, the military also intensified its operations in Borno with the relocation of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, a proud indigene of Borno, to the state and in the process, killed more than 1500 of the terrorists including 30 of their top commanders while also arresting more than 40 of their informants. This is also another fact too glaring to ignore.

The Nigerian military had this year also been able to ward off attacks in so many locations in the state including the latest attempt to penetrate Maiduguri, the state capital. 

The Peculiarity of the Borno Situation 

Much as these have been achieved through combat operations, Your Excellency must have observed that while the activities of the terrorists have been curtailed in other Northeastern states of Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi and to a large extent, Yobe, it has continued to worsen in Borno.

At first glance, this may appear to be so because of the proximity of Borno to Chad, but on a second look, this reason appears untenable as some of the states mentioned equally share large swathe of their borders with other Boko Haram infested countries. 

What makes the case of Borno peculiar is that there are certain factors that exacerbate and fuel the crisis. 

The Real Problem 

Your Excellency, after more than a year in office, you must have noticed that the Boko Haram issue is not religious as it was initially made to appear. 

The truth Sir is that there are people who are making money off these terrorist activities and there are top politicians from our state who for selfish interests, do not want the insurgency to end. 

The elites, elders and stakeholders from our state are perpetrating this violence and benefitting financially from it and that is why this group of people hardly condemn the atrocities committed by these terrorists. 

Sir, I'm sure you are well aware that our people know these terrorists but have for reasons best known to them, failed to take the necessary actions against them.

Other factors militating against the successful clean up of terrorism in our state include the thriving but illegal smuggling along Bama axis, the turf war at the fishing business in Baga and other places and due to high wired politics. 

Need for Change in Strategy 

Your Excellency, I make bold to say that if we desire to see the end of this insurrection as quickly possible, then you must change your strategy due to the following reasons.

As you must have noticed, the majority of the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists are our Kanuri brothers and sons.

Due to that, I will suggest here Sir that you should initiate a stakeholders' dialogue and invite our Kanuri elders, elites and top government officials to discuss frankly among ourselves and find ways of getting the message across to these youths.

I'm sure Sir, that once this is done, the youths will see our seriousness and sincerity in ending the crisis and would have no problems withdrawing from their turfs.

Secondly and very important Sir, you must sustain your earlier efforts of cooperating with the military and desist from castigating Mr President which you started in the early days of your administration and discontinue this attitude of portraying them as adversaries. 

Your Excellency, you must as a leader restrain yourself from impulsive outbursts as every word you say is potent and has far-reaching implications.

Let me in conclusion, Sir, remind you that the Boko Haram conflict is in its 11th year now and has claimed the lives of several thousands of people, displaced more than 2.3 million and has left at least 7.7 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance and created deep social and psychological wounds which cannot be allowed to continue. 

It is my belief and that of many indigenes of Borno, that given your track record, these measures are not beyond you to take to achieve complete elimination of terrorists and insurgency activities in our state and Nigeria as a whole. 

I thank you and trust this will get your desired attention. 

May Allah guide you on the right path.

REVEALED: How smuggling, politics fuel Boko Haram in Borno

REVEALED: How smuggling, politics fuel Boko Haram in Borno

By Dansu Peter 

Terrorists activities in Borno State has refused to abate due to the flourishing but illegal business of smuggling in some local councils in the state as well due to the interests of some politicians who benefit from the lingering crisis, our investigations have revealed.

Terrorists activities by Boko Haram which started in 2009 has refused to die down completely in Borno State despite the heavy military clampdown on their activities over the years. 

The military had in 2010 routed the terrorists and arrested their leader, Mohammed Yusuf and handed him over to the police which sent the sect underground for almost two years before the resurfaced.

The military since the coming of the current administration has been able to defeat the terrorists and overrun their operational base at Sambisa forest while recapturing 20 local councils spread across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States. 

The Nigerian military had between April and July also killed more than 1500 of the terrorists including over 30 of their top commanders and arrested more than 40 of their informants. 

But while the activities of the terrorists have been curtailed in the Northeastern states of Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi and to a large extent, Yobe, they have continued to regroup around communities in Borno around the Chadian border where they sometimes launch attacks on communities.

The terrorists had in July attacked a community in Gubio where they killed about 80 persons including women and children.

Investigations by our correspondents have shown that the activities of the terrorists in the other states outside Borno were checked through sustained collaboration with the political class in those states and the effective manning of border points.

Residents of border towns in those states raise alarm when they detect any suspicious movements and close ranks with security agencies to nip the situation at the bud.

The situation is however different in Borno State where the political class h refused to cooperate with the security agencies and some businessmen prefer to sustain the reign of terror due to their political and business interests. 

At stake, our correspondents discovered, is the thriving illegal business of smuggling from where tonnes of rice and other banned items are smuggled into Nigeria while millions litres of fuel are transported into Chad and other neighbouring countries. 

The route has also become the hub of illegal arms importation due to the withdrawal of most security agencies from the area for fear of being attacked by the terrorists.

A source at the Banki axis who prefers not to named, told our correspondents that the business works both ways for terrorists and the smugglers.

"While the insurgents are able to smuggle arms through these routes, the other businessmen ship contraband with little or no fear of being apprehended."

He said while the fear of Boko Boko Haram drives away other competitors, those who are deep into the business prefer to sustain it as the volume of their smuggling activities has intensified.

The major smuggling route is along Gamboru-Banki and Gaidam axis of Borno State.

Nigeria’s Ministry of Interior, had a time disclosed that there are over 1,499 illegal and 84 legal officially identified entry routes into Nigeria.

The ministry confirmed that the existence of the illegal routes permit illicit transnational arms trafficking and that terrorists and smugglers take advantage of this leakage to smuggle small arms and light weapons (SALWs) into Nigeria, as a result of which over 70 percent of about 8 million illegal weapons in West Africa have found their ways to Nigeria.

Several arrests have been made in the past by the Police  and Customs but these have not deterred the smugglers. 

A Custom official told our correspondent that they have apprehended smugglers of  assault rifles who hide them in sacks of maize several times. 

The Borno-Yobe Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), had at a time seized a truck conveying 300 bags of imported rice in Borno.

The Zonal Controller of the Command, Abdullahi Biu, who made the disclosure, said the truck was intercepted by men of the command along Bama-Banki Road following intelligence report that it was conveying imported rice concealed with animal feeds and charcoals.

Nigeria is a diverse country covering 923, 768 square kilometers with more than 36, 450 kilometers of land and maritime borders, shares 770 kilometers of land borders with Benin Republic in the West, 90 kilometers with Chad and 1,500 kilometers with Niger in the North, 1,700 kilometers with Cameroon in the East and shares 853 kilometres of maritime border with the Atlantic Ocean known as the Gulf of Guinea along the southern coast line. 

On the whole, Nigeria is bounded by a total of 4,910 kilometres outstretch of borders.

A recent independent study on border crime has shown that the phenomenal rise in smuggling of goods, money laundering and drug trafficking and other trans-border crimes within the border areas with Borno State has become a major source of worry, more so as it is growing in scale and momentum without a corresponding clear and coordinate strategy for dealing with it.

Problems caused by porous borders in Borno State over the years, almost put the economy of the country to a halt, the study concluded. 

On the political turf, there are indications that many of the politicians in Borno do not want the insurgency to end because it serves their interests in various ways.

The terrorists according to our findings have scared away many top politicians from the state who would have given their local counterparts a good run for their money.

Such politicians hardly stay beyond two days and hurriedly leave while many have not been to their communities for years.

The politicians on ground see this as working in their favour and prefer the situation perists.

The insecurity also shields public office holders especially at the local government levels from accounting for the resources allocated to them and provides them with good excuses not to do any project. 

A source told our correspondents that, "The local government funds have become an all purpose funds that can be disbursed without scrutiny."

These have made the stakeholders reluctant to sit down and find a lasting solution to the problem and sometimes antagonize the military for doing its job.

One of the top politicians however denied the allegation saying the reason they sometimes don't raise their voices against the terrorists is due to fear of being attacked.
By Dansu Peter 

Terrorists activities in Borno State has refused to abate due to the flourishing but illegal business of smuggling in some local councils in the state as well due to the interests of some politicians who benefit from the lingering crisis, our investigations have revealed.

Terrorists activities by Boko Haram which started in 2009 has refused to die down completely in Borno State despite the heavy military clampdown on their activities over the years. 

The military had in 2010 routed the terrorists and arrested their leader, Mohammed Yusuf and handed him over to the police which sent the sect underground for almost two years before the resurfaced.

The military since the coming of the current administration has been able to defeat the terrorists and overrun their operational base at Sambisa forest while recapturing 20 local councils spread across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States. 

The Nigerian military had between April and July also killed more than 1500 of the terrorists including over 30 of their top commanders and arrested more than 40 of their informants. 

But while the activities of the terrorists have been curtailed in the Northeastern states of Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi and to a large extent, Yobe, they have continued to regroup around communities in Borno around the Chadian border where they sometimes launch attacks on communities.

The terrorists had in July attacked a community in Gubio where they killed about 80 persons including women and children.

Investigations by our correspondents have shown that the activities of the terrorists in the other states outside Borno were checked through sustained collaboration with the political class in those states and the effective manning of border points.

Residents of border towns in those states raise alarm when they detect any suspicious movements and close ranks with security agencies to nip the situation at the bud.

The situation is however different in Borno State where the political class h refused to cooperate with the security agencies and some businessmen prefer to sustain the reign of terror due to their political and business interests. 

At stake, our correspondents discovered, is the thriving illegal business of smuggling from where tonnes of rice and other banned items are smuggled into Nigeria while millions litres of fuel are transported into Chad and other neighbouring countries. 

The route has also become the hub of illegal arms importation due to the withdrawal of most security agencies from the area for fear of being attacked by the terrorists.

A source at the Banki axis who prefers not to named, told our correspondents that the business works both ways for terrorists and the smugglers.

"While the insurgents are able to smuggle arms through these routes, the other businessmen ship contraband with little or no fear of being apprehended."

He said while the fear of Boko Boko Haram drives away other competitors, those who are deep into the business prefer to sustain it as the volume of their smuggling activities has intensified.

The major smuggling route is along Gamboru-Banki and Gaidam axis of Borno State.

Nigeria’s Ministry of Interior, had a time disclosed that there are over 1,499 illegal and 84 legal officially identified entry routes into Nigeria.

The ministry confirmed that the existence of the illegal routes permit illicit transnational arms trafficking and that terrorists and smugglers take advantage of this leakage to smuggle small arms and light weapons (SALWs) into Nigeria, as a result of which over 70 percent of about 8 million illegal weapons in West Africa have found their ways to Nigeria.

Several arrests have been made in the past by the Police  and Customs but these have not deterred the smugglers. 

A Custom official told our correspondent that they have apprehended smugglers of  assault rifles who hide them in sacks of maize several times. 

The Borno-Yobe Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), had at a time seized a truck conveying 300 bags of imported rice in Borno.

The Zonal Controller of the Command, Abdullahi Biu, who made the disclosure, said the truck was intercepted by men of the command along Bama-Banki Road following intelligence report that it was conveying imported rice concealed with animal feeds and charcoals.

Nigeria is a diverse country covering 923, 768 square kilometers with more than 36, 450 kilometers of land and maritime borders, shares 770 kilometers of land borders with Benin Republic in the West, 90 kilometers with Chad and 1,500 kilometers with Niger in the North, 1,700 kilometers with Cameroon in the East and shares 853 kilometres of maritime border with the Atlantic Ocean known as the Gulf of Guinea along the southern coast line. 

On the whole, Nigeria is bounded by a total of 4,910 kilometres outstretch of borders.

A recent independent study on border crime has shown that the phenomenal rise in smuggling of goods, money laundering and drug trafficking and other trans-border crimes within the border areas with Borno State has become a major source of worry, more so as it is growing in scale and momentum without a corresponding clear and coordinate strategy for dealing with it.

Problems caused by porous borders in Borno State over the years, almost put the economy of the country to a halt, the study concluded. 

On the political turf, there are indications that many of the politicians in Borno do not want the insurgency to end because it serves their interests in various ways.

The terrorists according to our findings have scared away many top politicians from the state who would have given their local counterparts a good run for their money.

Such politicians hardly stay beyond two days and hurriedly leave while many have not been to their communities for years.

The politicians on ground see this as working in their favour and prefer the situation perists.

The insecurity also shields public office holders especially at the local government levels from accounting for the resources allocated to them and provides them with good excuses not to do any project. 

A source told our correspondents that, "The local government funds have become an all purpose funds that can be disbursed without scrutiny."

These have made the stakeholders reluctant to sit down and find a lasting solution to the problem and sometimes antagonize the military for doing its job.

One of the top politicians however denied the allegation saying the reason they sometimes don't raise their voices against the terrorists is due to fear of being attacked.

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