By: Okanga Agila
Nigerians and other progressive nations would not stop feting the victory of Nigerian soldiers over Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs). Agents of retrogression and BHTs’ masked men dexterous in the art of story-telling under the moonlight are at liberty to continue to regale in what they know best.
They can even deny the reality of the decimation of terrorists in Nigeria. These doubting Thomases can live with their malicious doubts and camouflage it as patriotic concerns for Nigeria. But no one is fooled at their concealed inner pain of the obliteration of terrorists in the country and the stoppage of the patronage (including money) they enjoyed as paid informants of BHTs.
But families, communities, local governments and states in Nigeria hitherto enslaved by the threats and brutal power of insurgents have never ceased chanting songs of liberation. Whether terrorists agents eternally song their imagined resurrection from the dead, it does not halt the evergreen euphoria of celebration, distract soldiers or the focused FGN.
Nations have loud memorable accolades for Nigerian soldiers on terror war. The United Nations (UN) is not a body given to frivolities or deceit. But if this august body has added its confirmation of the suppression and eventual trounce of insurgents by its elaborate attestation through the out-going Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, then residues of terrorists agents can sing on rooftops about its resurgence, but no one is perturbed. International assessors from different countries and organizations have lent credence to BHTs defeat in Nigeria.
Writing in Thisday newspaper recently, a character by the identity of Adebowale took leave of himself to suspiciously and surreptitiously publicize his credentials as one of BHTs sympathizers’ or even an agent.
He titled his piece as “Buratai should respond appropriately to Gashagar attack,” in which he piteously contradicted himself by fruitlessly attempting to disparage the success of the war on terror and at the same time, unconsciously applauded the performance of Nigerian soldiers in the terror war since President Muhammedu Buhari re-invented the Nigerian Army.
The author of the piece weaved his antics around the attack on soldiers at Gashagar town in Borno state and magnified it to appear as if soldiers were overpowered and the terrorists conquered the community. He made generous allusions to unspecified number of missing and dead soldiers from an incident he has no independent details till this moment.
In disgraceful contempt for himself, even the submission by the Nigerian Army that 39 soldiers were missing from the attack, but none killed by the insurgents never assuaged him. Days later, Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor elucidated that almost all the soldiers reportedly missing have returned.
On the contrary, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Usman Sani could not have lied as insinuated by the author of the piece, when he quoted a text message credited to Col. Sani which simply read “Its not true.” In communication there are no half measures and if Sani’s reply text to his inquiries was necessary to quote in the piece, he would have bothered to also quote his own text message to the Colonel for proper digestion.
Col. Sani’s purported reply that “It’s not true” could be an answer to another issue, rebuttal to an exaggerated number of soldiers allegedly missing or dead. So, nothing substantial has been communicated.
By the barbaric mentality of terrorists, had any soldier been captured in the attack, they would have displayed them in chains and posted it on their videos.
His subjective reasoning that Col. Sani’s reply implied “playing politics with the lives of our gallant soldiers,” is display of incendiary madness. A soldier swears an oath to live and die for the protection of his country on the first day he is conscripted into the Army. So, what’s the fuss about a soldier dying in war?
Its elementary knowledge that in war situations, there must be casualties on either side. But what counts ultimately is triumph and Nigerian soldiers under the guardian light of COAS, Gen. Tukur Buratai have proved beyond disbelief that BHTs been conveniently conquered.
He should ask Americans the number of troops they sacrificed to terminate the reign of terrorists kingpin, Osama Bin Laden.
Having prepared the grounds of installing psychological fears in Nigerians, he betrayed his ignorant, but demonic motive by asserting “Boko Haram is still very active in Mobbar, Abadam and Chibok LGAs of Borno State… This war is far from over.”
Anybody can bet that he has not visited any of the places he is claiming resurrection of terrorists. But schools in Chibok closed over two years ago have been re-opened and operating smoothly. Except, there is another Chibok community in Niger, or else, the one in Nigeria is not under BHTs “active” control.
Communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states previously held to ransom by terrorists have reconnected with their social dislocation. Farmers, markets, fishermen, motorists and herders among others have re-engaged themselves with their respective trades. A bubbling night life now electrifies the moods in most Borno towns and cities. These are not signs of a people under threat of terrorism.
Then, he ridicules his submissions by saying, “clearly, the military is still battling for control, despite making gains against the terrorists.” It’s awful to admit failure and progress on the same matter at the same time. His logic has given more to the suspicion that he is the veiled ombudsman of the terrorists and even clothed with this status, his emotions could not suppress the immutable truth of soldiers’ defeat of the terrorists.
So, waiting for the reaction of the Army Chief, Gen Buratai to Ghashgar attack would still not make sense to this disfigured mind, whose agenda is not beyond celebration of sadism. It is the everyday prayer of such proxies to see the Nigerian state overthrown by terrorists and soaked by unemployment.
So, resorting to the gutter to pick any piece of information to promote this cause is an easy starter for such folks as he says, “The story in town is that our soldiers were ill-equipped to face the Boko Haram fighters that attacked Gashagar. Buratai has to do something very fast about this issue of equipment.”
He believes so much in the potency of the town crier usually domiciled in villages. He rushes to them for news and seeks to elevate it to national grandeur. It is from the same village town criers that he got the notion of soldiers on the battlefront “are being cheated by their commanders” and their morale is down.
But this is an era where soldiers write and sign petitions against their superiors to higher authorities, yet none has written any over unpaid allowances or half food allowances since Buratai took control of the army. So, why is anyone more catholic than the Pope?
Sometimes, it baffles infinitely that some Nigerians, with jaundiced wisdom feel the Nigerian Army should have listed and publicized all their arms and ammunitions in order to know how it is fortified. But would this action not amount to divulging yourself before the enemy who would take stock of the weapons you have displayed to go for higher grades to confront you? That is the wisdom some Nigerians flaunt and deploy tricks to induce compliance.
As agent of the terrorists, the writer of the piece is tacitly angling for this sort of weapon exposure to assist his comrades re-strategize, but it has fallen on sterile land. Nowhere in the world, this is tenable and Buratai is too versatile to be fooled by such tricks.
Those abreast with the history of the evolution of BHTs in Nigeria would agree that by reducing their capacity to only unleash isolated attacks at intervals alone is great achievement. Bombs no longer explode everywhere and incessantly.
But now the states are liberated and indeed, Nigeria is freed from BHTs grips to the extent nations of world have gone deep in induction courses with Nigerian soldiers as instructors, on how to fight terrorism.
Now the terrorists only dream of such opportunities, as they cannot foist their flags anywhere in Nigeria, strike with reckless abandon or celebrate a feast of captives. And all the lies about broad daylight attack on Giwa Barracks or foisting of black flags at the Police College, in Gwoza are the sabotaging schemes too naked to frighten anybody. So, the propaganda by its agents would not dampen the spirit of Nigerians or soldiers to sustain the vigil and tempo.
Okanga writes from Benue State