By: Nnamdi Nwobi
The Nigerian Army has over the years been saddled with numerous security challenges, but lately, one area that has recorded tremendous success is the fight against insurgency. Ever since the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Tukur Buratai assumed office on 16th July 2015, the battle against Boko Haram terrorists and all forms of insurgency in the country has gained momentum as the terrorists have been sent away from places that they had earlier staked as their territory.
These victories are being recorded on a daily basis despite efforts by some individuals to sabotage the war. For instance, in the early hours of Sunday, October 30, the Nigerian Army troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE deployed behind Bakassi IDP camp, Damboa road in Maiduguri, arrested two men suspected to be suicide bombers while they were attempting to detonate explosives at the Internally Displaced Persons camp. This came just a day after a suicide bomber attacked the same IDP camp while another attacked an NNPC depot on the same road, leading to the death of nine people. The first attack was said to have occurred at 7:00 am in front of a camp for displaced persons in the Bakassi area of Maiduguri metropolis and minutes later a second bomb went off at a bus stop.
The unfortunate attack on Saturday caused a lot of commotion and casted aspersions on the image of the security forces especially the army and their efforts in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency. This was what the people that planned the attacks wanted; to erode the confidence of the people in the army and undermine the success recorded so far. However, the army proved its mettle just 24 hours later when a vigilant sentry foiled another attack near the camp by gunning down another suicide bomber who intended to wreck more havoc at the camp.
These attacks came on the heels of an announcement by the spokesman for the Defence Headquarters, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, who stated that Boko Haram terrorists have finally been destroyed. And indeed, Boko Haram terrorists have been brought to their knees. It is imperative to state that the recent attacks are mere efforts at causing distractions by some criminally minded people that want to undermine the success story of the Nigerian Army in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Buratai has however refused to allow various machinations aimed at making him loose focus or have any effect on the war. Like a real commander, he does not stay at home while his troops go to the battle ground. He leads by example and leads his troops on the battlefield. This is one of the reasons that the Nigerian Army continues to record huge success in the fight against insurgency under his watch.
The efforts of Gen Buratai in the fight against terrorism have not gone unnoticed as he has been given accolades for the successes recorded so far. The National Human Rights commission recently commended the Army under his watch for observing the rules of engagement and respecting human rights laws.
The First lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari also commended the Chief of Army Staff for what she described as chasing Boko Haram out of Nigeria and also commended the staff of 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Kaduna for taking adequate care of wounded officers and soldiers.
The Governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima also recently applauded the Nigerian Army for the successes recorded in the fight against terror.
In his words, ‘’Two years ago, we were under massive attacks from every angle. It was impossible for anyone to move out 10 km away from the state capital. Today, Boko Haram is no longer holding any of our territories. It is the efforts of good leadership in the Nigerian Army that brought this result’’.
The Governor described those criticizing the Chief of Army Staff as Boko Haram members or their sympathizers. ‘’I think anyone criticizing Lt Gen Buratai is economical with the truth. It is either the persons are Boko Haram members or sympathizers. They want to distract him but we Borno people are surely behind him’’, Governor Shettima stated.
It is important to note that the Boko Haram terrorists have been degraded and chased out of the borders of Nigeria. The latest bombings being attributed to the terrorists are at best a desperate attempt by few terrorists sympathisers to keep the terrorists in the public psyche. Most likely therefore the attacks are facilitated by heartless criminals just to cause panic, unrest and confusion from which they benefit. However, these heartless elements regardless of their identity have failed as the troops have risen to the occasion and are ever ready to crush all wicked and misguided elements out to hurt citizens of Nigeria.
Nwobi contributed this piece from Akwa