Insecurity: Military Moles On The Prowl

<strong>Insecurity: Military Moles On The Prowl</strong>

Since 2009, Nigeria has been reeling from serious attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists group which has degenerated into the evolution of several other terror groups who it seems are bent on bringing the country to its knees, with their stronghold across the North-west while extending to other parts of the country.

It all started like isolated attacks involving bandits who daily sneaked into people’s homes and murdered them in cold blood. Their activities later grew in proportion and capacity to wreak havoc on hapless citizens. These satanic activities were no longer confined to the homes of their victims, they also hacked people down on the streets, highways, churches, mosques and wherever they chose to ply their lethal trade.

Today, it has assumed the status of an epidemic on its own with countless people and numerous security agents fallen victims in the hands of these terrorists who seem very determined to overwhelm everyone in the country.

Successive administrations have put in great efforts and resources to bring the menace to an end, adopting varieties of strategies to restore order in the country. This underscores the government resolve to confront the growing incidence of violence and insecurity in the country.

The first few months into the fight against the insurgency were hectic as the terrorists seemed to have dug in. With the more sophisticated weapons paraded by the Nigerian troops at that time, the terrorists were soon routed from city centres as they took to their heels and sought sanctuary in the hills and dense forests of the North-east. But just as people were beginning to heave a sigh of relief, the terrorists came up with deadly attacks using guerrilla tactics. And because the troops were not fighting a conventional war, they had to be mindful in their assault against the terrorists so as not to incur heavy civilian casualties.

As it is, the terrorists seem to be capitalising on the self-restraint of the troops to wreak havoc on defenceless and innocent people. Added to this is the fact that the terrorists who obviously enjoy some external support from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, have grown in sophistication in recent times. This is apparent from the deadly attack unleashed on many targets, including military bases.

For Nigeria to gain any appreciable success regarding the perennial war on terror it is pertinent to adopt a change of strategy from a direct arms confrontation, which is apparently not offering the right result anyways over the years, to tracking the moles within the government and the military by focusing on terrorist sympatisers and sponsors who as it were, exist within the ranks of highly placed public officials and the military, officers and soldiers, who it would seem have made an industry of the entire insecurity enterprise. This has been confirmed by some members of the National Assembly and was also alluded to by former president Goodluck Jonathan.        

Recall that some time ago, at least 40 Nigerian soldiers were reportedly killed and 65 others went missing in a deadly ambush by suspected members of the extremist group in the Northeast. The casualty, one of the heaviest for the military in its ongoing campaign, occurred along the Baga –Maiduguri Road on Friday, September 13, 2014 in what was described as a classic case of operational and communication failure. A detachment of soldiers under the 134 Battalion of the 12 Brigade under the MultiNational Joint Task Force, MNJTF, stationed in Kangarwa village in Kukawa Local Government, had conducted a reconnaissance in order to gather intelligence around the area. During the exercise, they established the presence of previously unnoticed Boko Haram camps. The soldiers returned to their base and filed a report. The report recommended aerial bombardment of the area ahead of a ground operation by troops.

Unfortunately, the plan was cancelled at the last minute by a senior officer without formal communication to the more than 100 troops that had already advanced on the area. Consequently, due to lack of communication, the troop ran into the terrorists without knowing that the aerial bombardment had been cancelled and they were caught unawares.

There have been many such attacks on military formations across the country such as the one on the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, in Kaduna State which is indicative of insider collaboration.   

AljazirahNigeria suggests that the military high command needs to look inward in order to be able to contain the activities of these terrorists. There is no doubt that with the various ambushes and surprise attacks on military formations, there are moles within the military itself, as the Army hierarchy would agree to these facts latest of which was the Sergeant that shut himself owing to collusion and in order to cover up other accomplices still within the military formations.

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