Applauds, doubts over military attack on terrorists – Nexus News

Against the backdrop of sustained attack on terrorist refuge in the North West geo-political zone, especially Kaduna State, Arewa groups and residents of the state have commended the current efforts toward bringing an end to the reign of crisis in the area.

The groups and residents affirmed to Newsmen that indeed, military men under the directive of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Mechanized Division, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, with the active support of the Air Force, have caused heavy casualties on the bandits in various camps located in Birnin Gwari communities and its environs.

They said that the deployment of military artillery against the bandits in their hideouts has brought relative calm to the state, noting that incidences of kidnapping have reduced while residents now move about to carry out their businesses with less fear.

However, others expressed reservations about the alleged successes of the security agencies lately, stating that such gains had turned out to be temporary in the past.

A resident of Kabala Costain, a residential area in Kaduna, Malam Muri Lawal, told Journalist that peace has returned to his area.

“We thank God that the military has been able to curb the activities of the bandits and kidnappers and peace has returned to our environment.

“We are praying the military should continue this good work they have started and bring a permanent end to all these problems in our state and country,” said Lawal, who is a car electrician.

Former Secretary General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Elder Anthony Sani, stated that he welcomed “the new drive by the military,” stating that it was probably “in response to the presidential order given recently that the military should take the fight to the bases in the forests and stop the madness, which in turn is in response to public outcry against the level of insecurity in the country.”

He added: “You recall that Governor El-Rufai went as far as alleging that the bandits have formed parallel governments across the country while Governor Masari advocated that citizens be allowed unfettered access to arms for self-defence.

“What is more? INEC warned that insecurity could pose danger to the conduct of elections next year. Such outcries must have goaded Mr President to give the matching orders to the military to secure the nation by taking the fight to the bases of the bandits in the forests.

“With enough well-trained and equipped military personnel, the military should be able to sustain the tempo and eviscerate the strongholds of the bandits.”

Sni said that he had always emphasized that Nigeria’s situation was not above redemption, given purposeful leadership and the will of the military.

Reiterating the need for the military to maintain the ongoing onslaught on the terrorists, Sani noticed that high fighting spirit and high morale were a function of enough well-trained security operatives who were adequately motivated to rescue the nation.

Sani Anthony

“These things are not a day’s job. It takes time to train and equip adequately. It is not long after the military started to take delivery of the equipment ordered a few years ago. What is more? The military has been reluctant to bomb the bases of the bandits in the forest because the bandits use human shields lest there be high collateral damage.

“I guess the military must have taken time to plan the current attacks, lest there be high collateral damage that can attract international condemnation. The delay may not be out of insensitivity. Now that the military is taking the fight to the bases of the bandits in the forests, they should ensure the availability of enough well-trained and equipped military personnel who are well motivated to secure the nation,” he emphasized.

Also speaking, the Secretary General of the northern wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Elder Sunday Oibe, noted that the ongoing military operations against the terrorists was long overdue, noting that the period of banditry, kidnapping and killings had been so long.

He said: “The terrorists have inflicted collateral damage on the psyche of Nigerians for long as if we no longer have a government in the country anymore. Imagine the level of killings, kidnapping and other acts of terrorism that Nigerians have suffered at the hands of bandits.

“I welcome this new drive of combat effectiveness of our military against terrorists by taking the fight to their hideouts and flushing them all out.”

Oibe stated that the Nigerian military had performed brilliantly in international peace missions, adding that he couldn’t just understand why they could no longer safeguard the nation and eliminate terrorism.

He bewailed the negative effect that the reign of terror has incurred on Nigerian economy, noting that the development has lead to a serious brain drain.

Also, the leader of the Arewa Defender League (ADL), Alhaji Murtala Abubakar, commended the military for attacking the bandits frontally.

“The current efforts by the military to take the fight to the camp of the bandits is a welcome development and the result is encouraging. Our hope is that the tempo will be sustained until all the ungoverned spaces across the North West and other parts of the country under criminals are reclaimed and brought back to the authorities,” he said.

Abubakar disclosed that he was sure that if the military forces really want to end the insurgency, it would be over in a couple of days.

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“However, my fear is that lack of coordination between and among the armed forces, remains a major impediment to this war and remain a major disincentive.

“So, I want to see inter-agency collaborations with active collaborations, with synergies, with local to help, with intelligence given priority if we must see an immediate end to the war against terrorism.

“In the past, we had challenges of lack of modern weaponry, lack of political will, the allegation of corruption and inter-agency rivalries. The government needs not to be advised on what to do because all advice needed to help them end the insurgency is very much available to them.”

In his words, the President of the Arewa Youth For Development and Progress (AYDP), Danjuma Sarki, stated that Nigerians had received reports on successes accomplished against bandits in the past, which turned out to be for a short time.

He said: “If you look at the pictures of the terrorists that are circulating in the media, it leaves much to be desired. We are aware that the terrorists in their different hideouts are in hundreds. The motorcycles and guns that are in their possession are also in the hundreds. Therefore, for them to be showing us images of a few killed terrorists, and a few motorcycles and claiming you are winning the war is actually hard to believe.

“We expect to see many casualties on the side of the terrorists, arrest of so many of them and the cache of their weapons if they want us to believe them. If what they are saying is anything to go by, we should have been hearing testimonies of improved security on the Birnin Gwari axis and other areas with similar problems. People should be seen to be moving freely in and out of those areas, without any fear.”

He continued: “I sincerely wish they can sustain the fight against terrorism and win the war. But with what we are witnessing, it appears they are on a propaganda drive rather than decimating the terrorists and winning the war.

“I doubt if the spirit and zeal by the military have increased. What is happening is more propaganda.

“We should not get carried away by what they are pushing into the media. Let’s keep watch and see how safe the people living in the areas bedevilled by the challenges of insecurity are. I want you to know that the insecurity problem in Nigeria is now a big enterprise.

“So many people in government and in the security agencies are making so much money out of it. Therefore, they wouldn’t demonstrate any superiority against the terrorists. It is obvious that some of the people in government don’t want it to end.

“My advice to the government is to be more serious in tackling terrorism by making the security agencies accountable, pragmatic and professional in their approach. Intelligence gathering, deployment of technology and proactiveness are key if they are serious about defeating terrorism.”

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