Nigerian Military And The Ongoing Operations
By Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi
In the last few years, Nigeria has been witnessing myriad forms of security challenges which the country has never witnessed since gaining independence.
Activities of insurgents, mainly Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists have continued to ravage some parts of northeast. The booming kidnapping and banditry industry engulf the northwestern and north central region of the country. The devilish activities of unknown gunmen and ritual killers are also rampant in the southern part of the country.
Nevertheless, upon all these bottlenecks, Nigeria was lucky to be blessed with one of the finest military and intelligence architectures in safeguarding lives and properties of the citizens and protecting the country’s border against territorial aggression by external forces and other non-state actors.
It is therefore, heartwarming when the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) recently, announced that troops of the Operation Desert Sanity (ODS) had neutralized scores of the Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters. The troops also rescued over thirty abducted locals during a sting operation against terrorists around Ndufu and Musiri villages of Borno State.
This is yet another sign that the ongoing military operations across the nook and crannies of the country have been yielding a lot of successes with the eliminations of criminal elements by the superior power of the military.
More so, there are indications regarding the improvement of security situations in Nigeria, courtesy of the sustained security onslaughts against violent criminals.
In the latest Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2022 Nigeria country is ranked sixth which is an improvement from the fourth position it was since 2017.
The GTI, published by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), an independent and non-profit think tank, indicates that Nigeria, Syria and Somalia were the only countries among the 10 most impacted by terrorism to record an improvement in score from 2020 to 2021.
The report stated that “terror-related casualties dropped by almost half compared with the previous year. In addition, total deaths from terrorism in Nigeria fell to 448 in 2021, the lowest level since 2011.”
However, the aforementioned feat by Nigeria is not something surprising because the secret services, especialy the central cordinating arm, the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) have been keeping to their mandates by providing credible intelligence on joint security operations which led to elimination of high profile terrorists’ commanders and creating a huge vacuum in their hierarchy.
It could be recalled that major camps of terrorists have been in disarray since the untimely demise of their dreadful leader, Abubakar Shekau who allegedly committed suicide after being boxed to the corner by ISWAP fighters in May 2021.
The GTI report further disclosed that Boko Haram was responsible for only 69 deaths in Nigeria in 2021, a decrease of 77% from the previous year- the lowest number of death by the group for a decade.
“Given the demise of their leader, Shekau’s followers were faced with the decision to either continue Shekau’s ideology or join ISWAP. It has been reported that as many as former Boko Haram commanders have joined ISWA after Shekau’s death,”
“Attacks by ISWAP as well as counter-terrorism efforts by the Nigerian government and foreign military forces have significantly weakened Boko Haram’s impact in Nigeria,” the report said.
Moreover, the terrorism index also showed that law enforcement, including police and prison officers, overtook both military and civilians as the most targeted group of 2021. These attacks were largely driven by a surge in clashes between law enforcement and separatist groups, such as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), as noted by the report.
Reports from the battlefield in the northeastern region showed that the insurgents forces have continued to be weakening on a daily basis. The military continues to gain momentum, as the enemies of state fled to other neighboring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
Media reports indicate that ISWAP’s lieutenants are demoralised as troops also ransacked and destroyed their enclaves. Thus, this has even necessitated for a call on the neighboring countries to be very vigilant and mount surveillance across their borders in order to intercept these runaway terrorists.
Simularly, in another sting clearance operation, the troops in early March, uncovered some detention facilities used by ISWAP and Boko Haram fighters.
As gathered by PRNigeria, the facilities and prisons, located in the heart of Sambisa forest were built with huge iron locks and hooks and are used for torturing innocent civilians and imprisonment of servicemen abducted on the highways.
Nonetheless, the troops have on several occasions been able to locate the terrorists’ enclaves and subsequently dismantled it. Therefore, it’s imperative for the citizens to continue to support Nigerian military in the ongoing war against terrorists and other criminal elements in order to surmount the lingering security challenges.
Mukhtar is a Staff Writer with Emergency Digest.
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