Nigerian Military Explains Why It is Not Winning the War Against Boko Haram
The Nigerian military at the weekend identified mobility and intelligence gathering as two recurring obstacles standing between them and victory over the terrorists in the country, even as some foreign powers led by France are set to storm the Sambisa forest to smoke out the insurgents and set free the abducted Chibok girls.
Although countries like the US and UK have been pointing accusing finger at the federal government as responsible for the delay in their coming to Nigeria’s aid in the ongoing counter-insurgency operation, a top military officer has faulted the claim, disclosing that what some of them are interested in is the contracts of arm and ammunition instead of supporting them where their help is needed.
“We welcome the support of the international community in our counter-insurgency operations. Their support has been long overdue; most of them had been playing lip service to the support which we have been asking for all these years. What interests them most is the contracts.
“But let me make it clear to Nigerians and the whole world: we have no problem of personnel and strategies but only in mobility. Mobility is the only panacea that can bring to an end the terrorist activities in the country,” a serving general disclosed. “We would have crushed those criminals within three months. Give us 30 powerful aircraft and see us bringing the terrorists to their kneels. We have all that is needed to overcome them but the mobility. That is our main problem… It is true that some natives are not giving out useful information that would be helpful; instead they give misleading information, primarily to wane us down. Our troops are going round the affected areas and often these people are giving out information about the movement of our troops to the insurgents. You could understand them since they know them by their names but they have forgotten that these people are killing them and destroying their property in the name of fighting the government.”
On the abduction of the Chibok girls, he regretted the failure of the people in the area to alert them and wondered how the school management “allowed the school open for the examination without carrying us along”.
“Even after they had abducted those innocent girls (forget about that lies doing the rounds that we were alerted four hours before the incident, nobody did), if we had sufficient mobility, it is a thing of using air power since they had ambushed our troops on land. This is why we are saying, all these countries that are ready and willing to support us should just give us their support in mobility and in the next three months, the terrorists become history,” he said.
On intelligence gathering, he acknowledged the inter-agencies’ co-operation but believed those concerned could do more.
“Intelligence gathering is very essential. We the military are in the battle field; it is the information that is available to us that we make use of. Maybe the foreign assistance too could also cover this. We need the support of the people in the affected states to work with us. They should be assisting us with adequate and correct information.”
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