Boko Haram: This Is A Warfare, And We Are Not Prepared By Malik Obatunde
I remember writing about the economic effect of the activities of the dreaded sect, Boko haram here. I pointed out that the residents in the south cannot afford to ignore the menace as it’s already taking a toll on commerce in the south.
Believe it or not, Boko haram sect claims to have successfully carried out a terror attack in the south and Shekau claims that’s them testing the waters, permit me to iterate, this is a national challenge.
Boko haram has literally declared war on our dear nation and we appear to be unprepared.
Yes, the Nigeria Armed forces have a considerable positive rating in peacekeeping missions, but this case back home seems to be overwhelming and here’s my opinion on why that is.
The activities of Boko haram is predominant in the North, Northeast to be precise. Unlike other African countries where our soldiers performed brilliantly, the Northern part of Nigeria has a wide expanse of land dotted with human activities.
The wide expanse of relatively unmotorable terrain makes navigation tough, not necessarily a nightmare but tough and one to be noted.
Also to be noted, is that unlike rebels our soldiers face during peacekeeping missions, Boko haram agents are largely suicidal in their operations, which is a very difficult case to handle. Rebels seek to seize power but Boko haram agents seek martyrdom. Pointing a gun at such person and asking him/her to surrender is an absolute joke.
I was in Abuja to check on a farm, so I set out to Kuje to meet up with a friend who’s to take me to the farm. I set out to Kuje from Lugbe and that was a trip of about 30 minutes, and have in mind there was no traffic jam, the distance between Lugbe and Kuje is roughly 23 kilometres. In Kuje, navigating to the farm was another long trip on a motorbike, going through Dafara and finally in Gaube.
While the trip lasted, I observed just 2 military checkpoints with not more than 5 to 7 soldiers per post and no visible automobile, a checkpoint between Lugbe and Kuje and another between Kuje through Dafara to Gaube. In between Kuje and Gaube there were not less than 3 schools in between, 2 secondary schools and 1 primary school.
If Boko haram were to attack any of these schools, God forbid, there’s no way the soldiers could get to offer rescue operations considering the distance they’d have to cover on foot. Even if they had an automobile, the terrain would have slowed them down.
That’s why I said we aren’t prepared to fight this war. Boko haram has no rules of engagement, they would strike in a pattern that would seem unpredictable, compounded with the large expanse of land that’s unfortunately uneasy to ply, our armed forces cannot afford to rely on foot soldiers alone. The checkpoints in my opinion are too far apart considering land ratio and Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) to distressed location.
The easier way I see in this case is a
24/7 air surveillance, satellite imagery combined with reconnaissance. A reconnaissance operation could give a tip on Boko haram gathering or grouping such that the army can respond with surface to surface missiles, possibly, air strikes from jet fighters and gunships and other modern warfare equipment.
Now you can imagine why I believe we aren’t prepared for this warfare.
We need latest jet fighters, reconnaissance aircrafts, gunships, air to surface, surface to air and surface to surface missiles.
Our NIGCOMSAT handlers also should brace up and provide satellite imagery to the military. Now is the time to put to use the drones we imported and test the drones built by out very own Air Force, so that improvements can be made on their first model. I observes the first model is too noisy, the insurgents would hear it approaching miles away.
It is pertinent to adequately equip our armed forces and compensate them adequately too. You don’t want to have poorly equipped or motivated soldiers. It is high time we stepped up the nation’s anti-terrorism approach and methodology.
The federal government can achieve the stated military hardware upgrade without breaking a sweat, and I need to add, we don’t have to go borrowing. The civil war was funded by the federal military government without borrowing at a time crude wasn’t selling as it is now.
Accountability in public offices is essential and cannot be overemphasized. Corruption can be crippled if the political will is there. With this achieved more funds would be saved, our economy would improve and many other things would fall in place.
Your comments would be appreciated.
Malik is an IT services consultant.
Malik Kuti can be engaged on twitter @obamalik
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