THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM AND INSURGENCY IN NIGERIA

Chika Eze, Abuja

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When President Mohammadu Buhari came to power in 2015, he left no one in doubt of his intent to tackle the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency in the country. He therefore made security top priority of his new Administration.

To achieve this, President Mohammadu Buhari carefully selected and appointed his Service Chiefs who would be at the helm of affairs of the nation’s security apparatus and in the driver’s seat in the fight not only against Boko Haram, but indeed other security challenges across the country.

With an executive dispatch, President Buhari gave the security chiefs the marching order to relocate their Command and Control Centre to the theater of the operation in Borno state.

The Nigerian Armed Forces comprising the Army, the Navy and the Airforce, in close synergy launched what was known as Operation Zaman Lafiya which was later changed to Operation Lafiya Dole, meaning there must be Peace by all means.

The operation led to the recovery of all the local government areas hitherto under the control of the Boko Haram insurgents with the liberation of these areas from the control of Boko Haram by the Nigerian troops. The insurgents were then pushed into the Sambisa Forest and other hideouts within and outside the Nigerian Borders.

To consolidate on their gains, the armed forces never left anything to chance as they launched more operations such as Operation Deep Punch- One and Two, Operation Rescue Finale and Operation Last Halt.

The success of these operations led to the total military control of the dreaded Sambisa Forest where Camp Zero, the Headquarters of the Boko Haram was located. The fall of Camp Zero in the Sambisa forest on December 22, 2016 marked the technical defeat of the insurgents in the North Eastern part of Nigeria restricting them only to the Forest.

To completely eradicate the Boko Haram insurgency, President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 hosted a meeting of the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission made up of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, where a multinational military task force to be known as Multinational Joint Task Force was establishment to tackle the insurgency in the entire region.

For the takeoff of the Task Force, the Nigerian Government donated the sum of Twenty One Million US Dollars, to strengthen the war against the insurgents.

The Multinational Joint Task force which is currently headed by a Nigerian, Major General Lucky Irabor, with its operational headquarters in Ndjamena Chad, wasted no time in dealing with the insurgents along the border lines of the contiguous countries.

The recapture of towns and villages such as Gamboru-Ngala, Banki, Dikwa, Marte and many others, hitherto held by Boko Haram insurgents are testimonials of the successes of the Multinational Force.

The troops resilience also paid off as many of the insurgents in their hundreds surrendered to either the Nigerian Armed Forces or the Multinational Task Force. This feat by the Joint Task Force was acknowledged by the international community leading to the United States OF America agreeing to support Nigeria by selling some fighter Jets to enable her troops flush out whatever might have remained of the terrorists group.

President Donald Trump had during the recent Visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the White House commended the Nigerian leader for the efforts being made to tackle insurgency and other terrorists activities in the Chad Basin Region pledging his unflinching support to the fight against terrorism.

It is worthy of note that the Buhari administration made a landmark achievement when it secured the release of one hundred and four Dapchi school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram within a short period, though one of the girls is still in captivity.

Similarly, the present Administration in Nigeria was able to secure the release of 106 out of 276 of the Chibok school girls abducted during the past administration. The Government also assured that it was working hard to secure the release of the remaining girls.

For Nigeria to win the war against insurgency, citizen’s participation would be needed in providing intelligence reports to safe guard lives and property. Security is after all everybody’s business and should not be left in the hands of the government alone.