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Fighting Insurgency: When Journalists Compare Notes over Opinion and Interest in Military Strategy



Boko Haram: 26 terrorists, 2 Soldiers killed on Borno

Fighting Insurgency: When Journalists Compare Notes over Opinion and Interest in Military Strategy

By: James Bwala

At least in the last 15 years, Nigerians have seen efforts put forth by successive governments to put out the spirit that guides certain individuals, who are bent on crushing the oneness of the larger society we live in by their ideology of sectism. We have seen the rise of Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria and its devastating effects. We were moved to tears by the rise of banditry in the northwest and central Nigeria and continued to count the number of deaths. 

The kidnapping cases in southern Nigeria and the continued agitations by the indigenous people of Biafra and IPOB, particularly in southeast Nigeria, have attempted to change the way we live. The government has continued to reassure Nigerians of its efforts in fighting many crises, and it has continued to do so. But Nigerians seemed to be getting impatient with certain attitudes displayed by key actors in the fight against insurgency in Nigeria, especially strategies adopted by the military and police in dealing with these phases of internal wranglings.

I was moved to look into the issue of compelling results from many reports and read the minds of many reporters on many platforms to which I belong. Speaking on the current trend of security activities in the country, many believed that nothing much has been done to ensure that the strategy being put in place by security agencies in the country is working as expected by Nigerians. 

I read about many suggestions, which include a high time for the handlers of security issues in the country to look inward to these suggestions if we are truly reasoning along the lines of fighting to end the insecurity situation in the country. One of the contributors to the debate suggested that a swap of military commanders as well as intelligence personnel be carried out. In practicality, it is suggested that field commanders of northern extraction be moved to the operational bases in the south, while the same be taken from the south to the north, as well as intelligence officers.

His opinion is that many of these commanders and intelligence officers are at home with many of these terrorists and bandits in the north, as well as those in the operations in southern Nigeria, who continue to leak information to these criminals, making every effort by the government to look more like a political interest than the opinions of the people.

Speaking on a video in circulation about the operations of the bandits in northwest Nigeria, a discussant on one of the platforms and a reporter with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, state that facts still remain that bandits are still around and conduct such acts as they do almost on a daily basis with impunity.

According to the reporter, “If you listen or read media reports, many villages in Niger, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Katsina states are still under siege, paying taxes to bandit groups that occupied primary schools as residence while subjecting the villagers to slavery.”

One of the participants, also a journalist, said, “I think it matters if we want to rule out the possibility of peddling fake news. I agree that there are activities by bandits in the NW and NC regions, but that doesn’t mean there are no counterterrorism activities by the Nigerian military. These kinds of conflicts are ubiquitous and pre-existential; they only keep evolving. So yes, they are happening, and efforts are being made to checkmate them; maybe they are happening at a pace that can be done better.”

While his opinion was worth looking at, another counter to the argument revealed that, “Of course there is counterterrorism, but the outcome is not encouraging, as bandits will kidnap victims, keep them for months while communicating with their relatives and collecting ransom until the last victim, then go for another round while security agencies are like watching helplessly or overwhelmed. Such victims even include security agents!”

More sad is seeing overwhelmed state governments trying to negotiate with bandits out of fear! The bandits hideouts are well known to the government, which has jet fighters, artillery, APCs, and other heavy arms, yet the bad elements are getting bolder on a daily basis.

A reporter confirmed that the Islamic cleric Sheikh Gumi even took some security personnel along to meet with the bandits in their hideouts, and the bandits talked boldly, looking down on the Nigerian authorities as weak.

One of the reporters agreed that the government needs to change tactics in its approach to handling the threat that keeps growing because it keeps using the normal tactics that make the whole thing look like treating leprosy with panadol. “Chinua Achebe said a strange disease (like bandits) cannot be cured with everyday herbs.” He added.

Another observation was that the government should think of something like mobilizing 50,000 to 100,000 youths in each of the affected states to be led by security agencies to sack all identified hideouts, just like youths in Maiduguri did to sack boko haram. There is no dangerous security threat like that of food insecurity, and that is where Nigeria is heading as bandits and other terrorists continue to threaten agriculture in the North.” He added.

On the reeling facts, one of the discussants said, “I agree your points are valid; the nemesis that is happening isn’t being treated the way it should. But do you think this combat approach is resolute enough to totally eliminate banditry and kidnapping? Do you think the way ‘youths in Maiduguri sacked Boko Haram’ is finite and brought an end to the insurgency? Imagine if bandits or BH say they want to have a faceoff with the military, let them meet at a point and fight off to the last blood, and assume the Nigerian military won them over and killed every last one of them. Do you say this is a victory that we will not see anything again like BH/Bandits?” He asked.


“While everyone who knows history of conflict will attest Nigeria’s is novel and multifaceted, hence needs a tactical approach; instead of killing people who are hungry, why not find them what to eat, a job to do, or the healthcare they need? Instead of policies drawn and argued by politicians who take humongous salaries for nothing, why not make the lives of the poor easy? The problem as I see it, not wholly but majorly, lies in 1) democratic governance, which, for instance, values a more constitutional approach to solving problems than traditional leadership. 2) policies that are good on paper but not in the daily life of a common Nigerian. 3) the puppeting of the military by greedy politicians who don’t give absolute autonomy to security with a non-kinetic approach.” He stressed.

“It is a common understanding that when you can’t feed yourself, the one you rely on will feed you what he wishes. Farming for cash or food is not easy. 1) Farmers rely on loans, which they oftentimes suffer from not repaying. 2) They cannot do large-scale farming, for example, in the NE, due to insecurity. 3) Fertilizers and other farming logistics that the government can actively support are not provided in the case scenario: the tractors in Maiduguri’s Farm House some years ago and the Industrial Park beside BOSU.

“So, why won’t the government, for instance, take all of these to fruition? For example, it provides a large-scale farm with mechanization (since the government can), hires farmers for farming (job creation), makes industrial processing of the harvests, and sells them back at a subsidized amount to locals. But the government won’t do it and will say it’s not feasible. I’ve seen this done here in Nigeria. WFP has implemented the same in Kano, and rice was farmed. Truckloads of food from Nigeria were shipped to Burkina Faso. This happened just last year.” He said.

Another replied that “if people are busy doing what they can to feed themselves, nobody will have time to fight or kill each other just to survive. If you think fighting or killing bandits or BH by airstrikes or sustained gunfights will kill the elements, what will you say of the ideologies in the minds of their wives and children who have survived the fight, saw the military kill their fathers, and vowed to take vengeance?

“In years to come, they will fight harder and with more sophistication than their parents. So the bottom line for me is that Nigeria is trying—not enough, for sure—but approaches for such need to be all-encompassing. We can see propaganda videos of bandits testing their armor. How much of the strength of the military do we know? They don’t even show it; their successes aren’t as loud as the day-to-day abductions of bandits. Soldiers die on the frontlines. And also, it is easy to commit a crime, like kidnapping and demanding a ransom; it is the prevention of such kinds of intentions that is difficult. Still, I am not detesting your facts; I am attributing a wider picture for a more balanced understanding.

“The issue is that the military should dominate the fight. We record military formations being sacked by terrorists who are bold enough to attack convoys of troops! That’s not an encouraging signal. They need to receive successive bloody noses and many surprises from the military to keep them busy looking for where to hide instead of waiting to repel them. They need to be kept on the defensive. It’s a pity, and that is why the issues keep growing rather than dwindling. The entire approach to banditry, as well as other criminal networks, is not as pragmatic and holistic as it should be. Some of us have started suffering from the terror activities that discourage massive farming due to death threats posed to them by criminal elements across the states.”

Fighting Insurgency: When Journalists Compare Notes over Opinion and Interest in Military Strategy

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Nigerian Army Hands Over Rescued Abducted CUSTECH Students to Kogi State Government



Nigerian Army Hands Over Rescued Abducted CUSTECH Students to Kogi State Government

By Lawrence Audu

The Nigerian Army has handed over eight rescued students of Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) to the Kogi State Government, following their abduction by kidnappers on May 9, 2024.

The students were rescued in a coordinated search and rescue operation by the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force, and other security agencies in the dense forest near Oro Ago Village in Kwara State.

Governor Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo received the students at the Headquarters Nigerian Army Conference Room, expressing profound gratitude to the security forces for their dedication and sacrifice.

The Chief of Policy and Plans, Major General Abdulsalam Ibrahim, assured the Governor that the security forces remain committed to securing lives and property, and are intensifying efforts to track down the kidnappers and bring them to justice.

The successful rescue operation demonstrates the commitment of the Nigerian security forces to ensuring the safety and security of all citizens, and highlights the importance of collective efforts in the fight against terrorism and criminality.

Nigerian Army Hands Over Rescued Abducted CUSTECH Students to Kogi State Government

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GOC 7 Div. Visit frontline troops in Sambisa Forest, lauded them for killing 21 terrorists and rescuing 386 civilians



GOC 7 Div. Visit frontline troops in Sambisa Forest, lauded them for killing 21 terrorists and rescuing 386 civilians

By: Zagazola Makama

The acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division and Commander Sector 1 of the Nigeria Army, Brig. Gen. Abubakar Haruna, has paid a morale boosting visit to the troops fighting Boko Haram in Sambisa Forest and lauded them for killing 21 Boko Haram terrorists, destroying their camps and rescuing 386 victims.

Gen Haruna, stated this while addressing the troops in the outskirts of Sambisa forest in Konduga LGA after welcoming them troops for conducting a 10-day operation.

Haruna said that the operation tagged “Operation Desert Sanity III was to clear Sambisa forest of the remnants of all categories of terrorists as well as provide some of them eager to surrender as observed the opportunity to do so.

“I want to commend you for your exceptional performance and professionalism exhibited during the operation and I urged you to sustain the tempo. Our Special Forces troops, the troops of 21 armored Brigade, the Civilian JTF and the Hybrid Forces have all done very well.

The Chief of Army Staff is highly pleased with your performance. Gentlemen, you have done your beat. You have sacrifice yourselves to ensure that peace and normalcy returns to the North East. This is a wonderful outing and we are very happy.

“We have to stop what ever we are diong and come here to let you know that we are with you always. To know what you people are diong so that we can have a feeling of what you people are giong through.

He urged them to do more to hasten the defeat of insurgency. My call on the officers and soldiers to remained committed noting that surely the end result will be a resounding success for all of us.

“Our effort is to ensure that we clear remnants of terrorists in the Sambisa and give those willing to surrender the opportunity to surrender. With this operation, we envisage many of them will surrender as they have started.

The troops have successfully cleared several Boko Haram enclaves ranging from Lawanti, Ukuba, Farisu, Sabil Huda, Njimia, Garin Gulukos, Garin Falluja, Shababul Ummah, Garin Pannel bitter and Lagara Anguwan Gwai Gwai among others.

The troops killed scores of the terrorists including their commanders and made recoveries of different types of arms, equipment and armored vehicles.

“We also rescued some civilians; as of yesterday, we rescued 386 and I am sure the number will increase by today,” Haruna said.

Some of those rescued who spoke, said they have been in captivity for the past 10 years and will be provided with medical support and rehabilitation.

We therefore thanked the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja for giving us all the support which translated to this achievement and the Theartre Commander Commander, North East Operation Hadin Kai Joint Task Force, Maj. Gen. Waidi Shuaibu, for his strategic guidance and supervision.

Zagazola understands that the presence the GOC accompanied by his Principal Staff Officers of the Division in the frontline symbolizes a courageous leadership which has immensely boosted the morale of the fighting troops.

GOC 7 Div. Visit frontline troops in Sambisa Forest, lauded them for killing 21 terrorists and rescuing 386 civilians

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Violent extremism, terrorism, biggest threat to ECOWAS subregion —Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre



Violent extremism, terrorism, biggest threat to ECOWAS subregion —Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre

By: Michael Mike

The Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Maj. Gen. Richard Gyane has described violent extremism and terrorism (VET) as the biggest threat to the ECOWAS subregion, Africa and humanity.

Gyane stated this in Abuja during a chat with journalists during a mobile training course on women, youth, and VET, organized by KAIPTC on Wednesday.

The Commandant said that the security challenges in West Africa had informed KAIPTC’s decision to organize the capacity building for women and youth to build their resilience to tackle terrorism.

He said that the training, organized in collaboration with the Norwegian Government, would empower women and youth with the requisite knowledge about terrorists’ operations and build their resilience against VET threats.

Gyane said: “If you look at our subregion now, violent extremism is a big threat to us; If you look at the Sahel nations, most of these countries are virtually taken over by violent groups.

“If you look at Nigeria and the Boko Haram group, and the movement of these groups southwards, it is worrisome.

“Why are we particular about women and youth? They become vulnerable. These are the most vulnerable groups in our society, who are subject to radicalization by VETs.

“The aim is to engage these women and youth especially and let them understand the issues, the recruitment and all that about these groups who want to destroy our humanity within the subregion,” he said.

He noted that KAIPTC engages and empowers women and youth through its training programs because when people are empowered, it becomes difficult for VET groups, whose aim is to radicalize the people and take over their countries, to do so.

He however noted that no country could tackle VET alone, and stressed the need for collaboration among all stakeholders beyond the security space in order to curb VET’s surging scourge in West Africa and Africa at large.

Gyane said that, given the porous borders of ECOWAS countries, and the need for them to cooperate and share intelligence, ECOWAS member states should do everything possible to bring on board Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, who are threatening to quit the bloc.

“It is not good for the subregion to have a divided front, and I think whatever we need to do to bring on board these countries, who want to separate themselves from the subregion, is very necessary.

“ECOWAS has done well in certain areas, especially the free movement of persons protocol and I think within the continent of Africa, ECOWAS has done so well.

“But I think we need to collaborate more beyond even the security space. I would want to see us one day using the same currency and all that.

“We should work more as one homogeneous subregion to ensure that people should be free to live and work wherever they are and do business.

“When we do that, it can help us to control violent extremism and terrorism,” Gyane added.

Violent extremism, terrorism, biggest threat to ECOWAS subregion —Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre

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