The Nigerian Army has expressed concern about the root of arm/logistic supplies and channel of funding of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents.
The Nigerian Army believes that identifying this root will help in no small measure in the counter-terrorism fight in the North-East and the Lake Chad Basin.
The Chief of Army Staff Yusuf Buratai disclosed this while receiving a delegation from the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) at the army headquarters in Abuja.
The army Chief urged local and international security experts and researchers to deepen their studies and unravel the hidden fact that would aid the military and other security agencies win the war against Boko Haram insurgency that has ravaged the North East for more than ten years.
The Army chief explained that ISS can go into research and get facts regarding the causes of insecurity and the way forward.
‘I want us to be on the same page where we can , while we are doing the military aspect, the research aspect is also very useful both for the promotion of the military and civil side which is the main side of the whole coin of this security of terrorism . Your research can be very useful to assist us also in unraveling some of the naughty issues as regards fighting insecurity either insurgency or terrorism’
Has the Army Done Enough to Tackle Logistics and Weapon Supplies of the Insurgents?
While the army is still calling for supports on foiling the logistics supply of the insurgents, it would be recalled that on 24 September 2019 the Nigerian Army arrested five terrorist logistics suppliers and fighters, through operation positive identification by the theatre command of operation Lafiya Dole launched across the three states of Adamawa Yobe and Borno.
Similarly, the Command arrested a middle-aged man, Samuel Chikwedum alleged to be the supplier of logistics for Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State. He was reportedly caught travelling to Baga town heading towards Lake Chad Region with contraband goods.
In the same month of September, Four suppliers of logistics were nabbed by troops at a checkpoint along the Damaturu-Maiduguri highway on their way to deliver the consignment to the terror group. The Army alleged that Boko Haram had been using the suspect to deliver a large number of consignments to specific locations of the Boko Haram group.
The Stance of the Institute of Security Studies
The Deputy Director, Institute for security studies Dr Fonteh Akum in the meeting with the Army Chief solicited the attention of the Nigerian Army to know the kind of research that would be useful as regards tackling insecurity in the North East.
Akum stated that the areas of interest that would be beneficial is ‘…human security which is slightly different from national security because it focuses on human and basically looking at issues of development ’’.
He further emphasized the importance of periodic meetings with principal stakeholders in the security sector so as to ascertain and tackle all the issues surrounding the nefarious activities of the insurgents.
Impact of Boko Haram Insurgency in North East
The United Nation Development Program estimated that over eight billion U.S Dollars worth of damage has been done to infrastructure across the region with Borno state being the most affected.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugee in its February 2019 report revealed that there are 271,990 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, Chad and Niger due to insurgency while there are 2,498,927 internally displaced persons in Chad, Niger, and Northeast Nigeria due to insurgency.
Meanwhile, the chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai decorated twenty-two newly promoted Colonels to Brigadier-Generals and one Brigadier -General to the rank of Major-General.
They are among the 34 Brigadier-Generals and 47 colonels recently promoted to the next rank by the Nigerian Army.
The Army chief urged the Generals to be guided by their rules of engagement and remain responsive in their duties.
He noted that the new ranks were a call to take up the new challenge saying they should ensure troops under them get the needed manpower and training.
He said, “You must be responsive to your troops and the challenges you come across, you must be responsive to the training of troops in your formation and also to the call of duty’’
Buratai told the Generals to pray at all times to guarantee their success in life.