•CDS tasks operational commanders to halt infiltration •How collaboration with Boko Haram claimed life of Brigadier General
Nigeria’s military has been reputed to be one of the best trained and equipped armed forces in the continent. No wonder the Nigerian troops had always excelled in international engagements whether as part of the United Nations contingent in peace keeping operations or as peace enforcers in the sub-region.
But back home, the story leaves a sour taste in the mouth as ragtag army of bandits and insurgents have stood their ground against the military, launching series of attacks and sacking communities.
The terrorists have not only successfully ambushed our troops and killed them in some cases but they also invaded military fortresses carting away heavy weapons and ammunition including armoured tanks. Some villages and towns are under the rule of the terrorists who force the locals to pay taxes. They occupy more than 100 identified forests in Nigeria and the hideouts of these terrorists are known to the military but what is holding back the military from going all out to crush them is still a mystery to Nigerians.
Reports from the North East theatre of operation have shown how Boko Haram/ ISWAP terrorists launched surprise and precise attacks on troops’ locations and bases. Sometimes, there are casualties.
The questions that were therefore begging for answers were; How were these terrorists able to attack the usually heavily fortified military bases? And why were the terrorists able to cart away scores of soldiers’ gun trucks, armoured personnel carriers and other sophisticated weaponry of the Nigerian military on the few occasions that they did?
Some of these questions have now been partly answered with the arrest of Lance Corporal Jibrin, Mohammed, a weapons instructor with the Nigerian Army Battalion in Geidam in Yobe state who was discovered to have been a Boko Haram agent, giving the terrorists vital information about the hard working and patriotic troops.
The discovery of a Boko Haram agent in the military appears to have jolted the authorities into action as the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS last week issued a strong memo to the officers warning of the consequences of collaborating with terrorists.
Lance Corporal Jibrin Mohammed was arrested in Yobe after intelligence operatives tracked his collaborative activities with the terrorists who severally attacked drinking and relaxation joints in Geidam, killing many people.
Commenting on the arrest of Lance Corporal Jibrin, a military personnel said it has now confirmed the fears of many of his colleagues why the insurgents were able to successfully carry out many of such attacks against the troops. According to the military personnel, “this explains why Boko Haram will take our location by surprise and kill soldiers and officers, even inside our bases as if some of them were among us”.
Jibrin was said to have supplied information to Boko Haram terrorists which enabled them to launch an attack and killed nine people in local pubs at Kornari village in Ngala Local Government Area of Borno state while one person was also killed and seven others injured when the terrorists triggered an explosion that rocked a relaxation Centre in Abasha ward, Gashua Local Government Area of the state.
A military source said, “Jibrin took part in the two attacks in Yobe state where nine people were killed in a beer joint. Shortly after, it was discovered that he had absconded from duty for two days.
“The Battalion Commanding Officer then tracked his phone and he was located at a point in Gashua, hundreds of kilometers from his supposed duty post.
“The army authorities in Gashua were intimated and the soldiers spread their dragnets. On Tuesday morning, Jibrin boarded a bus to Gombe and disguised himself but he was identified and nabbed at the checkpoint in Gashua and was handcuffed.
“On transit to Geidam, Jibrin employed his skills as a weapon instructor, snatched a gun from one of his escorts and blew up himself.