RingTrue BY yemi Adebowal Phone 08054699539
The range of equipment with terrorists in the North requires a pragmatic response from the Nigerian state and not this charade from the Buhari government. This has always been my position. Unfortunately, this federal government is deliberately stalling for reasons so difficult to comprehend. The capabilities of the Nigerian military are persistently eroded by the terrorists’ range of equipment. It is dizzying seeing non-state actors with high calibre equipment and downing fighter jets. Why must this persist in a country with a legitimate government? The outlaws are evidently waxing stronger and controlling territories while the Buhari government goes about with chicanery that no Nigerian territory is under the control of the terrorists. A serious government should be truthfully worried and look towards foreign military consultants for help; not the celebration that followed Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo’s escape from terrorists who downed his fighter jet in the Zamfara State forest.
Stories around the escape of Dairo are muddled. We were told Dairo was returning from a successful air interdiction mission between the boundaries of Zamfara and Kaduna states when the aircraft came under attack and crashed; that Dairo escaped when he ejected from the aircraft before it crashed; that when he landed, the armed bandits gave him a hot chase. So, the same bandits said to have been eliminated while in his fighter jet, got up and gave him a chase? There is no iota of evidence that a single terrorist was eliminated in the attack. Where are the bodies? Were there no ground troops to mop up while the air attacks were on?
We were told that Dairo, using the cover of darkness, and his phone for navigation, was able to elude several bandits’ strongholds and maneuvered his way to a Nigerian Army Unit, where he was finally rescued. So, there is a Nigerian Army Unit near where the bandits control, and yet they enjoy free rein in this area? The military commanders, by this part of their statement, also confirmed that the bandits still have so many strongholds in Zamfara State.
The military went further to tell us that NAF Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance platforms and helicopter gunships provided close air support to NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops who were able to locate the crash site and the pilot’s parachute, while also combing nearby locations for any sign of the pilot. It adds: “It is gladdening to note that while in hiding, Flight Lieutenant Dairo confirmed that the presence of NAF aircraft within the vicinity of the crash site helped in scaring the bandits who were after him, thus enabling him to find refuge and escape to a safe location.”
So, with NAF Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance platforms, helicopter gunships, NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops going into action around the crash site, not even one of the bandits running after Dairo was killed? This squad, with high profile equipment, on getting to the location, did not worry to go after the terrorists that downed the fighter jet? They simply scared the terrorists from the vicinity of the crash site and folded their arms? If we have this capacity to deploy quality manpower, Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance platforms and helicopter gunships, then, terrorists should not be roaming freely in Nigeria. Stories from the warfronts are confusing. Terrorists down Nigeria’s fighter jet, thus, threatening the sovereignty of this nation, and all we get are jumbled stories from the military. This country deserves more than this. The Nigerian state has never been this weak.
One of the drawbacks to this war against terrorists has been unending lies by the leadership of the military. How do you explain that several months after a Nigerian Air Force fighter jet crashed in Borno State, the military is still struggling to locate the crash spot? The Alpha attack jet was on a mission to support troops fighting the terrorists when it lost radar contact; the military has been mum on the search update, hoping enquiries about it will die a natural death. They can’t account for the pilot and co-pilot on that crashed Alpha jet. Boko Haram’s claim that it shot the jet is looking real. The terrorists were seen dancing around it. The failure of the military to locate the so-called true crash site reflects the level of decay in Nigeria’s security. Modern search and rescue operation is about technology, equipment and quality manpower. This country lacks capacity for these and it is unwilling to seek help from abroad.
On flip side, it is a fact that terrorists now operate in hundreds in the North. They storm their targets in hundreds and get results. I am worried that heads of our security agencies are still not responding appropriately to this mode of operations. A good example here is the invasion of Federal Government College, Yauri, Kebbi State, few weeks back, where scores of students were abducted. There were signals that the school would be invaded and the police sheepishly posted 20 policemen to the school. When the terrorists arrived, they were over 300 in bikes, clutching AK-47 rifles. The 20 policemen posted to the school simply disappeared. They were obviously overwhelmed by the large number of terrorists. There was also no rapid response from anywhere.
This new mode of operation has been the same all over the North for a while. When the terrorists attacked Unguwar Lalle village, in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State July 15, they came in hundreds. An eye witness said: “They came on 100 motorcycles; each motorcycle was carrying three well-armed men. They came from Tilibale axis and opened fire on the soldiers that were manning a checkpoint along Sokoto-Sabon Birni road. The soldiers also responded but they were overpowered.”
The terrorists that attacked Unguwar Lalle burnt two patrol vehicles belonging to the police and soldiers at the Sokoto-Sabon Birni road’s checkpoint after killing two of them. The soldiers that came from Sabon Birni town with re-enforcement were ambushed; two soldiers shot dead while seven others sustained various degrees of injuries. Several Unguwar Lalle villagers were also abducted, shops were looted and livestock rustled. The bandits easily overwhelmed the security agents in Unguwar Lalle because they came with over 300 fighters.
The same thing happened when the terrorists attacked Tsauwa village, Batsari Local Government Area, Katsina State, early this month. They came in hundreds and killed 19 people in the village.
The terrorists also attacked Kurar Mota community, in Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State on July 18 in hundreds. 13 policemen and three others were killed during the attack.
There is no way 20 security agents will repel hundreds of terrorists. Rapid reinforcements hardly come. Heads of our security agencies should respond appropriately to terrorists amassing against gallant state agents. Technology and equipment are vital for monitoring and rapid deployment of reinforcement when these terrorists attack in hundreds. This country lacks capacity for these. My submission has not changed. We must seek help from foreign military contractors. Nigeria should look towards Israel or Russia.
My proposal that Nigeria needs help from mercenaries is reinforced by the tragic killing of General Husseini Ahmed on July 15. Ten days after a serving Army General was killed by terrorists on the Lokoja-Abuja Road, on his way to Abuja, his killers are yet to be apprehended. The terrorists operated for hours on the road unhindered. So sad! It can only happen in Nigeria.
The Truth about E-Transmission of Results
Forget about all the lies by federal lawmakers opposed to E-transmission of election results. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the capacity to transmit result real time, from all parts of the country. It was heart-warming that INEC’s Commissioner in charge of Voter Education, Festus Okoye, came out few days ago to affirm that INEC can safely transmit election results electronically from any part of Nigeria. The commission proved it during governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.
Okoye declared: “We have uploaded results from very remote areas, even from areas where you have to use human carriers to access. INEC is ready and capable of ensuring that results are transmitted electronically and all that is required is the endorsement of the law to further make the process better. We have made our own position very clear, that we have the capacity and we have the will to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process.”
The immediate past Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, adds: “INEC has demonstrated capacity for transparent ETR in a number of states and other off-season elections. They can improve that capacity well before 2023. In any case, INEC has the professionalism and competence to know how and when to deploy both EVS and ETR. By this action, our lawmakers are taking us backwards, and undermining electoral integrity as well as democratic development.”
No doubt, E-transmission of election results will end ballot box snatching and reduce rigging. The approved Electronic Voting System (EVS) will be useless without E-transmission of results. Those who voted against the adoption of this technology know what they are doing. They know that INEC has the capacity for E-transmission of result. But these lawmakers are largely products of election rigging and want the party to continue. That was why they refused to allow the election umpire address the National Assembly on the issue. For these politicians, it is all about their selfish interest and not that of the country. They callously brought in the National Communications Commission (NCC) to tell lies about Nigeria’s capacity for E-transmission of result. The NCC backed up its lies with outdated 2018 statistics. Only a miracle will save Nigerians from the jaws of these callous people.
DCP Abba Kyari Should Be Whipped
Super policeman, DCP, Abba Kyari, was at the scene of a crime and decided to frolic with the criminals. That was what happened at the funeral of the mother of socialite, Obi Iyiegbu, aka Obi Cubana, in Oba, Anambra State nine days ago. Many who attended scattered Naira notes with so much impunity. In one of the videos, Cubana was seen displaying his football skills with bales of cash thrown at him. The Naira, one of our symbols of nationhood, was thoroughly debased. DCP Kyari was all over, posing with Obi Cubana, and others at the venue, while the debasement was on. The Nigerian police authorities must flog the guy called Kyari to serve as a deterrent to others.
Laws against abusers of our Naira must be enforced. It states that spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the CBN during social occasions or otherwise, shall constitute an abuse and shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term not less than six months or to a fine not less than N50,000 or to both i.e. fine and imprisonment.
Policemen that should enforce our laws must not be seen partaking in the abuse of the Naira. I expect IG Usman Baba to take immediate action against DCP Kyari.
As for Cubana’s prickly display of opulence during the burial, I will simply say that he is just a stupid man. Must he behave foolishly to honour his late mother? It was a slap on the face of the poor and hungry in the country, his native Oba inclusive. For those who don’t know, the road to where Obi Cubana did his mother’s burial is tattered. Most public schools in Oba are dilapidated, without clean water and begging for attention. He should assist his people in this direction. For me, Cubana should lock himself up and exclusively watch videos from the burial again, to understand how stupid he was. This man and his likes are largely instigating young people into crime. If ours were to be a sound society, tax authorities would have moved in to query the filthy guy called Obi Cubana.