Ending Suicide Bombings By December Is Not Feasible – Expert

December Deadline: Suicide Bombing Is Not Feasible – ExpertA Nigerian security consultant says the possibility of ending suicide bombings before the end of 2015 is not feasible.

He, however, believes that ending territorial attacks in villages is feasible.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, Captain Umar Aliyu (Rtd.), admitted that indeed “there were some improvement and a reclamation of territory when President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration came in”.

“If you look at what we had on ground, there are some kinds of asymmetric situations; when you have conventional forces fighting unconventional forces,” he said.

He commended the achievements recorded by the military in efforts at ending terrorism in the West African country but noted that nabbing just five out of 100 suspected Boko Haram members is not encouraging. “I don’t think that is encouraging. Though, it is a step in the right direction.

“I want to believe that if out of 100 of like minded people, I have five, depending on the method and what you know, each of the five people can give information on the whereabouts of five of their members, the chances are very high. So we should be seeing the number escalate exponentially,” he explained.

He advised the intelligence agencies to work on the five suspects.

Desert Warfare School

Mr Aliyu also gave suggestions on what to be done in order to avert regressive attempt of the Boko Haram members.

“There needs to be a concerted military presence along Nigerian borders. Particularly, I am looking at turning Sambisa into Nigerian Army’s first desert warfare school.”

The security expert said that in ending the menace, there should be a mock attack so as to enter the enemy’s head and build scenarios along the line.

“For every situation, there must be a form of rehearsal which makes the military get a feel of what the battle will be like.

“The simplest and the easiest way to end the menace via biometrics within any given community lies with the land lord which could be done within streets.

“Traditional rulers have a major influence within their enclaves and they will also do well in providing basic information about people residing in their communities.

“The Immigration or Customs can also drive the approach in getting rid of suicide bombings proactively by having representatives in every ward or council or have liaisons with required traditional rulers,” he explained.

He added that the problem the country has, which the insurgents exploit, is that no one is accounted for in the north-east.

Nigeria At 55: Tackling Boko Haram Challenge

Boko HaramNigeria is on the right track to winning the war on terrorism and the Boko Haram insurgents.

This is the view shared by Major-General Muyiwa Badewole and Captain Umar Aliyu, both retired officers of the Nigerian Army.

Appearing as guests on the special Independence edition of Sunrise Daily on Channels Television on Thursday, October 1, they both threw their weight behind the efforts being made by the Nigerian President in tackling insurgency in the North-East.

“I think the President means well for the Nigerian forces and for Nigeria,” Badewole said, noting that the President’s decision to relocate the Military Command Centre to Maiduguri was an early sign that he was taking the war on terrorism seriously.

Reacting to the President’s speech in the early hours of Independence Day, he stated that the December deadline given the military should not be misunderstood as promising a total end to the existence of Boko Haram.

“What he simply meant was that the ability of Boko Haram to inflict casualty on the Nigerian populace would have been seriously degraded.

“Low intensity conflict is not something you can just wish away. You will still find some renegades of insurgency taking place in some parts of the federation but the ability of Boko Haram to wage a sustained war would have been seriously degraded by December.”

Capt. Umar added that indeed there had been an issue of clarity in the President’s directive. He explained that the mandate given to the Troop Commanders is to “reclaim every inch of our soil from those insurgents.Boko Haram

“It’s unacceptable for them to hoist flags anywhere within Nigeria and by December 31st, there shouldn’t be any Boko Haram base or any flag flying.”

Umar, who is also a Security Consultant, stated that more responsibilities must be given to other security agencies as he believed that while the Army can reclaim territories, other agencies would be needed to sustain ownership of those towns and villages.

The retired officers also spoke about the changes that the military has experienced in recent months which they believe have contributed to the successes they have recorded against the Boko Haram.

While Major-General Badewole commended the quality of leadership and better attention being paid to the training and welfare of the soldiers, Capt. Umar asked for more to be done in the area of intelligence.

Both men also warned that Nigerians should not always believe the information coming from the camp of the insurgents but trust the Nigerian military.

They maintained that the release of videos does not necessarily mean that the insurgents still had control of Sambisa forest as the war is also psychological and Nigerians must not fall for their tactics.

“It is a feeble attempt to get attention which they don’t deserve,” Umar said.

 

135 Terrorists Surrender To Nigerian Military

Boko-Haram-suspectsA total of 135 members of a terrorist group, Boko haram, have surrendered to troops around Biu Local Government Area in Borno State.

The spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, told reporters on Wednesday that the terrorist also surrendered equipment to the military.

According to him, a group of 88 submitted themselves at Mairiga/Bun-Yadi while another group of 45 terrorists were taken in around Mubi-Michika on Tuesday evening.

They are all being interrogated and processed in conformity with the dictates of standard best practices

He also said that, the Nigerian military, in a counter-terrorism operation, killed one Mohammed Bashir, who has been acting or posing on videos as the deceased Abubakar Shekau, the eccentric character known as the leader of the Boko Haram sect, was killed in a counter-terrorism operation in the north-east.

Major General Olukolade, with the aid of video images, explained that Mr Bashir was killed after members of the terrorist group made not less than four attempts between September 12 and 17 to violate the security strategy and enter Konduga to attack citizens in the area.

“Air and land forces were subsequently deployed to handle the situation.

“The convoy of combat vehicles typical of terrorists’ mission that involves their top commanders, were fiercely engaged by the land and air forces. Several of the terrorists including some of their commanders lost their lives in the encounters which lasted an average of about four hours each, leading to the death of the man claiming to be Mr Shekau,” he said read.

In a statement, the Defence Headquarters warned that “since the name Shekau had become a brand name for the terrorists’ leader, it would remain resolute to serve justice to anyone who assumes that designation or title as well as all terrorists that seek to violate the freedom and territory of Nigeria”.

The Defence Headquarters also applauded the gallantry of the Nigerian troops who had remained undaunted and professional in prosecuting the campaign against terror.

It also mentioned that the keen interest exhibited by Nigeria’s neighbours and allies had been commendable, reassuring all allies in the war against terrorism of the Nigerian military’s resolve to maintain momentum in the efforts to decimate and defeat terrorists.

The military further stressed the need for all Nigerians to be alert, vigilant and cooperate with security forces in the war on terror campaign.

Boko Haram Caliphate: We Have An Army That Is More Physical Than Mental – Aliyu

Boko HaramSecurity Expert, Captain Umar Aliyu (Rtd), believes that the Military may be right to say that Nigeria’s territorial integrity was still intact but believes that there were indicators that it is threatened.

This is in reaction to the Nigerian Army’s response to a 52-minute video purportedly released by the Boko Haram sect, declaring an Islamic caliphate in Gwoza, Borno State.

Speaking on the Monday edition of Channels Television’s breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’, Aliyu noted that there were both technical and fundamental indicators on ground that shows that the Nigerian Military had challenges handling the security situation.

He said that the goings on in the Army in recent times have shown that the sect must have been emboldened to take the step they took, making reference to issues like soldiers’ alleged mutiny, protests by soldiers’ wives, as well as complaints of lack of motivation and equipment to match the terrorists.

From my side of the table as an observer I think time will confer or un-confer the truth of that statement or that position. But if we want to play it safe, I will want to assume that given the indicators that the adversaries have gleaned off, the goings in the Army in the last six to nine weeks, its not unlikely that they’ve been emboldened to take that step and make that declaration whether for truth or for fallacy.”

He added that Nigeria has not been focused about the State of Emergency it declared in the states affected by insurgency, as “somebody should be in charge” but this hasn’t been so.

He stated particularly that the issues within the Army had become one that needed to be addressed at a time when the soldiers were still complaining to their authorities. He warned that a situation where they stop complaining would make the situation worse.

Sophisticated weapons were on display in the video released by the sect and there have been questions about the possibility of military equipment being among those used by the Boko Haram sect. Aliyu said that the sect could have looted the military facilities they have attacked in the past.

He, however, also revealed there are black markets for arms all over the West African region and the sect could have acquired them or looted different locations to get the sophisticated weapons on display in their latest video.

We have an Army that is more physical than mental” Aliyu said, adding that the insurgency in the country was an opportunity for Nigeria to improve on its military tactics but unfortunately the Army was still doing things the old way.Boko Haram

We are just doing, we are not thinking”, he said.

He wondered why questions were not being asked about the reason why the sect was bent on taking over Gwoza. He recalled that the sect had successfully eliminated the Emir of Gwoza and activities that followed showed that there had been a plan.

“From the account of the average man who lives there (Gwoza) the presence of the insurgents is louder than that of the military troops” Aliyu said this based on his personal research on the web, checking the social media spaces of persons who are residents of Gwoza.

Military Capacity

The military capacity to carry out thorough investigation also came to the fore, and Capt. Aliyu maintained that the reason why the Nigerian Army seemed incapable of this was that the personnel lacked the enabling environment to replicate some of the laudable performances they record when on international duties and trainings.

We tend to look at the physical soldier, what about the psychological soldier?” Aliyu asked.

The zombies Fela sang about is long extinct, today’s soldiers are people of these times, not Fela’s times when he sang Zombie.

The Army is a community with its own values and culture and its also a subset of the larger Nigerian community.

When you go recruiting to bring in soldiers, you are going to bring the majority of your recruits from the Nigerian youths who share the same social, mental fads. You’ll be getting the ‘Dorobuchi’ generation and the ‘Skelewu’ guys to come and become soldiers.

Now, you cannot just get a soldier to follow you to battle just because you said so, he has to believe in you.”

He stressed that the Army needs to “step out of the stereotype” and do things differently.

He also said that there was need to develop a culture whereby monies spent on the military are accounted for. While admitting that this does not mean that details of all military procurements should be made public, he insisted that they should be bench marked and taken responsibility for, as regards what has been achieved with them.

While maintaining his earlier stance, aligning with the military statement that the Boko Haram claims could be untrue, he said that he expects to see a robust military action which would indicate that things were not being taken for granted.

Capt. Aliyu believes that the alleged take-over of Gwoza, which is a border town, means that Cameroon would also have started giving focus to their side of the region too.

He, however, also stated that this was not a totally military issue, but an opportunity for the Customs, Civil Defence Corps and other agencies to upgrade their operations to be able to address the situation.

He referred to the setting up of the Civilian JTF as one that would make him cry, as it only indicates the inability of the Nigerian military to handle the security challenges in the country.

Boko Haram: Nigeria Is Not Learning – Capt. Aliyu

Capt Umar Aliyu 422x280A Security Consultant, Captain Umar Aliyu (Rtd), on Monday, said that Nigeria was not getting any wiser and not learning anything in the fight against insurgency, four years down the line.

Captain Aliyu, who was part of a conversation about the State of the Nation on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, feels that the effort of the authorities in the fight against Boko Haram does seem to be going anywhere.

“I will like to put it this way. If you draw a learning curve on activities as it concerns insurgency since 2011, you will see that we are not learning. A learning curve is simply the graphical representation of a theory which believes that the more you do something (the more) you get better at it. Time and effort should bring about experience.

“But if you look at it, taking it from 2011, four years we are not wiser and don’t seem to get anywhere with the insurgency problem”, Captain Aliyu said.

Reacting to a statement made by the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, who appealed to Nigeria to join the fight against insurgency, Captain Aliyu agreed that the call was spot on, but feels that there had been a litany of responses from politicians, as everyone could predict what government officials would do or say after a bomb blast.

“One becomes forced to believe that there is conspiracy of silence as words are not being matched with deeds.”

He refused to believe that no one knew who the terrorists were and what they want as they had being there long enough and had stated clearly what they want; “We know who they are (Boko Haram) and we know what they want. What we lack is the will to bell the cat and until we do, nothing will work.”

He emphasized that Nigeria loses ground and the terrorists gain ground every single time they score one single disaster in any village.

On the fact that the sect want an Islamic state, Captain Aliyu maintained that this would not be possible as there was nowhere in the present electronic age that one could have an absolutely Islamic state and he was of the opinion that they were renegades who were being sponsored by people who gain political capital from what they were doing.

The retired Nigerian Army officer further said that whatever the religious convictions are, there are bound to be limitation as the world is not flat as far as religion is concerned.

Military Capacity

On the belief that the Nigerian military was over stretched to fight insurgency after four years of trying, Rtd Captain Aliyu feels that there were enough men in the armed forces to match the terrorists and Government should be held responsible if the military had indeed become overstretched.

“If our military is overstretched, it is because the leadership don’t listen. In today’s world, we have different types of army which includes the expeditionary, conventional, the national guards and they have their different areas of competence. You don’t have one military that you want to deploy to do every and anything.  Even if you have a 100 million men the security force, they will be overstretched.”

He further stated that the military was actually meant to perform a particular role constitutionally and they should be used for it.

He advised the Government to start thinking of ‘outsourcing’ if men are required to handle security situation, citing private military security companies like what is obtained in places such as Afghanistan.

The essence of the private military security companies, according to Rtd Captain Aliyu, is to help support the fighting forces against insurgency and they can be accessed in Nigeria as there are a generation of ex- soldiers out who could be great assets in the fight against terrorism.

He added that the weapons used by the Nigerian security forces were no where near parity to the ones used by the insurgents.

Missed Opportunity

He blamed the Government for not taking advantage of the window of opportunity opened after Boko Haram kidnapped over 200 girls in Chibok. He opined that this was the greatest undoing of the sect that made them to offer to negotiate as they never expected the kind of global and strong condemnation it elicited.

“What I’m trying to say is that in four years we have (had) windows of opportunity that opened momentarily and close. We don’t seem to be learning from them. We don’t seem to cease the moment because our reasoning is beclouded by political, social-economical or cultural issues”, Aliyu said.

He gave example of the recent prisoner exchange with the Talibans by the American Government and highlighted that the move didn’t reduce the Americans as they knew everything about the released Talibans and would monitor their movement with the Interpol all over the world in possession of their data.

He said that Nigeria was not getting anywhere because it is trying to do so many things at once instead of one thing at a time, “We can come together and narrow things down and bit by bit we are going to get things done.”

He was also of the opinion that the closing down of the FCT, Abuja for the World Economic Forum for five days was a reaction of the government to insurgency and not necessarily a response to insurgency.

On how to separate politics or religion from security, Rtd Captain Aliyu said that if he was the security chief, he would do his duty without any religious or political affiliation, but if the powers that be come up to mount a campaign of colony against him, he would walk away.

 

Jonathan Returns From South Africa After Zuma’s Inauguration

jonathan-and-zumaPresident Goodluck Jonathan has returned from South Africa after attending the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma for another term as president.

The President said attending President Zuma’s inauguration was meant to discuss ways of tackling militancy across the continent with African heads of state there.

Those expectant of an open discussion were however disappointed as the African leaders kept a sealed lip throughout the event.

President Jonathan was among more than 20 heads of state gathered for the event.

The South African government had said on Saturday that African leaders in Pretoria for President Jacob Zuma’s inauguration would hold informal talks on the security situation in Nigeria.

Government spokesman, Clayson Monyela, said they would meet to discuss security in Nigeria, where the kidnapping of over 270 schoolgirls had laid bare the government’s inability to tackle an insurgency by the Islamist group Boko Haram.

The talks follow a spate of attacks in Nigeria, which is under growing international pressure to tackle the increasingly bloody uprising.

Some West African leaders had held a meeting in France sponsored by French President Francois Hollande last week to seek collaboration in the fight against terrorism seen as a threat to countries  in West Africa.

President Jonathan was also at the meeting where the leaders concluded that an attack on one is an attack on others. They pledged to work together to end the increasing attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon and Nigeria Republic.

Jonathan Requests For State Of Emergency Extension

jonathan_goodluckPresident Goodluck Jonathan has sent a request to the National Assembly seeking an extension of the state of emergency in Nigeria’s north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe by six months.

The request was read at Tuesday’s plenary on the floor of the Senate.

The emergency rule was first introduced in the three states in May 2013, before it was extended by another six months in November.

If the request is approved by the lawmakers, the state of emergency will continue till November.

The possible extension was part of the issues that was raised at the Presidential Media Chat held on May 4 and President Jonathan said that the government was considering the chances of extended the rule but that there was no decision on it yet.

He said the emergency rule was necessary for soldiers to effectively tackle the insurgency in the region, as it empowers the military to search houses suspected as harbour for terrorists without search warrant.

The terrorists have carried out series of attacks on villages, Churches and schools in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe.

Critics of the emergency rule have stated that it had not reduced or stopped the killings by the Boko Haram insurgent group in the state.

Thousands have been killed in various attacks by the sect, with an attack on Chibok, a village in Borno State, resulting in the abduction of over 200 girls. Nigeria has sought the support of the international community in the rescue effort to bring back the girls.

Britain, France, the US and Israel say they are willing to help the Nigerian government rescue the girls that were taken on April 14.

The abduction had triggered protest in different parts of the country and outside Nigeria, making a twitter hash tag ‘#BringBackOurGirls’ popular.

Insurgency: Nigeria Calls For International Partnership

Aminu-WaliNigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, has described the challenge of northern insurgency as a global phenomenon which requires international partnership.

In an interview with Channels Television’s correspondent, Gbenga Ashiru, at the United Nations headquarter in New York, Ambassador Wali, said that the Federal Government was doing its best to fight insurgency.

Several villages have been attacked in Nigeria’s north east, with some schools and churches burnt down by the members of the Boko Haram sect.

The Nigerian government had ordered military operations to counter the insurgency but there seems to be limits to what the military can do, as they have to ensure there are no civilian casualties in the cause of their operations.

On Monday, a former President of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, warned Nigeria over the use of military in an attempt to end the insurgency being perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect in an attempt to.

The former Ghanaian leader told the BBC in an interview that the military alone could not combat the insurgency.

Mr Rawlings also expressed regrets at the security situation in Nigeria and advised that Nigeria must not succumb to the temptation of seeking the assistance of foreign powers in solving its problems.

But the Mr Wali told the UN Assembly in New York on Monday that the Nigerian government was certainly not leaving anything to chance in its fight against terror.

“We have requested for assistance from those countries that have had experience in this matter to assist us in the efforts  we are making to contain the situation. I believe that in the very near future we will see a change in our security situation,” the Minister said.

He also stressed that steps were being taken in collaboration with neighbouring countries to stop the killings in the north east region.

 

Nyanya Blast: All Security Intelligence Nigeria Needs Are In Newspapers – Capt. Aliyu

Capt Umar AliyuA Security Consultant, Captain Umar Aliyu (Rtd) has said that Nigeria has been going round in circles in her fight against terrorism.

According to him, the post-mortem of Abuja security in the past 30 days, leading to the Nyanya Park bombing is appalling, considering that terrorists had been kept in the Federal Capital Territory, close to the seat of the Presidency.

He noted that the “Guantanamo Base is nowhere near the White House…That is a no-no.”

He stated that the security of Abuja had been waning and this led to the Nyanya bombing incident, which was shocking to him, as he thought Nigeria had gone past such attacks, having experienced a similar incident before in Kano.

On the availability of many security agencies expected to be curtailing such attacks, Aliyu said, “When you have everybody doing one thing, that one thing becomes nobody’s job because everybody will believe somebody will do it. And when everybody believes somebody will do it, nobody will do it.

“When you have people in position not because they know what to do but because they know somebody, you will have a department where everybody knows everybody but nobody knows anything.”

The retired Nigerian Army Officer noted that the result Nigeria had been getting in its security system and fight against terror wasn’t matching the investment it had put into it. The reason according to him, was that people have been in positions in the past 20 to 30 years not based on meritocracy but because they knew someone.

He however, pointed out that it was okay to put known people in position but stressed that they must know the job for which they are in position. He said that he had listened to Nigerian Security Chiefs speak and he could tell that they were deficient. “Nobody is a repository of knowledge, as you don’t have to know everything, but you can build a strong team” else “the price to pay is what we saw in Nyanya, in Kano, in Yobe and in other states in the last 3 days.

“In the last 3 days we’ve seen about 400 people lose their lives because somebody somewhere is not on his game. Somebody is meddling with our lives. We have to get serious about who does what and how he does it.”

Capt. Aliyu agreed that on paper and policy wise, there were roles and responsibilities well spelled out for the security agencies but there were no measures of success, there were no key performance indicators, there were no milestones for measuring results.

He insisted that for every amount spent, there has to be clear breakdown of what would be achieved with such monies and how it would be done, with emphasis on demanding to know how the job would be done.

“We cannot begin to monitor how every money was spent but we can track performance”, he said, adding that “Nigeria needs to start holding people to account on their briefs”, else it embraces the option of looking for alternative people to do the job.

On the importance but supposed inadequacy of database in the fight against terror, Capt. Aliyu opined that “database is all around us.”

The Ex-Nigerian Military Intelligence Officer referred to a colleague working with the intelligence agency of another country, who told him that all the intelligence they required in Nigeria were in the pages of any newspaper that is published in the country, as they are about indicators.

“Intelligence is not as we see it in James Bond films, it is simply the ability to have insight, and you will have insight when you have imagination, when you are innovative and you have a measure of meta-cognition”, he explained.

With newspapers and journalists brought into the discussion, and expatiating on Security Journalism, he said: “Our security agencies don’t see journalists as partners in progress; it’s more of a Tom and Jerry approach.

“I’m looking to see that day when journalist will be inducted, when they will attend courses and be able to see from the perspective of the security agencies because all of them use information.”

He also criticized the Police for placing the FCT on Red Alert when the incident had already happened. He noted that such measure was supposed to be used before an incident with different levels of alerts for different situations to prevent occurrences.

Speaking further on the capacity of the security agencies, he stated that if Nigeria rebased its security agencies like it did the economy, “the results will shock you.”

“Some weapons being used by Nigeria’s security agencies were last used during the World War”, he said.

He advised that going back to learn from its past would be the best way for Nigeria to move forward, adding that if Nigeria had learnt from the Kano incident, the Nyanya bombing would not have happened.

The security awareness of Nigerians was also emphasised as he provided deep insight into how to keep densely populated areas which were well known to be potential terrorists’ targets constantly safe with everyone having a role to play.

Assuring Nigerians that all shall be well, Capt. Aliyu expects that the Nyanya Park would be shut down for a week for the security agencies to get to work and come out with findings that would help investigation geared ultimately towards preventing a future occurrence.

JTF Kills 13 Terrorists, Arrests Others In Borno State

The Joint Task Force in Nigeria on Friday killed 13 terrorists during a raid on their make-shift camp sited between Borno and Adamawa States in the north east.

A statement by the Director, Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, said some of the terrorist, who escaped from an earlier raid, were also arrested in Maiduguri and environs.

Calm has returned to Shuwa after the pandemonium generated by the panic in the community on Friday morning when residents sighted the convoy of troops going after terrorists and scampered for safety, thinking it was another round of attack.

The confusion also led to the claim that the Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, who had visited the community was attacked by terrorists.

Major General Olukolade, described the claim as “an unsubstantiated report that should be disregarded”.

He said: “The truth is that the governor visited Michika and Shuwa areas of Yobe State to sympathise with the communities that were attacked by terrorists and while returning the convoy came across a noticeable alarm raised by some people who had mistaken a military convoy on patrol at Kirchinga village, for another impending attack by terrorists”.

Major General Olukolade said that the troops had discovered an entry and exit point of terrorists into the country through the state and was working on blocking it.

He assured the community of their safety as normalcy had returned.

Lawyer Asks Political Parties To Put Interests Aside And Tackle Insurgency

Political parties in Nigeria have been asked to put political interests aside and mobilise their members through a general awareness campaign on the need to support the military in the fight against insurgents in the north east.

The call by a lawyer, Mr Emeka Onohwakpor, is coming, as the insurgents have heightened attack in recent weeks killing over 50 people in different attacks.

He said: “Political parties should drop their differences and see this as an assault that is eroding Nigeria’s sovereignty”.

In latest attacks, the insurgents were said to have come in Hilux vehicles and the lawyer called on the security agency responsible for vehicle registration to provide the needed information about the vehicles.

“They should trace the origin of the Hilux vehicles that these insurgents are using. They should trace the source of the money used in purchasing these vehicles.  These insurgents eat somewhere, they dress somewhere and we need to find where they are.

“Political parties’ leaders should mobilise their members, advising them to report suspicious movements to the security agencies,” he stressed.

Reviewing Border Treaties

The Nigerian President had held a discussion with neighbouring countries leaders on the possibilities of reviewing treaties that hinder security forces from pursing insurgents into their countries.

Mr Onohwakpor expressed optimism that the treaty would be reviewed without much trouble because other countries were concerned about the situation.

“They would definitely cooperate with Nigeria and see how they can help. We are also in a position to exert a lot of influent on those countries.

“What happens is that it is not only our security officers that will go in there. It is usually a cooperation between security officers from both countries.

“You must exert the kind of power you have, in this situation,” he stated.

He pointed out that people living in the border area should know the insurgents.

“They have been living together. They know themselves in terms of language they know the little, little differences between them. It is important for those on the ground to join the fight actively against these insurgents.

“It is the Local Government chairman that knows his people. But if we are waiting for those in Abuja to come and know this people, they cannot easily know them.

Our Fight

He explained that the governors of the north east states could adopt the strategy the eastern governors applied in tackling kidnapping, by enacting a law that would allow the demolition of any building identified as a hideout for kidnappers.

“The governors in the north should do same and see these attacks as a national fight and not their fight. That is a situation that is not good. They should see this as their own fight and that the Federal Government is even assisting them.

“The Boko Haram is preaching something that goes against our constitution. If they are challenging the president to turn the country into an Islamic state, that means they are going against the constitution, challenging the entire country that voted the president in.

“They have also asked the president not to run in 2015, arrogating to themselves the power of the people to vote,” he said.

While the military is considering the use of drones in identifying the hideouts of the insurgents, the lawyer warned that “when drones are deployed and a sovereign country is mistakenly attacked, it will attract reprisal”.

He reiterated that there is lack of political will by the arms of government to tackle the situation.

“What we are suffering now is the lack of commitment from every arm of government towards fighting this. We must deploy the type of security we need on the ground. I don’t know if drones are needed.

“Drones are used for aerial fights to identify areas that would be attacked.

“All that is needed is to exploit the support of Cameroon, urging them to assist us in locating where the terrorists that crossed into Cameroon go to,” the lawyer insisted.

He pointed out that the comment of the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, that the military was not well equipped and not as motivated as the Boko Haram sect, was not a good one.

“We must stop condemning the military because it demoralises them.

“Where somebody as high as a governor starts saying that a group of insurgents are better equipped than the military, it is demoralising.

Using Surveillance

In December 19, 2011, the Nigerian government launched a satellite, NigComSat-1R, into orbit, described as a critical ICT backbone infrastructure that will provide solution to the country’s telecommunications, broadcast, aviation, maritime, defence and security needs.

Some Nigerians have stressed that this was the time to use it to provide necessary information and images that would enable the military take informed decisions in the fight against the insurgents.

Dr Doyin Okupe, a spokesman for the Nigerian President, said that the satellite had help in foiling some of the planned attacks of the Boko Haram, but stressed that improvement and more surveillance tools were needed.

Mr Onohwakpor, however, stressed the need for the government to be sure the equipment they were acquiring was necessary and would provide the needed value.

He also pointed out that the US had indicated interest in assisting Nigeria in the war on terror, urging the government to take advantage of the promise and seek for logistics and communication equipment that could assist the military in ending the insurgency.

 

Sanusi’s Suspension: We Are Losing Objectivity In Looking At Issues – Ojomu

A Former Acting Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bode Ojomu, has bemoaned the increasing trend of partisanship in the way issues are addressed in Nigeria, saying that people are losing objectivity in their reactions to issues.

Mr Ojomu said that people were supposed to be nationalistic in looking at issues.

“Issues that we are supposed to be nationalistic about, we are too partisan and political about and we have lost our objectivity to look at things the way they appear. It is a public problem in Nigeria,” he said on Wednesday, while giving his opinion on the suspension of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi.

On Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ojomu pointed out that Sanusi was aware that he was being investigated and wanted to gain political millage by “dragging other persons to go down with him”.

Judging By Sentiment

“Sanusi is trying to put to practice, the ‘Samsonic school of thought.’ Just like Samson in the Holy Bible, having lost everything, his eyes had been gushed out and he looked at the last strength he had and said; ‘let me pull everybody that wants to see my end down there’.

“He has showed holier than thou attitude. If you ask the lots to come and cast the first stone, I doubt if he can cast the first stone,” he said, insisting that the claim by Sanusi that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had failed to remit $20 billion to the Federation Account, was playing the blame game.

He stated that the suspended governor of the CBN, at one point in time, had acted like he was above the authority that had put him in office, insisting that the National Assembly cannot oversight him.

“What has distinguished the current holder of the CBN governor from any other officer, as a public servant that the government has hired or put in position of authority?

“The purpose of the CBN Act is not to make the CBN governor a law unto himself.

He justified the President Goodluck Jonathan’s actions, saying that the president had cleared the issue at a media chat held on Monday.

“If the president feels that the officer he has put in position is engaged in what is called misconduct, he can place him on suspension.

“People do not want to see the difference between removal and suspension in Sanusi’s case.

“If you are being investigated, within the purview of the rules of civil service, you cannot sit in the office while you are being investigated.

Lamido Sanusi has insisted on challenging his suspension in court

The member of the ruling party also said that the president’s statesmanship had been drawn too far “with all the noise made about the sacked Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah and the CBN governor”.

He insisted that the CBN governor had tried to enter into self-controversy with a government he was part of.

“Sanusi, as a CBN governor, has tried to throw stones when he lives in a glass house and you think that is decorum?

People have tried to link the suspension to the allegation against the NNPC since it came after it.

But Mr Ojomu said: “I do not see any problem with the timing. If someone has been accused of misconduct, nothing stops you from removing him from office before the end of his tenure.

“People are judging by sentiment but we can put the issue on each side and the public can make their decision. You cannot tell your presiding officer that he cannot check you.

“I have not seen any governor of the CBN that will go to his own state and make a 100 million donation,” he said, supporting the presidency’s allegation of financial recklessness.

Insecurity In The North-east

The insurgency in the north eastern part of Nigeria has become an issue of grave concern and Mr Ojomu described it as unfortunate, but said that “it will be unfair for people to say that the Nigerian Armed Forces that have intervened in other countries and have delivered and restored peace are not able to do that here.

In his opinion the comment of the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, that the insurgent group was better motivated than the Nigerian military was a disservice to Nigeria.

“Their best may not have given all the deliverables we expect but it is disservice to our nation for anyone to feel that nothing is being done.

“The real political will may not have been put in place by the people who govern that place.

“It is unfortunate that it is happening but to want to put whatever that has happened on the table of the president, is not a good idea,” he said.

He pointed out that as the Chief Security Officer of a state, the governor, even if he observed that the Boko Haram was better motivated, cannot be the ‘chief propagandist’ of the enemy that the state was fighting.

“If you must speak to the public, the statement should have come in a different way, like someone that is in charge and not a victim.

“If people say it is a frank statement, then it suggests that the person put in charge of the state has not done his part to ensure peace in the state.

He pointed out that if things had not gotten to the point that Nigerians desired that does not mean that nothing had been done.