Reps, Army Disagree Over Closed Roads In Nigeria’s Northeast

House of Representatives, Army, roads, northeast, NigeriaThe House of Representatives and the Nigerian Army have disagreed over the continued closure of roads in some liberated towns in the nation’s northeast.

The contention between the Theatre Commander of the counter-insurgency war tagged “Operation Lafiya Dole”, Major General Lucky Irabor and the House Defence Committee was voiced on Monday during a visit to the theatre command in Maiduguri, Borno State’s capital.

The seven-man committee led by Honourable Aliyu Isa said that their visit was part of a resolution of the House to investigate repeated complaints and petitions by members of the public in the region.

Mr Isa told General Irabor that while the National Assembly was in support of the military, there were concerns about operational modules and the failure to reopen closed roads, especially the Gwoza-Madagali road linking Borno and Adamawa states.

“We are here to investigate the continued closure of Madagali-Gwoza road, unlike other roads that the military has reopened.

“This is one of the major roads. The northeast has been closed down and a lot of people have been sending complains to the House, appealing to us to request the military to help reopen the roads for users,” Isa stated.

Critical, Realistic And Factual Motions

However, the Theatre Commander cautioned the lawmakers against making resolutions based on mere complaints and petitions.

He requested that they should visit the areas in question and obtain firsthand information, before championing the cause.NigerianArmy10

“Your investigation wouldn’t be complete without seeing the facts for yourselves. We have opened that road unofficially and life is already returning to Gwoza.

“And it’s not because people are complaining. We are not moved by complaints but rather the situation we find ourselves in,” Irabor stated.

The Army officer added that: “If there was a motion that was raised on the floor of the House, as lawmakers, one is at liberty to move such motions but I think what’s more critical is that motions should be moved from informed positions (and) not from perception or long distance assumptions.

“It must be critical, realistic and factual giving accurate positions as they are”.

General Irabor explained that the level of efforts that had gone into creating a secured environment for people to return to their homes at that part of the counter-terrorism operation informed partial opening of the road for humanitarian activities and returning displaced persons.

Some parts of Gwoza are reportedly home to the outlawed Boko Haram group and over the weekend, mourners were targeted for an attack in nearby Madagali Local Council of Adamawa State.

Army Partners Local Hunters For Counter Insurgency War

ArmyThe GOC of 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brig General Victor Ezugwu, has been seeking stronger collaboration with local hunters with better understanding of the terrains in the North East who voluntarily work hand in hand with the Army in some of the remote towns.

The counter insurgency war code named “Operation Lafiya Dole” has suffered setback since the coming of the rains with some of the terrains getting inaccessible for troops.

He said that the Division would provide the local hunters with cartridges for their supporting role in the war.

“I am very happy the way you are working with the Army here. You should continue because now that the rainy season is here, what these criminals would do is to cease operation but we will want to go after them inside the forest.” The GOC told the local vigilante.

Meanwhile, troops in some of the areas have become weary of their continued stay without adequate rotation.

The pride of winning the war and liberating lost territories is gradually giving way to frustration and apathy.

A soldier in Bitta told the GOC, “Soldiers and officers here in the 114 Battalion we feel we are being punished for something we have committed.

“Six hundred of us were brought here but today due to injuries and deaths the number has dropped and we even had to be reinforced.”

Promising to address the issues, the GOC expressed confidence that the Army has an edge over the outlawed bandits, insisting that peace is gradually returning to the land.

General Ezugwu has been on a 3-day operational tour of formations and units within 7 Division Area of Responsibility (AOR).

121 Task Force Battalion Pulka, ‘A’ Company of 143 Rangers Battalion, 28 Task Force Brigade in Mubi, Adamawa State and 114 Task Force Battalion in Bitta are some of the areas he visited.