The Nigerian Army has denied allegations made by the reinstated soldiers that they have been deployed back to the northeast to fight Biko Haram following their pardon.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Army, Colonel Sani Usman, said that on the contrary the soldiers have not been fully pardoned.
Colonel Usman reiterated that the Nigerian Army had been tolerant and patient with their acts of indiscipline and unprofessional conducts.
“Free To Leave”
“Efforts have been made to retrain them, integrate and give them a sense of belonging, but the attitude of some of them has left so much to be desired and would not be tolerated anymore.
“The Nigerian Army thrives on discipline, loyalty and good conduct and if anyone of them cannot measure up to expectation or live by those tenets, such a person is free to leave the army,” Colonel Sani said.
Over 3,000 soldiers, who were pardoned last year for various offenses said to have been committed while fighting Biko Haram terrorists in the northeast, are reported to have refused their redeployment on the grounds that they have not been giving their reinstatement letters.
According to reports, attempts to make them report at their various units have been rejected.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), in a combined effort with the ground troops of the Nigerian Army, successfully repelled an attack on Bita village by the Boko Haram terrorist group, a military official said on Sunday.
The Nigerian Air Force, using its Alpha-Jet, provided combat air support to the ground force to attack the insurgents where they were observed to be mopping up to carry out a deadly attack on the village.
Consequently, a large number of the insurgents were killed and several others were injured.
Thereafter, the NAF A-Jet conducted an armed reconnaissance along Bita-Gwoza road and through Yamtege, Hamdaga, Dure and Pulka.
In a statement, the spokesman for the Air Force, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, said that the NAF would continue to give all necessary support to the ground force through its intensified and persistent efforts in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East “until all portions of Nigerian soil is safe and free from the insurgents”.
Counter terrorism operations have continued in the north-eastern part of the oil-rich nation against the Boko Haram insurgents, trying to bring an end to western education and establish an Islamic State in the region.
The crisis has displaced over 1.5 million persons, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
“The attack in Potiskum on Monday showed that individuals are still very vulnerable. And to close the gap, the awareness of citizens must increase.
“In asymmetric warfare, the battle line is not drawn because of the amorphous nature of the crisis.
“We must take appropriate actions to deal with the terrorists. We must take cognisance of the fact that these people reside within the population and innocent citizens are affected. They use them as shields.
“In dealing with them, you have to employ tact that will reduce innocent casualties,” he said.
Intensify Humanitarian Effort
The security consultant also said collaborative effort between Nigeria and other countries in West Africa was necessary to end the attacks that had spread to other countries.
“There is no one country that can fight a crisis all by itself. It is not just a one nation problem. They have hit Cameroon and Niger. You will collaborate with other countries to help you cut the terrorists’ access to funds and ammunition.”
He said the government has to re-educate the citizens in the north-east area where the Boko Haram has its stronghold.
“The government has to intensify its humanitarian effort. They have seen that this has nothing to do with religion and that it is a political movement of people who want to take over space using religion,” he said, countering the terrorists claim that their fight was religious.
According to him, enhancing the military and other security agencies to be able to assure the security of the citizens was necessary.
“Confidence building should be engaged. The government must put in place a lot of effort that will restore the confidence of the citizens,” Major General Role stressed.
Two people have been reported killed in Kayamla village of Konduga local government area of Borno State in north-east Nigeria.
A resident of the community, located in the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, told Channels Television that unknown gunmen believed to be members of the Boko Haram sect stormed the village on Friday night.
The resident said the gunmen unleashed terror on the Kayamla village, killing two people in the process.
The Kayamla attack is the first reported attack carried out by the militants in the troubled Borno State since the declaration of General Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the just-concluded presidential election.
Residents of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, worse hit by the Boko Haram insurgency, have called on the president-elect to start by addressing the security problem bedevilling the north-east zone.
They explained that any other developmental programme for the people of the zone may have to wait until peace returns to the area.
Police in Nigeria say security forces in Bajoga, headquarters of Funnakaye Local Government Area of Gombe State in the north-east, repelled an attack on the town by suspected members of the Boko Haram.
The spokesman of the Gombe State Police Command, Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Fwaje Atajiri, told reporters on Friday that normalcy had returned to area.
The suspected members of the terrorist group, attacked residents in the area in the early hours of Friday.
Bajoga is 60 KMs north of Gombe, the state capital and shares border to the east with Gulani and Gujba Local Government Areas of Yobe State, which have received a fair share of the attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist group members.
Mr Atajiri said that the attackers came to the town around 8:30am local time but the attack was repelled by security forces on ground.
“There was an attack on Bajoga around 8:30 this morning by gunmen. It was an unfortunate incident that had since been brought under control. It is not a new thing in the north-east geopolitical zone of this country. This has been a phenomenon that we have been grappling with and thank God our men successfully repelled the attack,” he said.
Attack On Ashaka Cement Company
The police spokesman explained that the gunmen also made an attempt to launch attack on the nearby Ashaka Cement Company but their efforts were thwarted by the security forces and calls for collaboration with the wee-meaning members of the society in defeating the terrorists.
He advised the general public to be watchful of strangers among them and to immediately report suspicious movements around them.
Mr Atajiri did not disclose any casualty figure inflicted on the people of the community but residents said so many lives were lost while some government property were destroyed during the attack.
Places touched according to witnesses include; the divisional police office of the area, the Union Bank PLC, the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) of the town as well as the Bajoga Local Government secretariat.
Eyewitness account also said an ambulance and a Toyota Hilux Van were taken away by the hoodlums.
Today’s violence is coming three days after persons believed to be members of the sect launched an attack on Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, in an attempt to seize control of the town.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up within Gombe metropolis in an attempt to contain any attack by the terrorists.