Boko Haram: As The Battle To Uproot Terrorists In The Northeast Continues

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    By Usman MALAMI

    Residents of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital are watching and waiting. When will the end of the Islamic militants, Boko Haram come? There was no answer to this, no one knows. Yes, just as no one knows when the world will come to an end, but the religious Books did say it would come and we all believe. The military, like the quotes in the Holy Books keep assuring us of the end to the continuous onslaught by the dreaded slaughterers and we believe them. Ours indeed is to believe, that the end will come.  Every day, there was a new hope that, this murderers will drop all tools used in butchering innocent souls, and if they would not repent our gallant soldiers would keep hunting until the last of them is seen no more. But that still was not the end. If it were so, by January this year, we will not read about attacks and killings either by the Terrorists or by our gallant soldiers, when our politicians and indeed Mr. President promised in December, 2015 that, those who took away sleep from our eyes were technically defeated.     Just as it was the duty of every Pastor and Imam to keep the faithful abreast of the end time. The General’s Sermon continuous in line with the tradition to keep the public abreast on the ongoing operation in the North East of Nigeria, But that is not again the end of the matter. When General Leo Irabor was speaking on the progress made under this progressive regime, we were again told that those who were sniffing lives out of innocent citizens are on their feet running for their very own lives, which even if the soldier’s bullet took will quickly make way for them to meet the promised virgins waiting on the other end of life. But that was not the end. They are only running. Will they come back? No one can tell, but when we heard of another attack by those fighting holy war, we will quickly remind ourselves that, of course, they only runaway to come back. Few were put to sleep by our gallant troops, the sleep that sends them to a very far journey, never to scare us with their faces again, but they are few. Others are still out there with their faces red, seeking blood to quench their thirst. In the sermon, General Irabor told us how they (Boko Haram) fled from our gallant soldiers. He mentions some of the major operations carried out with the attendant successes recorded since our last meeting. According to him, during the period under review, the following operations were conducted: a. Clearing Patrol around KALA BALGE General Area.   On 7 Jun 16, troops on patrol made contact with BHT around TILANI, RANN and KALMA in KALA BALGE general area. Consequently, in the process one was killed while others who suffered gunshot wounds fled. Among the items recovered were 3 motorcycles and a bag containing the sum of N466, 000.00 only. Additionally, 8 abducted persons made up of 2 adult females, 2 female teenagers and 3 male children were rescued from BHT captivity. However, one male minor sustained injury and has been treated at our medical centre. All the rescued persons are in our custody for further screening and profiling. b. Fighting Patrol. On 8 Jun 16, our troops conducted fighting patrols and cleared the following villages: KIRCHA, GONIYE, WUJJAL, ALKELU, KITA JIDDUM, GONIYE, JAMERI, GERIGANA, GEREKURA, JABE, HASSANA JERE AND CHACHILE. During the patrol, 2 BHT were killed while others fled. In the process, 8 Dane guns, 3 BHT flags, 2 handsets and a generator set were captured. c. Clearing Operation at ABBARI.    Following an Intelligence report, own troops carried out operation on 8 Jun 16 at ABBARI village in ALAGARNO Forest. On sighting own troops, BHT fled. However, one BHT was killed and another one captured alive. Items recovered were one Dane gun, 2 motorcycles, 2 wrist watches, gun powder, some hard drugs and the sum of N275, 060.00 only. d. Clearing Operation at YAJIWA. On 9 Jun 16, troops embarked on clearing operation to YAJIWA in ALAGARNO Forest. During the operation, 8 BHT camps were cleared. Items recovered from the camps include 2 primed IEDs, 3 pressure plates, a 36-hand grenade, 2 Dane guns, 7 motorcycles, a damaged mine detector, a vehicle and a camel bag. The 3 primed IEDs were safely disarmed by own troops while other items were destroyed. e. Ambush in MUSKA. On 10 Jun 16 after receiving an information about some BHT elements moving towards MUSKA village in NGALA LGA, own troops at LOGOMANI carried out an ambush on the suspected BHT. As a result, 10 BHT were killed and 2 others were captured alive. At the same     time, 2 civilians were rescued during the operation. Among the items recovered include: 6 AK47 magazines, 56 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, a bundle of detonating cord, a manual booklet on preparation of IED, 2 magazine pouches, a Techno Ipad, a Nokia handset, a Gionee handset, a digital multimeter, 6 SIM cards, 3 memory card, an Airtel modem containing memory card, a wrist watch,  2 Islamic books, an empty black bag and 2 motorcycles. f. Clearing Patrols around ALGARNO. Own troops conducted clearance operation in some suspected BHT camps located about 17.8 km east of troops defensive location in ALGARNO Forest. The troops cleared 5 suspected BHT camps and discovered a burnt Styer Armoured Personnel Carrier, 2 vehicles and 3 motorcycles but no contact was made with the BHT. Similarly on 13 Jun 16, troops conducted a long range patrol to LAWANKINARI village which is about 16 km north east of BORGOZO. In the process, troops apprehended a suspected BHT member (Abubakar Kurimi) who has won him the sum of N24, 555.00 only and a Dane gun. Giving update on Operation GAMA AIKI: He said, the ongoing operation in Northern Borno is a joint operation between our troops and those of the Multi-national Joint Task Force (MNJTF) comprising Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon which aimed at flushing out the BHT at the far northern fringes of Borno State and the Lake Chad Basin. According to him, the operation commenced on 13 Jun 16. Since its commencement, troops have made contact with BHT on 3 occasions. Two on our side and one on the side of the Chadians. In all the 3 occasions, the BHT suffered heavy casualties both in manpower and equipment. “Among the equipment captured from the BHT are 27 AK47, 3 GPMG, an LMG, 3 hand grenades and 2 RPG tubes. Since the operation started, a total of 31 BHT have been killed on our front. Unfortunately, we lost a soldier while 9 other soldiers were wounded and they are responding to treatment in our hospital. The operation is continuing. The Air Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE is providing air support for the operation. “ He said Again, they are assuring us that the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE are more than ever determined to completely wipe out all terrorists from their hide out in our great country Nigeria.  “Our mandate is clear. We remain committed to this mandate”, he said However, they warned us to remain vigilant and report any suspicious movement of persons and objects to the military or to the nearest Security Agencies. That is telling us that, those wounded who took to their heels after being hit by our soldier’s bullets and their brothers who fled in all direction are likely to return. This is our fears, we have heard the sermon, we will do as they said, but when will the end come, that is the promise made to Nigerians, the people of the northeast and indeed residents of Borno. Usman Malami is an indigene of Maiduguri and student of Ado Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria