The renewed attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in the North East is causing serious tension in the military, even as the Service Chiefs are already charting new courses to ensure that the situation is arrested.
Before the Service Chief’s assumption of office in January, there was a relative peace in the North East especially, as the former chiefs had tried to curtail the insurgents.
It was this progress that made government to create 7 Division, Nigerian Army, as well as approved the handing over of all military operations in the North East to the Army by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ).
Since this development, the Army under Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd), gave the insurgents a hot chase, taking over all their strongholds and bases in the general areas of the operations.
However, after the new Service Chiefs took over, things appeared to still be under control until the declaration by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh that they were ready to end insurgency in April.
Shortly afterwards, the country appeared to be back again in the woods as the restless insurgents keep attacking, killing and wounding scores of persons and destroying property again in the areas. The latest spate of attack, however, the Saturday Mirror learnt has started giving the CDS and his Service Chiefs, especially Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah, serious concern.
The Defence Headquarters in Abuja, is said to be feeling very bad and uncomfortable that the insurgents were regrouping and unleashing more terror. Sources at the Army Headquarters (AHQ) told Saturday Mirror that “all the Chiefs are very worried and desperate to see the sure end of these insurgents.”
The source said that the CDS had reminded his Chiefs, especially COAS, Minimah and Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Adekunle Amosu, that he meant the charge that he gave to them concerning Boko Haram on the April date, which practically made them to report in that zone and had since returned to the drawing board. .
Upon returning from their three days operational visits to Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states within the week, the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brigadier General Olajide Laleye, told Saturday Mirror that the Chiefs had just returned and that he couldn’t speak for his boss, the COAS, on what they were came back with. He said that they must be allowed to settle down and plan, stressing that everyone was committed to seeing to ending the insurgency.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh has pleaded with Nigerians to come to his aid by joining hands with him to defeat the Boko Haram insurgents.
In a statement issued by the Director Defence Information (DDI), Major General Chris Olukolade, in Abuja yesterday, Badeh said “when there is a war, it is not only the military that is at war but the entire citizenry”.
The CDS, according to the statement, said this when he received members of the Nigerian Air Force Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA) who paid him a solidarity visit at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja yesterday.
Badeh, who was said to have just returned from Guinea Bissau, where he attended a meeting of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff, told his visitors that all men and women of goodwill must join hands in the effort to rid the country of terrorism. He charged NAFOWA members not to relent in supporting their husbands and praying for the nation saying their contributions remained very vital. Earlier in her remarks, NAFOWA President, Mrs Omolara Amosu said that they were at the Defence Headquarters to express their solidarity to the CDS and the entire Armed Forces of Nigeria in their untiring service to the nation in these trying times. She stated that her association was conscious of the challenging nature of this period in the life of the nation in general and the military in particular. She then assured the military and other security agencies of their continued prayers and support for the success of the efforts to ensure peace and security in the country. NAFOWA is a non-governmental organisation comprising of wives of officers of the Nigerian Air Force committed to the welfare of barracks community and its environs.