This hard nut revelation in the minds of Nigerians, answered hundreds of questions Nigerians had, on why one of the best armies in Africa remained unable to defeat a handful of ragtag terrorists. Surprisingly, since this Army Chief was sacked in January 2014, there still exist the disturbing reports of a continuation of top military level sabotage of the so called operations against Boko Haram. Can you beat the fact that Major General Dr. M. Kachalla that led his men bravely and tactically and was able to recapture Damboa from the insurgents was immediately thereafter removed and transferred out of Borno State. May be the fear that this man that led this special force and defeated Boko Haram and reclaimed Damboa could do more to stop these insurgents led to that transfer.
Moreso, the report from Peregrino Brimah states that, it has been noted that the special task force that defeated Boko Haram in 2013 after the state of emergency was declared, which also killed the original Shekau in August of that year were all transferred out of the state. That was when the stationary army division 7 was suddenly used to replace the effective JTF and Boko Haram was allowed to forcibly conscript more northern youths and thus recover fully. News rescue on May 13, 2013 reported that ‘Top level sabotage and purposeful undermining of the JTF mission is behind the loss of military and civilian lives in combats with Boko Haram. The sabotage in Nigerian could be the reason for the initial delayed attack on the insurgents. He noted that the delay could also be due to lack of commitment to combat and personnel reinforcement. The war against Boko Haram seems to be one-sided in favour of the insurgents even though these insurgents have waged a full scale insurgent war against Nigeria.
On May 17th 2014 Punch recorded that ‘there are indications that the authorities of the Nigerian Military are responding to the threat of sabotage leakage of information to insurgents in the North East. Many soldiers had been killed because of misleading information from politicians, local communities and others with sympathy for the Boko Haram.
A security source said that “the issue of connivance and betrayal by troops with sympathy for insurgents was one of the factors militating against the success of the military operation.” Their brothers in faith and may be blood brothers may think they are being helpful to these insurgents not knowing that they are doing more harm than good. If initially those that harboured or hid these insurgents on the onset during military raiding gave them up or gave out useful information to the military, insurgency would have been a story of the past.
Most times the insurgents are better equipped than the Nigeria military. In the words of Okechukwu Nwanguma on May 10th 2014, “I have been trying to figure out the reason the Nigerian military as revealed by Amnesty International would ignore advance warning about planned mass abduction of the Chibok school girls by Boko Haram. I can only imagine two possibilities. First, it is clear and beyond doubt that the terrorists whom our soldiers are sent and expected to combat are equipped with better and more sophisticated weapons than they are. They therefore feel like being sent on a suicide mission knowing that they are incapable of matching the intelligence and operational sophistication and capabilities of the terrorists. Second, the financial motivation in the form of allowances or such like is not provided.” Come to think of it, the military seeing that the insurgents are more prepared and equipped than even the soldiers of Nigerian Biafran war, is it not high time the top level offices understood that these terrorists are putting Nigerian Army to mockery and the whole Nigeria. That is why the United State Assistant Secretary for Africa Affairs Linda Thomas Greenfield described the Nigeria military as literally a shame now, stating that it has lost practically all left of its reputation.
Another major issue in this sabotage is that from fellow civilians, who could not recognize that these insurgents have drifted from mere civilians to full fledge military. Why should any civilian mar the effort of the government to stop these insurgents from these incessant killings? Even before the confession of the Australian doctor, there has been a serious suspicion that the Northern leaders are behind this terrorism. Who is fooling who? In his report in November 2011 titled ‘Government to probe Ex-Governor of Borno State, Babasessy has this report “That at the end of the security meeting of the top operatives of the nation’s security agencies, it was resolved that one time governor of Borno state Modu Sheriff be investigated for setting up a military group as a political thuggery enterprise and nurturing it through adequate funding until it metamorphosed into a terror group.
Again that the alleged dissatisfactory silence from the North over Boko Haram has given rise to widespread suspicious and serious concern within the ranks of the government as there is a strong feeling that there may be more to the avoidable in action from the region than meets the ordinary eye.” In their opinion, the silence from the Northern leaders is sabotage because an English adage says that silence is consent. Now the insurgents have taken over about 31 towns in Borno State and have even installed Emir in a place like Gwoza. I think we are running late in the pursuit of this matter. The Borno state capital is not left out. The Nigerian military could not stop them entrance into the government seat of the state.
Now the Senate tells the Federal government to wage full war against Boko Haram. But could there be any meaningful success if sabotage and information leakage still exist in the military and within the civilians. Now the government is out to fight the insurgents both from the air and ground. But the resistance and counter attack form this terrorists is a thing of concern.
Recently, a whole fighter jet of the almighty Nigeria Air Force (NAF), got missing within the country. The report said that the Air Force is looking for a missing fighter jet and two pilots in a village in Gombi LGA in Adamawa State. But the NAF ruled out possible sabotage. According to the Chief of Air staff, Air Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu, the Alpha Jet, NAF 446 left Yola at about 10:45am with two pilots on board to return by noon but as at the time of that statement, nobody could give account of that jet in the whole Nigeria Air space. If information leakage is not our problem, why was there a great success in the attack against kidnappers in Abia State? A source said that the trip was not made known even to the troop until they are on their way. ‘It reads the operation at Abia was so well and swiftly conducted; it was even done with secrecy. Over 3,000 troops recruited were not told what mission they were on. The troops were told they were going for rehearsals and only en-route they were given live ammunition.’ The secrecy served the purpose of ensuring that the attack will be a complete success. Leakages of information to these insurgents have been the major downfall of the Nigerian Military in this fight. That will throw the light on why Cameroonian soldier were able to arrest some of the Boko Haram members and shell their camp successfully.
These soldiers are embittered by the loss of lives of their members to these insurgents especially when it is due to sabotage like information leakage, wrong information and not being well equipped etc. In one of these ugly incidents, the soldiers that lost the lives of their members went back to the barracks in anger and started shooting at the vehicle conveying the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 division Maiduguri.
This led to this recent trial on 18 soldiers. The General court Marshal for that trial Presided over by the president of the military court, Brigadier Gen. Chukwuemeka Okonkwo tried these soldiers over six count charges which include: conspiracy to commit mutiny, false accusation, attempted murder, insubordination etc. Three out of these six charges carry death sentence, for which the 12 of the soldiers were found guilty and thus sentenced to death by firing squad.
These twelve are: Jasper Braidolor, David Musa, Friday Onuh, Yusuf Shaibu, Igomu Emmanuel, Andrew Mgbede, Nuru Mohammed, Ifeanyi Alukhagbe, Alao Samuel, Amadi Chukwudi, Stephen Clement and Allen Linus.
Five were imprisoned with hard labour. They are: David Robert, Mohammed Sani, Samuel Namma, Ichocho Jeremiah and Sabastine Gwaba. Isie Ubong was discharged and acquitted on all count charges. These soldiers rebelled against their commander over what they see as insensitivity to their safety in operations against Boko Haram. They must have seen what other colleagues had under gone due to sabotage and felt they are being put in the same shoe. Put sabotage aside the Boko Haram will fall, but that will be until the interested groups become uninterested.