$1Billion Is Grossly Inadequate To Fight Boko Haram In North East – Theatre Commander
The Theatre Commander, Operation Lafia Dole, Major General Rogers Nicholas has said yesterday that the sum of one billion US Dollars was comparatively grossly inadequate to prosecute operational activities of operation Lafiya dole in the north east of Nigeria against the boko haram insurgency.
He stated this yesterday at the monthly press conference held at the theater command headquarters maimalari cantonment Maiduguri.
It will be recalled that in December 2017, the 36 states governor approved the release of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account and requested the federal government to use the money to fight Boko Haram militants in the northeast but this action was resisted by many, especially by some governors from southern Nigeria.
Major General Nicholas clearly added weight to the issue noting, " if about five or six billion US Dollars will be used to purchase an aircraft from USA to fight Boko Haram insurgency as an equipment or machinery, what is one billion US Dollars going to do in financing operational activities of the war against boko Haram insurgency in the north east of Nigeria alone ".
He was of the opinion that such an amount was even far below what was actually required by the Nigerian military to bring the boko haram insurgents on their knees in the North East region.
“As for me, the $1 billion dollars is grossly inadequate, if you want to buy the latest tank, it’s on the internet, you can access them and you can on your own decide if that amount is reasonable or not,” Nicholas said.
The Theater Commander however said his current priority was to uproot Boko Haram terrorists with all the military might from the nooks and crannies of the northeast and ensure that normalcy returns to all parts of the troubled region.
“All we know is that the Federal government will give us our fighting materials and we will deliver based on our constitutional role,” Nicholas said.
General Rogers further explained that over the past one and a half months when he took over the mantle of leadership,of the theater command, his troops have remained resilient, dauntless and focused on the Counterterrorism and counter-insurgency operations in the North East.
“A review of the activities within this period indicates that Boko Haram Terrorists are in disarray having suffered defeat in the Sambisa forest and are therefore desperate for reckoning. This press briefing is intended to bring you up to date on troops’ operational activities covering from mid-December 2017 to mid-February.
“The period under review has been characterised by heavy artillery and aerial bombardments culminating in a series of ground offensives to clear identified Boko Haram enclaves in the Islands of the Lake Chad, also known as the “Tumbus” and Camp Zairo in the Sambisa.
“In these operations, many insurgents have been killed, others have fled for safety, while some others surrendered to our troops and allies in the Multinational Joint Task Force. Many other insurgents who escaped from the onslaught also took advantage of the amnesty offered by the Nigerien Government to surrender to Nigerien Defence Forces. Close air support provided by the Air Task Force and Artillery bombardments were further reinforced by ground troops with blocking forces that denied the insurgents freedom of action and access to logistics, thereby canalizing them to Camp Zairo in the Sambisa. Troops are also tracking and hunting down the fleeing insurgents with fighting patrols and ambushes.
“Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole sustained precursor operations to clear BHT enclaves in the fringes and identified islands of the Lake Chad area with devastating consequences on the adversary. These precursor operations dovetailed into Operation DEEP PUNCH II; a major coordinated Land, Maritime and Air operations to rout out the insurgents from their enclaves in the Lake Chad Islands otherwise known as the “Tumbus”. Long range fighting patrols have also continued to trail and seek out BHT hideouts as well as protect liberated areas from fleeing and prowling BHT elements.
“While I appreciate members of the general public for their untiring support to troops in the ongoing counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency war in the North East, I implore you to continue to support the troops, “your troops” by being vigilant in your homes, neighbourhood and communities. Identify strange persons or activities and promptly alert the security agencies,” Major General Nicholas said.