Security expert Dr. OnaEkhomu has advised the Federal Government to mount a major military offensive this spring against the dreaded Boko Haram Islamist sect. The aim of the offensive is to save Nigerian lives by disrupting the plans and operations of the insurgents who this last week maintained a high spate of attacks against hard and soft targets in the Northeast causing loss of lives.
Reacting to the recent deadly attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents on DamboaBorno State; Dapchi,Yobe State and Garkida, Adamawa State, Dr. Ekhomuwho is the President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON) said that the terrorists were becoming more emboldened by the defensive strategy adopted in the ongoing counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations. Said he: “We must take the fight to the insurgents to disrupt their cadence. Obviously, Boko Haram/ISWAP has developed an elaborate battle plan which it executes in attack after attack. We need a new offensive to keep them off-balance and therefore save innocent Nigerian lives.”
Ekhomu urged the Federal Government to adopt the risk-mapping methodology espoused in his new book titled “Boko Haram: Security Considerations and the Rise of an Insurgency” which indicates that from the risk identification bucket (problem-sensing protocol) it is clear that the insurgent attacks are increasing in frequency, increasing in geo-spatial terms and increasing in ferocity.“The present strategy of taking body blows will result in more body bags,” he lamented.
According to Dr. Ekhomu, the continuous killings by the insurgents is doing irreparable reputational harm to Nigeria. He advised the Federal Government against making excuses thatBoko Haram attacks soft targets. According to him, “that’s what terrorists do- seek out and attack soft targets.” He said that due to the frequency of the killings of Nigerians by the Boko Haram, public outrage and outcry against their atrocities have given way to acceptance. “That is very sad,” he added.
Dissecting reports of the Damboa attack, Ekhomu said that taking on a military super-camp in the middle of the day was Boko Haram’s way of showing off its military prowess. Surprisingly, the fact that the 25 Task Force Brigade (Army Super-camp 2) was a hardened military target, did not deter the insurgents. They mounted a determined assault on the military objective, killing three soldiers as confirmed by the military authorities. However, scores of terrorists were reportedly killed and 19 fighter vehicles destroyed by the combination of ground troops, air assets, Civilian JTF and volunteers engaged in repelling the Damboa attack of 4th March 2020.
In Garkida, Adamawa State the insurgents focused on destruction of property. The death toll was low as residents ran away ahead of the attack on the ancient town. The targets selected for torching provides a window into the mind of Boko Haram: Churches, Police Stations, Local Government buildings, Court houses and the homes of prominent Christian indigenes such as Major General Paul Tarfa (Rtd). The Garkida attack could be characterized as attack on a soft target.
The Dapchi, Yobe State attack claimed eight Police lives and the torching of the Police station. This was an attack on a hard target.
Ekhomu said that the fact that the attacks occurred in all three Northeastern states was not accidental but by design. “The terrorists wanted to project lethal capability.”
He advised the Federal Government to mount a determined offensive this spring so that there will be peace this summer. He decried the release of former Boko Haram fighters saying the Operation Safe Corridor program is merely recycling fighters for the war as there is no evidence of the successful deradicalization claimed.
He said that peace is a necessary precursor to development and urged the government to bring the war to a quick end so that the rebuilding process can commence.