WHEN succour finally came to
Nigeria via a United States’ approval
to sell 12 A-29 Super Tucano
fighter planes to upscale the
nation’s military on-going dislodgement
of Boko Haram terrorists
and other extremist groups,
it had become apparent that the
nation’s military engagement in
the North East was already in top
gear in response to Boko Haram’s
recent ambush attacks on the oil
survey team in the Lake Chad
Basin.
In fact, it turned out as a striking
coincidence that the U.S’ offer
came in the heels of the emergency
meeting last week by Acting
President Yemi Osinbajo and the
nation’s military top brass led by
the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS,
General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin.
Even as the service chiefs started
relocating to Maiduguri, Borno
State, the epicenter of the antiterror
war in compliance with a
presidential directive, it was clear
that the troops were already up
in a fresh combat mood to move
against the terrorists to ensure effective
sustenance of the gains of
their counter-terrorism success in
the war-ravaged region.
By the US’ approval, the Nigerian
military will buy 12 airplanes
which are equipped with wingmounted
machine guns, weapons
integration with advanced
surveillance and precision-guided
bombs including air-to-air missiles
to help the Nigerian forces
to combat the Boko Haram insurgents
and other extremist groups
in the country.
Mr. Emeka Nwankpa, Chief
Media Strategist of an advocacy
group, Concerned Professionals’
Congress, CPC, told the press last
weekend in Bauchi said that the
news of the approval by the US Department
of State was palatable especially
that the fighter planes were
coming with associated parts, training,
facilities and weapons.
He lauded the CDS on the US’
gesture, particularly despite what he
said were series of ‘’relentless conspiracies
and malicious campaigns
of calumny by certain anti-Nigeria
interests whose main motives still
remain shrouded in mystery’’.
The group noted that notwithstanding
the mounting pressures
and difficulties which the Armed
Forces of Nigeria had faced in tackling
security challenges in the country,
it had observed the Gen. Olonisakin-
led team’s dogged pursuit of
strategies aimed at protecting the
nation against territorial aggression.
Noting that the Nigerian military
has relentlessly quelled ambush
and suicide attacks by terrorists in
the North East as well as militancy
in the Niger Delta region and other
national security threats, it said that
the gesture by the U.S will go a long
way to drive the strategic national
defence initiative to end the war
against terror as well as effectively
tackle other security threats across
the country.
Nwankpa contended that the US’
gesture will boost the morale of the
nation’s troops, saying that the Nigerian
military’s current high global
rating in counter-terrorism efforts
obviously swayed the U.S to give
the approval in view of an alleged
manipulation in the media recently
of a United States Bureau on Counter-
terrorism 2016 Country Report
which lampooned Nigeria’s security
forces as lacking in co-ordination.
‘’It is heart-warming to note that
the US State Department rose above
these false narratives against Nigeria
to finally approve of this sale to
Nigeria as the days of terror in the
North East are numbered,’’ he said.
It will be recalled that the Defence
Headquarters decried alleged misrepresentation
of the U.S Report in
some section of the media and cautioned
against skewed analyses of
the Report in a manner that could
turn the U.S against Nigeria or undermine
public confidence military,
saying that the U.S publishes such
reports to apprise government of areas
to further tackle global terrorism
and not to make the people restive.
The group thanked the U.S government
for proving to the mischiefmakers
that it is a reliable partner
in Nigeria’s fight against terrorism,
pointing out that the gesture has
tackled the misrepresentations of
the Report.
The group also thanked other
global and sub-regional partners of
Nigeria in the African Union, the
United Nations and the Economic
Community of West African States
for their consistent support and solidarity.
The group observed that Nigeria’s
counter-terrorism strategy has largely
accounted for the defeat of Boko
Haram Terrorism in the North East,
noting that it has become a subject of
deep study in top military quarters
across the world which prompted a
visit recently to the Defence Headquarters
of a high-powered study
group from the prestigious Royal
College of Defence Studies in the
United Kingdom.
Mr. Nwankpa expressed delight
that Nigeria’s positive contributions
to global peace and stability was
again being acknowledged in influential
and important quarters across
the world, saying that it was attributable
to the zeal, doggedness and
sincerity of President Muhammadu
Buhari whose election as President
in 2015 paved the way for the emergence
of a crop of highly professional,
committed and patriotic military
service chiefs led by the CDS, Gen.
Olonisakin.
‘’The Nigerian military under Gen.
Olonisakin and the service chiefs
have used synergy, intelligence and
information sharing to secure and
stabilize the nation particularly terrorism
and insurgency employing
kinetic and non-kinetic measures to
stabilize the country. They have indeed
given a good account of themselves’’,
said Nwankpa.
The group expressed deep pleasure
that the global community
had continued to note and appreciate
the positive developments in
Nigeria’s counter-terrorism strategy
owing to the quality of the
Olonisakin-led leadership which
is characterized by its professionalism,
commitment, discipline
and new tactical and strategic approach.
The group maintained that the
counter-terrorism campaign was
gaining high momentum contrary
to what some commentators have
loosely termed as a possible resurgence
of terrorism in the North
East region.
‘’We salute the courage and gallantry
and professionalism of our
troops in the counter-terrorism
fight. It is not a resurgence of Boko
Haram attacks. Such thinking is
false and fatally-flawed. it is not a
correct reading of the situation as
far as fighting contemporary terrorism
is concerned,’’ he said.
‘’The ordinary mind may think
that the isolated attacks on soft
targets appear as Boko Haram’s
resurgence, the truth remains that
the capacity of the sect to directly
confront our troops or hold any
Nigerian territory has since been
degraded,’’ he noted.
He maintained that the sect is
in disarray as every inch of Nigeria’s
territory is free, courtesy of
the resolve and resilience of the
Armed Forces of Nigeria under
the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS,
General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin
whose remarkable synergydriven
leadership, he said, has
galvanized the Nigerian armed
forces to dislodge terrorism and
insurgency in the North East for
which the global community has
been applauding the President
Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
Not long ago, the U.S Secretary
of State, Mr. Rex Tillerson, at a
World Conference on Counter-
Terrorism in Washington D.C told
over 200 Chiefs of Defence Staff in
attendance that Nigeria deserved
praise for leading West African
nations in a successful sub-regional
coalition against terrorism and
insurgency in the North East part
of Nigeria. He praised Nigeria for
employing synergy, intelligence
and information sharing to defeat
Boko Haram.

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The advocacy group said that
last Tuesday’s ambush attacks by
the sect had again woken the entire
nation and indeed the global community
to the grave dangers, horror
and challenges which terrorism and
violent extremism pose to mankind.
A defence scholar, Dr. Emmanuel
Onoja observed that the military
leadership has displayed immense
capacity to degrade Boko Haram to
prepare the North East for a speedy
return to peace, pointing out that the
Nigerian military had adequately
marketed Nigeria as a responsible
member of the global community.
The scholar also noted that the nation
owed a huge debt of gratitude
to its brave, courageous and gallant
troops because of the successes they
have achieved in the counter-terrorism
operations in the North East,
stressing that the enviable resilience,
doggedness and selflessness of service
men should be appreciated at
all times.
He observed that since the President
came into office two years ago,
he has left none in doubt about his
determination to halt degenerating
internal security challenges in the
country especially the Boko Haram
menace.
Throughout his nationwide electioneering
campaigns, security was
a major campaign issue just as he
matched word with action at his
official inauguration where he directed
the immediate movement of
the military command and control
center from Abuja to Maiduguri.
He undertook strategic sub-regional
shuttles to Cameroon, Niger
and Chad where he met their leaders
and secured necessary support.
He also paid off Nigeria’s monetary
commitment to the Multi-national
Joint Task Force.
According to him, the President’s
careful selection of a competent
team led by the Chief of Defence
Staff, Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin
and the capable service chiefs
has remained the game-changer.
Another scholar, Dr. Fynecountry
Baribote, noted that the emphasis on
inter-agency synergy by the CDS
as a strategy has helped the military
and other security agencies
to successfully fight insurgency,
terrorism, militancy and other
forms of crime and criminality
that pose grave threat to national
unity, peace and stability in the
country.
Giving further insight into what
may happen in the coming days,
weeks or perhaps months in the
counter-terrorism campaign, he
said that the chances were becoming
dimmer for the terrorists with
the prospects getting brighter for
the Nigerian nation in the quest
to rid the country of all forms of
terrorism, crime and criminality.
He contended that the offer
by the U.S to Nigeria signaled
a loaded notice to Boko Haram
terrorists to finally bow to the
Nigerian military and quit the
entire Nigerian space or be ready
to test the will of the leader of the
free world and face dire consequences.

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