ASIDE politics, President
Muhammadu Buhari has
unarguably fulfilled a campaign
pledge to break Boko Haram
in less than 18 months in office
because December 22, 2016 the
gallant troops of the Nigerian
military’s Operation Lafiya Dole
had captured Sambisa Forest, the
sect’s base.
Today, every inch of Nigeria’s
territory is free because the
resilient Armed Forces of Nigeria
under the remarkable leadership
of the Chief of Defence Staff,
CDS, General Abayomi Gabriel
Olonisakin has been repositioned
to deliver.
The visionary CDS, his energetic
Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt.
Gen Tukur Buratai, the cerebral
Chief of Air Staff, CAS, Air
Marshal Sadique Abubakar and
the tireless commanders and
troops of Operation Lafiya Dole
in the North East have worked
tirelessly to restore hope by
securing and stabilizing the region
paving the way for ongoing
reconstruction projects in the warravaged
Observers believe that Nigeria is
reaping the gains of the President’s
diligent search for competent
service chiefs led by the Chief
of Defence Staff, CDS, General
Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin.
Their emergence has changed
the focus of the Armed Forces of
Nigeria (AFN).
Gen. Olonisakin’s vision of a
well-motivated, professionallytrained
and strategicallyequipped
Armed Forces that is
responsive to national security
commitments has immensely
boosted the synergy, intelligence
and information-sharing style
of the administration’s counterterrorism
Defence analysts reckoned
that he first ensured that his team
comprising the Chief of Army
Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, the
Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice
Admiral Ibok E.Ibas and the Chief
of the Air Staff, Vice Marshal
Sadique Abubakar embraced the
vision before driving it to cascade
down the rank and file of the
According to them, this formula
has gone a long way in bringing
down Boko Haram’s stronghold in
the North East as well as robustly
tackling the militancy and other
security threats in the Niger Delta
and other parts of the country.
And so it emerged recently that
a 2017 Report on Global Terrorism
Index of the Institute for Economics
and Peace, IEP was released which
revealed that the Nigerian military
have recorded the largest decreas in
terrorism-related deaths.
The Minister of Information, Alhaji
Lai Mohammed who immediately
hailed it said it was a major proof
of the Nigerian military’ sustained
prosecution of the anti-terror war
under what he called the president’s
visionary and dogged leadership.
A civil advocacy group, Concerned
Professionals’ Congress (CPC), in a
statement jointly released in Abuja
at the weekend by its Chief Media
Strategist, Mr. Emeka Nwankpa and
the North East Regional Rapporteur,
Malam Baba Al-Kasim, called it a
fitting reward of the resolve of the
Gen. Olonisakin-led Armed Forces of
Nigeria (AFN) to perform.
The group praised the military for
driving the strategic national defence
policy initiative towards achieving
a robust inter-agency cooperation
among the armed services and
collaborating seamlessly with other
security agencies through synergy,
intelligence and information-sharing
to end the war against terror as well
as tackle other security threats across
the country.
‘’It is note-worthy that the report
showed that terrorism deaths caused
by Boko Haram dropped by 80
per cent in 2016. Don’t forget that
the Sambisa Forest, Boko Haram’s
stronghold fell on December 22,
2016 after heavy bombardments
by our gallant forces. The aspect of
the report that showed a sustained
decline in terrorism-related deaths
confirms that the combination of
kinetic and non-kinetic counterterrorism
measures being deployed
by the military high command is
making huge impact.
‘’For example, the drop in the
number of deaths arising from the
war on terror displayed a trend which
showed that Nigeria, compared in
2015 with Afghanistan, Pakistan and
Syria which were most endangered
by terrorism, recorded 33 per cent
fewer deaths thereby decreasing the
scourge of terror-related deaths with
a 13 per cent Year-On-Year decline

READ ALSO  NEDCOM bill will rebuild, resettle destroyed communities- Senator Ndume

in two successive years. This is
assuring’’, Nwankpa said.
The group endorsed comments
by the Executive Chairman of
the Institute for Economics and
Peace, IEP, Mr. Steve Killelea that
the impact is also felt in the major
neighboring countries- Cameroon,
Chad and Niger.
”The decline of Boko Haram in
Nigeria is having a positive ripple
effect, with Cameroon, Chad and
Niger collectively recording 75
per cent fewer deaths”, said Steve
Alhaji Lai Mohammed noted
that the progress made by Nigeria
in the fight against terrorism
since President Muhammadu
Buhari assumed office in 2015 was
outstanding and phenomenal.
Noting that the fight against terror
since 2015 has been phenomenal,
the group observed that Nigeria’s
novel counter-terrorism strategy
has largely dislocated Boko Haram
terrorists leading to their defeat,
prompting a high-powered study
group from the prestigious Royal
College of Defence Studies in the
United Kingdom to understudy the
strategy at the Defence Headquarters
in Abuja.
Nwankpa said Nigeria’s giant
contributions to global order, peace
and security were being appreciated
globally due to President
Muhammadu Buhari’s zeal and
diligence in selecting the present
crop of the highly professional and
patriotic service chiefs led by the
CDS, Gen. Olonisakin.
The group noted that the CDS-led
team has left none in doubt about
Nigeria’s role as a leading military
force in Africa and the sub-region
manifested in the victory over
terrorism and insurgency in the
country thereby reducing some of
the world’s most endemic security
‘’The Nigerian military under Gen.
Olonisakin and the service chiefs
have used synergy, intelligence and
information sharing to secure and
stabilize the nation in the manner
it has tackled national security
threats particularly terrorism and
insurgency’’, Nwankpa said.
Keen defence analysts have
linked the report to the just-revised
National Counter Terrorism Strategy
(NACTEST) which the president
launched shortly before jetting out
to Jordan for a summit on terrorism
where over 100 countries attended.
Launching the NACTEST on
behalf of the President, Vice President
Yemi Osinbajo urged Nigerians to
join ranks and win the psychological
battle against terrorism, pointing out
that the danger posed to the society
by terrorists had necessitated the
war against terror.
‘’The enemy is essentially an
insane nuisance because he revels
in cowardly attacks. He does not
obey the rules of warfare, kills the
defenceless, including prisoners
he uses children as human guns
and considers the killing of anyone
at all as a victory. Therefore as we
think through our strategy, we must
remember that to permanently win
the physical battle we must win the
battle of the minds of even the most
impressionable young men who
sign up to join Boko Haram and
other violent extremist groups’’, he
‘’We must understand
that terrorism is essentially a
psychological warfare and as such
a psychologically sophisticated and
nuance response is necessary. We
must also educate the millions of our
young men through the leadership
of our faiths that they must let
them know that neither Islam nor
any other religion that we know
endorsed the slaughter of anyone’’,
he added.
The CPC spokesman whose
advocacy group has been engaged
in mobilizing public support for the
Nigerian military explained that the
former Boko Haram combatants
had for over one year now been
undergoing de-radicalization
programmes in Gombe, Maiduguri
and other military facilities created
under the auspices of Operation
Safe Corridor by the Chief of
Defence Staff to rehabilitate and
integrate them back into the
Nigerian society thereby depleting
the ranks of the Boko Haram sect.
Still on the renewed push for
a common front against the
terrorism, the Chief of Army
Staff, Lt. Gen. Buratai, last week
in Maiduguri at the decoration of
newly promoted Major Generals,
challenged the nation’s political
class, the intelligence community
and all Nigerians to forge a fresh
collaboration against terrorism in
the North East.
‘’The choice of this venue for
the investiture is predicated on

READ ALSO  Bayelsa NULGE suspends LG chairman over embezzlement

the need to boost the morale of
troops in the Theatre and also to
celebrate your elevation with the
law abiding people of the North
East, who enjoy normalcy today
as a result of the fruit of your
‘’The reason for bringing this
decoration to the North East
and indeed to Bornu State is to
underscore the importance of our
counter-insurgency operations
in the security architecture of
our country. Therefore, the final
defeat of the remnants of the
BHTs and the stabilization efforts
in conjunction with other security
agencies must be uppermost in
your minds’’.
‘‘Nigeria will always remain
our constituency and we all
must be 100 per cent committed
to maintaining its territorial
integrity. The large number of
you that have merited to be
promoted to this enviable rank
of Major General indicates the
significant attainment of my
vision of having a Professionally
Responsive Nigerian Army in the
Discharge of its Constitutional
‘’As we are all aware,
insurgency is a difficult war that
requires all hands to be on deck
for it to be effectively tackled and
finally destroyed. The Nigerian
Army has played her role
satisfactorily. We have won the
ground war and the Boko Haram
Terrorists substantially degraded.
We have secured Nigeria’s
territorial integrity and equally
maintained her sovereignty.
‘’We have carried out our tasks
proudly and professionally.
What is remaining now is for
other stake holders – the political
class and intelligence community
– to take up the salient aspects of
this war to the remaining ill-fated
‘’The Nigerian Police Force
must be fully on the ground in
all the states in the North East.
Civil administration must be
fully re-established in all the
LGAs. The civil authorities must
fight the ideological, social and
propaganda wars. The issues of
indoctrination and propaganda
by the terrorists must be stopped.
These are the surest way to finally
defeat the insurgents’’, Buratai

READ ALSO  Dangote to Buhari: We need clear, consistent policies