B’Haram: Beyond the Intelligence Fusion Centre

One man who is unmitigated in pronouncement, action and direction on the ultimate liquidation of Boko Haram sect from the soil of Nigeria is President Muhammadu Buhari. On this, he is focused and resolute. Unfortunately, this can’t be said of some elite or politicians from the Northeast, especially, Borno State, which, ironically, is the epicenter of the insurgency. While President Buhari has done, is doing and will do all possible to see the obituary of Boko Haram sect, the contrary is the elite and politicians who try to give life to this menace to perpetuate their self interest.
From the take off of his administration, President Buhari left no one in doubt that his government will do what it takes to subdue the demons of destruction. In his Inaugural Address as the democratically elected President in Abuja on May 29 2015, he directed the Military Theatre Command of the insurgency be moved from Abuja to Maiduguri, the heart beat or coordinating centre of Boko Haram.

The report pointed out that 223 had died owing to terrorists attacks in the northeast since between April and September 2017, showing a sharp rise in Boko Haram attacks when compared to the corresponding period in 2016

No done, the President appointed Lt.-General Tukur Buratai, an indigene of Borno, as the Army boss. In like manner, the National Security Adviser in person of General Mohammadu Monguno also from Borno took the saddle. The President went further in appointing Air Marshall Abubakar Sadiq from Bauchi State who spent most part of his career in Borno. Also coming from Borno is the Chief of Staff to the President, in person of Alhaji Abba Kyari. Then come the Anti-Craft boss, the dreaded and controversial Comrade Ibrahim Magu. Perhaps taking a cue from the Presidency, the current Senate appointed Honorable Habu Kyari from Borno State as chairman, Senate committee on Defence. Before now, the House of Representatives had appointed another indigene from Borno as its Chairman on Committee of Defence.
With the above appointments of ‘sons of the soil’, mostly from Borno in relation to the current security challenges facing the region and Borno in particular, both the Federal Government and the National Assembly have, by design or coincidence, made an unequivocal statement: this war at your doorstep must be won. 08033308377
President Buhari matched these appointments with provision of requisite war arsenals, equipment, logistics, incentives and all the necessary wherewithal for the military to flush out these demons of destruction.
Today, Boko Haram has been degraded and decimated. All the hitherto local government council areas held in the northeast by the sect have been liberated, but at unbearable cost in human and material resources. At the last count, about six billion dollars of infrastructure had been destroyed, three million people displaced, over 100,000 human souls had perished and a legacy of about 50,000 orphans and 65,000 widows left in place.
The more the heat on the insurgents, the more they change colour, antics and tactics, making the situation more complex, challenging and daunting to the Nigerian military, which is more learned in conventional warfare.
Unable to bear the firepower of the military that had rendered the insurgents asunder, the terrorists resolved to guerilla warfare and suicide bombing, hitting mostly, soft targets which include schools, markets, cinema houses, worship centres, motor parks, crowded areas and others; causing incalculable damage to both human and infrastructure. This has become more worrisome to those affected and the authorities.
According to the recent Amnesty International’s report, Boko Haram terrorists killed more people in the northeast in 2017 as against 2016, despite military intervention.
The report pointed out that 223 had died owing to terrorists attacks in the northeast since between April and September 2017, showing a sharp rise in Boko Haram attacks when compared to the corresponding period in 2016.
It stated that most of the attacks were recorded in Borno with many of them being suicide attacks carried out by women and girls forced into the act
“Boko Haram is once again committing war crimes on a large scale, exemplified by the depravity of forcing young girls to carry explosives with the soul intention of killing as many people as they possibly can,” Said Aliounc Tine, the Amnesty International Director for West and Central Africa.
“This wave of shocking Boko Haram violence, propelled by the sharp rise in suicide bombings highlight the urgent need for protection and assurance for millions of civilians in the lake Chad region.”
The director, urged the governments of Nigeria, Cameroon and other affected countries to take “swift action” to protect civilians from “this campaign of terror”, which has led to the death of about 100,000 people since 2007.
As a matter of fact, the onslaught of the terrorists on soft targets between October, 2017 and now, has been more devastating and terrifying creating frightened dimension in war against the terrorists.
Disturbed among others by the uncomfortable nightmare that has engulfed the people of Borno in particular as a result of unrelenting insurgents suicide bombings and attacks, President Buhari has in addition to several other steps already taken approved recently the setting up of an Intelligence Fusion Centre in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, for the purpose of gathering and sharing intelligence among security agencies in
the country.
In a statement in Abuja penultimate week, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, explained that the measure was to tackle the desperate actions of Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast, who were fond of using underage girls as suicide bombers.
Shehu also said, “This phase of the war will be intelligence-driven and the new centre is expected to intensify this harvesting and sharing of intelligence, so as to bring to an early closure, the desperate, last-minute activities of the terrorists.”
This latest action by President Buhari is an affirmation of his unmitigated resolve to tame the monster. However, it is imperative to advise that due caution must be exercised in the composition of the IFC to ensure that the fifth columnists, double agents and men of doubtful character do not manipulate their way into the IFC. To allow this happen, is to take Nigeria to the slaughter house and by implication, the beginning of an endless journey in this exerting effort of bringing the insurgency to an end.

*Izekor, a journalist, public affairs analyst, is a member of the Board of Advisers of The Point.