Boko Haram: FG acquires 40 attack helicopters to fight militants
•DHQ orders troops to rescue Damboa from Boko Haram
The Federal Government is adding 40 attack and transport helicopters to the air force arsenal in the battle with Boko Haram.
Other sophisticated hardware have also been ordered for the armed forces by the government, according to military sources in Abuja.
The Defence Headquarters is understood to have ordered troops to rescue Damboa from Boko Haram insurgents who have hoisted their flag in the town.
The Nation gathered that the first batch of the aircraft is due is the country early next month and the remaining not later than December.
Some security men are said to be frustrated about their inability to storm the Sambisa Forest base of the insurgents on account of the unavailability of the required hardware.
The over 200 school girls abducted in April in Chibok, Borno State, by the sect members are believed to be kept in the massive forest.
“With the continuing hostage of about 219 Chibok girls, the military is saying enough is enough. The military said it has reached a stage it will declare total war against Boko Haram. It is only waiting for the necessary political will to launch a campaign,” one source said yesterday.
“A special unit of anti-terrorism forces has just been trained under an international agreement and is ready to be fully deployed to volatile areas of terrorism activities.
“Security operatives are not only aware of the locations of the girls, but are also closely monitoring the way that the girls are being moved around, but are afraid of the backlash should any harm befall the girls in the course of a forced rescue.
“Past incidents during attempts to rescue British and Italian nationals in Sokoto and SETRACO workers, which boomeranged, are the reasons the security forces have been reluctant in storming the forest and rescuing the girls.”
Responding to a question, the highly-placed source added: “As a prelude to the full-scale war, the DHQ has ordered troops to chase the insurgents away from Damboa and its vicinity.
“We have firmed up our operations in the area; troops will soon rescue Damboa which is a major transit town for the sect.”
Another military source said: “Oh I wish we could have a consensus of opinion from Nigerians that we should storm the forest and rescue the girls.
“The day Nigerians decide that enough is enough in one voice, to clear the forest will take less than one week.
“Already, security forces have succeeded in ridding Zamfara, Kaduna, Jigawa and part of Bauchi states of Fulani cattle rustlers. These have been completely eliminated.
The source faulted what he called the politicization of the insurgency in the North-East and North-West and local support for Boko Haram by some communities.
The source added: “Let me tell you, some communities are peculiar in their perception of the war on terror, as some of their residents supported Boko Haram in the ambush and attacks on our troops.
“In the past, they gathered at village squares to cheer the insurgents whenever military personnel were captured and murdered. Young ones in the town even played with severed heads of victims.
“That is why we always warn Nigerians to report activities of these devils because giving them support is like dining with the devil or simply riding on the back of the tiger as they now turn against them.
“That was why some soldiers were reluctant to lay down their lives in some communities where innocent troops who were out to protect them were being misled for ambush.
“The situation is changing now as community leaders and youths are supporting the military offensives.”
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