Boko Haram: Shake-up of military commands, troops looms in Borno

By Yusuf Alli
In Nigeria News Feed
Feb 23rd, 2014
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To end Boko Haram insurgency, and ethnic killings, North’s governors yesterday advised the Federal Government to implement their recommendations.

The governors under the aegis of Northern Governors Forum, were livid over the continuous killings in Plateau State.

On Saturday, 29 people were killed in Barkin Ladi local government area of the state by suspected herdsmen.

A major shake up of troops is expected in the military this week in a new approach to the Boko Haram battle.

North’s Governors’ Forum, Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu said:

“We (Northern Governors) agreed in our last meeting in Kaduna to deal decisively with the fast growing security challenges being posed by the activities of cattle rearers, we call on the Federal Government to consider a national policy to settle nomads and provide adequate grazing reserves and cattle routes.”

It added: boost the morale of the military to enable them effectively fight the insurgents and other threats to security in the region, “adequate funds should be provided to Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states afflicted with the problem of insurgency in order to address attendant issues.”

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima was yesterday in Bama where the insurgents killed people last Monday to commiserate wit the bereaved families.

The Governor announced a donation of N250,000 to each of the families that lost loved ones.

There were strong indications yesterday that the Service Chiefs have decided to reorganise military commands and redeploy a few troops in Borno State.

The shake-up may involve the swapping of General Officers Commanding (GOCs), officers and reposting of senior officers to the state.

Also, the military high command has opted to freeze movement in all borders between Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon.

It was gathered that it was learnt that some members of Boko Haram, who were involved in Bama invasion last week, had been arrested and undergoing interrogation.

It was gathered that the overhauling of the military structures in Borno State was one of the conclusions arrived at by Service Chiefs after on-the-spot assessment of the situation on Wednesday and Thursday.

It was gathered that the preliminary investigation by the Service Chiefs confirmed the need to “invigorate the military mission in Borno.”

A source said: “You should expect a shake-up of the military mission in Borno State; we are going to bring in fresh hands to realize our operation total war against the insurgents.

“By the assessment of the Service Chiefs, there are some people who can do better in Borno; they will be redeployed to the place. It was obvious to the Service Chiefs to invigorate the mission in Borno State.

“The reorganisation will involve swapping of positions by GOCs and top military officers. The commanders might be mostly affected with a few adjustments of troops too.

“The shake-up will be announced early in the week because the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, has insisted on measurable results.”

Another source said: “Yes, some suicide bombers were involved in Bama raid but they died. Some of them tried to blow up military tanks but they failed.

“They succeeded in incapacitating some tanks but they have been fixed and the tanks have resumed normal operations.”

The source added: “We were able to arrest some operatives of Boko Haram but not anyone that can be placed as very, very prominent.

“But many vehicles in the convoy of the insurgents were destroyed during air raid. It is difficult to ascertain casualty figures on the part of the insurgents because they were always do everything to evacuate their bodies.

“As I am talking to you, the patrols are on in Bama; we are still cordoning the environment.”

A military source said: “We have chosen to restrain movement. I can actually say that we have frozen movement in all the borders between the two countries because the insurgents used to take advantage of such to enter Nigeria.

“There is no clear cut border demarcation per se but we have enlarged the scope of patrols and we have frozen movement in spite of the fact that it will affect commerce and trade.

“The latest joint patrols also involve officers and men of the Nigerian Customs Service and Nigerian Immigration Service.”

Contacted, the spokesman for the Defence Headquarters, Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, confirmed tight security along Nigeria-Cameroon border.

He said: “The security action in the area will be progressive to fortify the protection of our territory and forbid any threat to our territorial integrity.”

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