Sambisa: Celebrating with caution – New Telegraph

Our Armed Forces deserve a zilliongun salute for clearing the dreaded Sambisa Forest of the last hardened Boko Haram elements. Moving into the New Year on a high is possibly going to boost the morale of the gallant fighters.

For over five years, Sambisa looked like part of the unknown world which needed an explorer in the mould of Christopher Columbus to penetrate.

It also assumed such frightening position that needed the heart of Napoleon Bonaparte to dare. Credit to President Muhammadu Buhari and his team for opening up the wilds of the area to the Change Civilisation. But we caution that in the midst of the victory party, there is danger.

The insurgents may pretend to be defeated, they are never going to give up so easily even if there are pockets of stragglers who run to the tactical base of Operation Lafiya Dole to sing like lady bird. This is the time to use more Intelligence than Armoured tanks and jet bombers.

Our forces may never get to do very serious battle like in Gamboru Ngala or Monguno. It is going to be more of a battle of wits.

Only a Carpet Knight will believe that those malnourished murderers who surrendered themselves to the military were the brain behind Boko Haram.

It takes a genius to wage war against the Nigerian nation,abduct Chibok girls, hold them hostage for over two years and kill some of our best officers in battle. You could call it wizardry.

There is no evidence that Boko Haram had an airbase. What should continue to task the ingenuity of our military strategists is how the terrorists were able to get supplies including armoured tanks and sundry vehicles even when the borders were highly militarized and the Chad Basin Nations had forged an alliance.

Bringing Shekau’s flag to Aso Villa does not signal the end of the story. He could raise more black flags across the nation through pig holes and new bases in the numerous bushes that dot our territory. Sambisa is just one forest out of many.

This is time to keep watch on the vegetation. Since Boko Haram and ISIS dine on the same table, our forces should be more vigilant.

The bombings in Germany, France and Turkey were not done while European forces engaged the dreaded group. ISIS infiltrated those countries.

And it is more difficult for a terrorist to succeed in Europe than for Boko Haram to strike in Nigeria.

National Security Adviser [NSA], Babagana Monguno, must be ready to work harder. It was good seeing him in military dinner uniform during the Guards Brigade Week in Abuja recently .

He needs to bring all his Intelligence Chiefs to an inner room to look at the more serious threat posed by the fall of Sambisa Forest.

All public buildings should be monitored and manned by security experts. Boko Haram had shown in the past that they could bomb even the most sacred of places.

They hit the United Nations Building in Abuja, blew up churches and worshippers, bombed the Police Headquarters, attacked military bases all over the country and also destroyed business districts and motor parks.

Now that they have been driven from their lair, the war control rooms should be in emergency mode. More than a Division of well trained terrorists are all over us and because their style is unconventional, the military should not go to bed thinking that the end of Sambisa is the beginning of peace.

It has been said by people who should know that those we often refer to as killer Fulani Herdsmen are not Nigerians.

There are also reports that more than 50 percent of the insurgents are non Nigerians. That paints a clearer picture of the danger ahead.

Is it not more than mere coincidence that as our troops celebrate the decimation of Boko Haram in the North East, herdsmen are celebrating the annihiliation of Nigerians in other parts of the country. Something the French call Quid pro quo.

Sambisa has been liberated by the soldiers and Southern Kaduna has been liquidated by herdsmen. There are more questions for Military Intelligence than answers. What exactly is the difference between killer herdsmen and Boko Haram?

Is it a grand plan to continue to trouble the nation? The North- East has been half destroyed. The battle has shifted to the North West and is coming down South. It is also apt to warn that militancy in the Niger Delta and agitations in the South East should not be allowed to degenerate to a bigger battle.

This will of course be sweet music to the ears of Boko Haram strategists. Nigeria cannot afford to fight Fulani Herdsmen, Avengers, MEND, IPOB and MASSOB at the same time that government is battling recession.

Give it to our Armed Forces, they have done noble. But we advise the Buhari Administration to think beyond the Sambisa victory.

Until peace is restored all over the country and the economy begins to look up, we can save all the Allah sarki, Ose Baaba and Nzogbu Enyimba dance steps.

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