The Nigerian Army, NA, has received a big thumbs up from counter-terrorism expert, Mr Terrence Kuanum , over the killing of 8 top Boko Haram commanders and their spiritual consultant on Friday.
Kuanum gave the commendation while speaking with reporters in Abuja.
He said the soldiers deserve commendation because of the level of professionalism they brought to bear in carrying out the operation and due to the impact it would have on the overall effort to permanently defeat the terrorists.
Reports have it that counter-terrorism troops of Operation Lafiya Dole on Friday, killed eight top Boko Haram commanders and their Imam, who were attempting to infiltrate an Army Super Camp in Damasak, Borno State.
Those killed include the Imam, Mansur Abu Fatima, Tumbun Dabino – Ba Issoufo, Tumbun Bororo – Amir Batam, Tumbun Jaki – Almustapha, TumbunBagaruwa – Modou Kollo, Dogon Tchoukou – Issah, Tumbun Rakke – Mustapha Woulama, Tumbun Dila – Boukar Kowa and Tumbun Mita – Abou Aisha.
While items recovered from the Boko Haram include three AK 47 rifles, magazine with 48 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one Honda Salon car, one motorcycle, eight bicycles, three mobile phones with multiple SIM and memory cards and five copies of the Qur’an, a letter written in Hausa to the top commander, documents and other logistics.
Kuanum said the army did well by stopping the terrorists from re-entering the Sambisa Forest as that would have given the terrorists the cover the needed to plan further attacks on communities.
He said the planned attack on the military camp which was foiled would send signals to the terrorists that their cover has been blown and would force them to either surrender or pull out completely from the area.
The security expert said the fact that the terrorists want to return to their former base at Sambisa confirms that the heat is on them and that they have limited options on where to operate from.
“In a war situation, a side can only return to its base by charging through and forcefully taking it, but when it begins to try to sneak into a captured territory, you know that it has lost the capacity to launch an offensive and may be seeking a location to hide and recover from defeat,” he said.
He said if the terrorists had succeeded in crossing over as they had wanted to, they would have succeeded in causing havoc which would further help their propaganda that they are having an upper hand in the war.
Kuanum said the fact that they lost eight top commanders in an operation, proves that the terrorist have been brought on their knees and dispossessed of the wherewithal to continue fighting.
” What we are witnessing is the gradual but sure end of Boko Haram as represented by their inability to put up a fight and the loss of their strategic planners.
The counter-terrorism expert said the kiling of the top Boko Haram commanders and their spiritualist is a major achievement that would further degrade the terrorists groups.
He recalled that shortly before the kiling of the eight, troops of Strong Response Area, Pulka, also killed six other terrorists attempting to cross from Cameroon border into Sambisa Forest.
He said the success of the operations must have been due to high intelligence and other information gathering mechanisms that have placed the troops ahead of the insurgents.
He said the Nigerian troops should capitalise on these inroads and storm the other camps of the insurgents so as not to allow them regroup.
“What they’re doing is to spread their members into small units and ordering them to attack certain points. This gives the impression that they are many and prevents a wholesale operation that will take them out at once as was done in the past,” he said.
Kuanum said the latest killing of the terrorists by Nigerian troops complements the earlier devastation of their camps in several theaters of operations.
“Nigerian troops have recorded series of successes in the last three months that cannot be ignored,” he stated.
Our correspondent recalls that between April and June, the Nigerian military have killed over 2,000 Boko Haram terrorists and bandits across northern Nigeria.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai had within the period relocated to the Northeast and personally led the onslaught against the terrorists.
He was also in the Northwest shortly after and attack on some communities in Katsina which motivated troops to overtake and capture many of the bandits.