Following reported attacks in Borno State Military base by the Islamic State of West Africa, ISWAP, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, has reportedly raised the alarm on Sunday that terrorists of the Islamic State of West Africa are regrouping in the Lake Chad area of Borno State to launch fresh attacks.
He however, disclosed that the military authorities are aware of their plot and had started new strategies to neutralise the insurgents.
Ndume who is representing Borno South, reportedly stated this at a press conference in Abuja.
According to him, “They (ISWAP terrorists) are also regrouping around Borno North, that’s Lake Chad axis, planning to launch a fresh attack. The military is aware and the Air Force is conducting surveillance in the area right now.”
He stated that, “It (Saturday’s attacks by ISWAP) was a revenge mission. The Army has been taking out key ISWAP fighters, in fact they lost about four of their commanders and they decided to revenge.”
He added that, “I want to express my condolences to the Nigerian Army over the death of the General who died along Chibok Road. ISWAP terrorists attacked a town there. They know that the General was the major obstacle to their operation.”
Ndume disclosed that, “They laid an ambush and rammed a bomb-laden car into his vehicle. He was a gallant soldier. He took the fight to the terrorists. His death has sent a panic to people in that area.”
He also maintained that, “This is not the end, but the beginning of the end of the terrorists. I know that the Army has what it takes to take the fight to them.”
He noted that, “There is the need to urge other security agencies to give the Army the needed support. We also need to urge vigilante groups to assist them. For now, we will assume that it was an isolated case. But the intensity with which they came is worrisome. They came with more than 10 gun trucks.”
He revealed that, “The intensity with which they bombarded the area is a source for concern. Last week for instance, they abducted relatives of the Emir of Askira. They also abducted some passengers along that road. They just want to show that they are still in the area. If the Army sustains the tempo, we will win this insurgency.”
Ndume while commenting on the delay in the arrival of the multi-billion dollar military hardware paid for by the Nigerian government, he stated that, “The equipment is arriving gradually. The problem with the procurement of military hardware is that they are not bought off the shelf. It involves a lot of communication and a lot of clearance from the countries that are supplying the equipment.”
He noted that, “Countries where the ship conveying the hardware would pass through would have to issue clearance too. Also, most of the manufacturers do not have them on ground, they would start work as soon as they get the order. Some of them are coming in gradually.”
He disclosed that, “We are monitoring. As a committee, we will go and see what has been brought into the country.”
This is reportedly coming less than 48 hours after the ISWAP terrorists attacked the Nigerian Army and the people of Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.
According to reports, many of the terrorists and a few of their commanders were killed during the fierce encounter, the Nigerian Army also lost the Commander of the 28 Task Force Brigade in Chibok, Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu, and three other soldiers.