BOKO HARAM: SECURING TOMORROW… TAKING A CUE FROM MALI

What a way to announce my appointment.

It’s no news that the present administration with the new crop of Service Chiefs has recorded a huge success in the war on terror.

It’s obvious “parade has changed”, CONOPS ( Concept of Operations) redrawn, and Scope Paper reviewed.

That is an analysis for another day.

I came up with this post, not because I want to sound off the panic bell, or seek cheap popularity, but this is just me carrying out an independent intelligence analysis.

I’ve always called for a “post insurgency comparative intelligence analysis”, not to witch hunt, but an exercise to ask How we got here? What we did wrong? and How do we move on?

Before I’m being accused of coming up with wild conjectures, I will like to let you know the recent attack in Mali and the similarities in the activities of insurgents in both countries formed this analysis.

I will like to avail you all the timeline of the insurgency in Mali.

  1. October 2011: Ethnic Tuaregs launch rebellion after returning with arms from Libya
  2. March 2012: Army coup over government’s handling of rebellion
  3. April 2012: Tuareg and al-Qaeda-linked fighters seize control of north
  4. June 2012: Islamist groups capture Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao from Tuaregs, start to destroy Muslim shrines and manuscripts and impose Sharia
  5. January 2013: Islamist fighters capture a central town, raising fears they could reach Bamako. Mali requests French help
  6. July 2013: UN force, now totalling about 9,750, takes over responsibility for securing the north after Islamists routed from towns
  7. July 2014: France launches an operation in the Sahel to stem emergence of jihadist groups
  8. 2015: Sporadic attacks continue in desert area of northern Mali, blamed on Tuareg and Islamist groups.

Taking a cursory look at the timeline above, it’s safe to say it’s a summation of what has happened to us as a nation from 2013 till date.

On Friday (7/08/2015), suspected Islamist gunmen had retreated to Byblos Hotel in the central Malian town of Sevare after attacking a nearby army base.

The siege came to an end after government troops stormed the hotel early on Saturday(08/08/2015).

What am I driving at?

It is safe to believe after ridding the Northern part of Mali of militancy/insurgency, it crept out of the trouble region and sleeper cells became activated.

This brought me to the conclusion that Mali has been rid of insurgency, not terrorism.

At this point, based on the similarities in the pattern, schematics and ideology of the Tuareg and Islamist group in Mali and that of Boko Haram, I’m bold to say we should brace up for such attack in Southern Nigeria.

Some will be quick to point out that the collaboration with our neighbouring countries namely Chad and Cameroun will hamper such movement down south.

A sure route is going down south Cameroun to come into Nigeria through Bakassi, but with the delay in the relocation of the C2( Command and Control) centre to Maiduguri, in compliance with the Presidential directive, these guys moved across the country on and through routes, bushes and maybe waterways.

This I believe will explain the increased attacks on/in Gombe State.

What can be done? What’s the way forward?

Well, it’s up to the DSS and the CID of the Nigerian Police to step up their activities on Intelligence Gathering… HUMINT(Human Intelligence).

This is the only way they can thwart any attack before it is carried out.

This is the only way they can identify and neutralise any sleeper cell.

Just as a local resident expressed shock in Mali on Friday saying; “Since the beginning of the fighting in Mali, we haven’t experienced such a situation in Sevare.”

“We would expect these things to happen in Gao or Timbuktu, but this is the first time it has happened in Sevare,” I hope and pray some guy in Ogun, Delta or Oyo state won’t be saying “I would have expected such a thing in Maiduguri or Yobe and not in Ijebu- Ode, Sapele or Ogbomoso.

God Bless Nigeria

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