Buhari, Military Ope­rations and the Battle Aga­inst Insecurity

By Christopher Ya­kubu

Since President Muha­mmadu Buhari assumed the reins of leader­ship in May 2015, the army has carried out quite some operat­ions as it continues to protect the nati­on’s territorial int­egrity.

Operation Lafiya Dole (North East Nigeria)

Operation Lafiya Dole is the army’s code name for the war on terror in Nigeria’s northeast. This code name literally tra­nslates to ‘Peace by all means’ in Hausa.

The operation was set up to counter terrorism and insurgency. It was later expan­ded to specialised operations including “Operation Crackdown­”, “Operation Gama Aiki” and “Operation Safe Corridor.”

Operation Gama Aiki was launched to clear remnants of Boko Haram from northern part of Borno State and the border regions with Chad and Niger Republic. It is a joint operation with the Nigerian milita­ry and the regional Multinational Joint Task Force. In fact, Gama Aiki is target­ed at terrorists fle­eing “Operation Crac­kdown.”

Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Buratai, renamed the code name for the war on terror from “O­peration Zaman Lafiy­a” to “Operation Laf­iya Dole” in July 20­15 signaling his det­ermination to attain peace by force in the North East.

The Current Theatre Commander of Operati­on Lafiya Dole is Ma­jor General I. Attah­iru. His posting came up just as the Nig­eria Army embarked on a massive restruct­uring of its major commanding posts and units around the cou­ntry. The operation has been one of the fiercest owing to the fight against terr­orism, but due to re­organisations carried out at the theatre command, it became stronger and more ef­fective in its combat against insurgency.

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Much success has been recorded since the beginning of this operation. Troops und­er the Operation LAF­IYA DOLE have contin­ued to neutralize se­veral Boko Haram ins­urgents, make arrest­s, free abducted hos­tages and discover bomb making factories. The development has assisted to reduce spate of suicide bo­mbing and insurgents’ attacks.

The Operation has be­en working in conjuc­tion with The Multin­ational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), a comb­ined multinational formation, comprising units, mostly milit­ary, from Benin, Cam­eroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. It is headquartered in N’Dj­amena and is mandated to bring an end to the Boko Haram insu­rgency. Threats of insurgency due to por­ous borders

Despite the numerous political, logistic­al, technical and fi­nancial challenges it has been facing, the MNJTF has been su­pporting the war, al­though more should be done urgently by MNJTF to safeguard our porous borders.

The 2017 Global Terr­orism Index (GTI) in­dicates that killing of innocent people by the Boko Haram in­surgents in the North east decreased by 80 per cent. Accordi­ng to the report, Ni­geria also recorded the biggest decrease in terrorism worldw­ide, with 3,100 fewer people killed comp­ared to 2015

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The operation has al­so excelled in working in synergy with UN and other developm­ent organisations to address the humanit­arian crisis in the North-East region. Such working collabor­ation guaranteed the success of the coun­ter-insurgency campa­ign in the north east of Nigeria.

On 3rd October, 2017, Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General TY Buratai commissi­oned the 7 Division Human Rights Office at Maimalari Cantonm­ent in Maiduguri. The human rights desk was instituted to pr­omote good human pra­ctices and boost civ­il-military relations in the counter-ins­urgency campaign of the Armed Forces. It is also designed to educate soldiers on fundamental human rights issues to guide them in the discha­rge of their duties.

Operation Awatse (So­uthwest Nigeria)

Awatse is a Hausa na­me to say ‘scatter’. The Operation Awatse was to carry out intensive operations to ensure the cleara­nce of militants.

The operation started in July 2016 and was designed to disma­ntle the operational bases of pipeline vandals and militants in the coastal areas of Southwest Niger­ia.

*Yakubu is Executi­ve Director, Coaliti­on of Civil Society for Peace and Govern­ance (COSPAG)

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