About 25 ISWAP fighters fleeing airstrikes of the Nigerian military have drowned in Lake Chad river around Marte axis of the Lake Chad, a known stronghold of the terrorists in Borno State, North-East.
PRNigeria reports that military fighter jets, including Super Tucano belonging to the Nigerian Air Force raided camps of the Islamic State of West African Province in a weeklong sustained aerial attack leading to the death of scores of the terrorists.
An intelligence operative living in the local community confirmed that camps and warehouses serving as ISWAP insurgents’ ammunition and firearms stores were bombed and destroyed by the aircraft.
“The military jets’ bombardments were simultaneously carried out at Bukar Mairam and Jubularam, Abbaganaram and Chikul Gudu which resulted in the explosion of the warehouses, killing several terrorists.
“The terrorists who survived the blast at Bukar Mairam and Jubularam fled and attempted to cross a river within the Lake Chad axis. It was in the process that about 25 of them got drowned,” the local source added.
He further said that recent air offensives by troops have seriously affected ISWAP operational command, thwarting the group’s plans to carry out major attacks on military formations in the Northeast.
Website Designing/Management/Social Media - Iyanu Victor
Zulum’s warning on ISWAP
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has saluted the courage of men and women of the Armed Forces as well as other security personnel.
Olawepo-Hashim in a statement on Saturday explained that for those sacrifices not to be in vain, it was time the nation constructed a new defence and security architecture to permanently destroy the seed of terror and uproot banditry, kidnapping across the country.
This is just as he enjoined the Federal Government to take note of the alarm raised by Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state on the threat posed by ISWAP fighters in the state.
Certified French Tutor in Nigeria with Years of Experience - Ms Blessing Akpan
The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has warned that the 13-year Boko Haram crisis in the North-East will be child’s play compared to the terror that will be unleashed by the Islamic State of West African Province if the government fails to wipe out the group early enough.
This is as he once more appealed to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to hire international mercenaries to overcome the growing insurgents.
ISWAP, which he said was more educated, is building up force in Borno state, exploiting its proximity to the Sahel region.
Zulum sounded the warning on Thursday while addressing State House correspondents during the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, the growing number of ISWAP in some parts of Borno State is a cause for concern to many Nigerians and allowing the terrorist group to fester would plunge the country into a security crisis.
The governor called for the upgrading of the military strategy to stop the group from morphing into a greater monster. He also urged the President to re-engage external mercenaries to support the military.
On the victories achieved in the anti-terrorism war in the North East, he said: “All that I have said now would never be feasible without the support of the government. But notwithstanding all the Federal Government’s contributions, we still have some challenges.
“One, I said it before, a growing number of ISWAP in some parts of the state is a matter of great concern to everybody. Why? In the shores of Lake Chad, again in southern Borno State. Luckily enough, I was told there was military deployment yesterday to southern Borno state to fight the insurgents in the Tudun Katarangwa.
“But I think this is an early warning system. We shouldn’t allow ISWAP to grow. ISWAP are more sophisticated, more funded, and they are more educated. And we shall do everything possible to defeat ISWAP. Otherwise, what Boko Haram did will be child’s play. ”
The Nigerian Army has to restrategise and defeat ISWAP. ISWAP will be a threat to the entire nation. Because of the proximity of Sub Saharan Africa, they are coming from Libya and others resettling here.”
He also thanked the President for giving him prompt audience whenever he had security issues to discuss, saying, “Sometimes, I seek a meeting with him at very short notice while already in Abuja, and he would still ask me to come over. This has helped tackle security challenges in Borno.”
The governor said he was relocating the internally displaced persons from the camps to either their ancestral homes or local government headquarters in a dignified manner because of the high rate of prostitution and gangsterism. He also lamented that criminality has become widespread in the IDP camps.
Supporting, Olawepo-Hashim, therefore, maintained that Zulum’s warning is timely and that the war in the North-East and the insurgency in the North-West required a new defence and security template and perspective.
According to him, “if between 2015 and now, the government has allocated approximately N5.081tn for defence, including the appropriation of N4.669tn to the Federal Ministry of Defence from 2016 to date and $1bn for the purchase of military equipment, the template on the fight on terror requires political responses that must tackle the underlining causes of the threats.