- Timelines of the President’s orders on ending Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorism
Despite numerous orders from President Muhammadu Buhari directing Defence and other security chiefs to put an end to the carnages perpetrated by Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists/insurgents in the country, especially in the North-East, the attacks are yet to stop.
In his inaugural speech on May 29, 2015, the President announced the relocation of the Armed Forces Command Centre to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital and the epicenter of the insurgency battle, until Boko Haram was “completely subdued.”
“The Command Centre will be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is completely subdued. But we cannot claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by the insurgents,” Buhari announced.
Two months after, on August 13, 2015, at the swearing-in of the newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs, the President tasked them to produce a workable strategy that would bring a desired end to insurgency in the country within three months.
“You need to brace up and continue to team up with other stakeholders to come up with a well-coordinated joint effort that will bring a desired end to these insurgencies within three months,” he said.
Similarly, while speaking during a meeting with members of the National Security Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on August 22, 2017, Buhari asked the Security Chiefs to take steps to end all threats and protect the lives and property of all Nigerians.
During another meeting on May 9, 2019, he ordered the Security Chiefs to redouble their efforts to secure the lives of Nigerians.
On Thursday, November 21, 2019, President Buhari called on security agencies and communities under threats of bandits’ attacks and kidnappings to be more vigilant and alert in the light of the incidents in Enugu, Zamfara, Adamawa, Katsina and Kaduna states.
Reacting to reports of heightened acts of violence and kidnapping after a period of relative inactivity, Buhari directed the security agencies to “redouble their efforts and make life uncomfortable for the bandits.”
On Monday, January 27 this year, President Buhari urged security agencies on assignment in Plateau State to rediscover their act and stop, forthwith, the return of the ugly days of tit-for-tat, after the attacks that resulted in the death of 13 persons in the state.
The President had, on Friday, January 10, condemned the attack on Mangu Local Government Area of the state, imploring security agencies to increase vigilance to stop further attacks on innocent communities. He said he had been in contact with Governor Simon Lalong, the military, police and other security agencies in the state, on what could be done to forestall future occurrence.
After a Boko Haram attack on Garkida in Adamawa State, President Buhari had, on Sunday, February 23 this year, said Nigerians would witness an aggressive campaign to rout Boko Haram once and for all in the coming weeks. He said the troops must go beyond repelling the attackers but pursue the terrorists and have them pay a huge price.
“Our gallant forces deserve our appreciation for repelling the attackers, but they must go beyond this point. They have our full support to go after the terrorists and have them pay a huge price. I want to assure the country that terrorists will continue to face the combined power of our military until they give up their mistaken ways,” he added.
While speaking on Thursday, March 19, 2020, the president urged our armed forces to put more efforts to bring the insurgency to a speedy conclusion during the inauguration of the National Humanitarian Coordination Committee (NHCC), chaired by Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq.
On Thursday, April 30, President Buhari also ordered the armed forces to sustain ongoing counter insurgency operations on the fringes of Lake Chad and the entire North-East region when he received Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State. He said the country’s security agents needed to sustain the tempo to completely eliminate the Boko Haram menace. He warned against complacency in the task of ensuring that the country’s territory was no longer habitable for the terrorists to achieve sustainable peace and development.
On Thursday, May 28, Buhari directed a fierce military operation to “totally crush” those he called “mass murderers” terrorising people in Sokoto State, following an attack by bandits in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of the state.
“We will not abandon you to your fate because we are determined to bring these mass murderers to their knees and crush them totally,” the president also said.
He said a major military operation, code-named “Operation Accord” was launched by the military, targeting the bandits that had been tormenting the North-West and North-Central states.
“This operation will be a fulltime and sustained military offensive intended to deny the bandits any breathing space to reorganise and regroup,” he added.
He reassured Nigerians that the government was determined to protect them against “remorseless psychopathic mass killers who have no regard for the sanctity of life.”
Also, on Saturday, June 6 this year, President Buhari warned bandits to either surrender their weapons or face a “disgraceful and violent end.’’ He gave the warning during a meeting at the State House, Abuja, with Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State.
The president said bandits who had committed crimes against innocent citizens in the state and across the country would not be spared. He said more decisive military operations against bandits in Zamfara, Sokoto, Niger, Katsina and Kaduna states would be undertaken. He assured people and the government of Katsina State of renewed efforts and a review of operations to improve the security of lives and property in the state and other parts of the country.
On Wednesday, June 10, he also charged the armed forces to sustain their recent string of successes against the terrorists and bring back all those they kidnapped, as well as the large number of cattle rustled. Buhari gave the charge following the brutal killing of many people by the Boko Haram/Islam State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Gubio village, Borno State.
On June 18, 2020, the president told heads of security agencies that their best was not good enough, in view of the deteriorating security situation in the country. The National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (retd), disclosed this while briefing State House reporters on the outcome of a meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Monguno quoted President Buhari as saying he would not accept any further escalation of the current situation as none of them was forced on him. He added that it was left for the heads of security agencies to live up to expectation.
He underscored the need for them to take into consideration the “wider implication of the gradual decent of the security of the country,’’ and called for “immediate reversal of the current trend.
Monguno disclosed that Buhari was “unhappy and concerned” over the current security situation in the country, saying he was also disturbed by the lack of synergy among security agencies.
Furthermore, on Sunday, November 22, 2020, while reacting to the killing of the Nasarawa State chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Philip Shekwo, President Buhari said the country’s security system must do more to end incidents of violence.
Also, in his first reaction to the killing of farmers on rice fields at Zabarmari in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State on Saturday, November 28, 2020, the president said the Federal Government had given all the needed support to the armed forces “to take all necessary steps to protect the country’s population and its territory.”
On Monday, November 30, he ordered the military to take the fight to the insurgents.
“As we mourn the loss of our sons in Zabarmari, the armed forces have been given a marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists,” the president announced.
Copyright Daily Trust