Confronting ISWA’s threat to our sovereignty

PERHAPS for the third time since he assumed office, President Muhammadu Buhari bore the grim burden of watching a state Governor weep over security threats to his state.

On Monday, January 8, 2019, Governor Kashim Shettima took Borno leaders to Buhari and could not hold back emotions as he narrated the frightening resurgence of Boko Haram in his state.

President Buhari had earlier hosted delegations led by the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom and that of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, when armed herdsmen had brutally massacred innocent citizens in their respective states.

The Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, had even called for a state of emergency in his state, volunteering to vacate office if that was needed for the bandits killing people like flies in Zamfara to be wiped out. All these contradict the President’s insistence that he has brought Nigeria’s security situation under control.

The resurgence of Boko Haram in the North-East is, indeed, an insidious threat to the territorial integrity of Nigeria. For the past three years, the All Progressives Congress, APC-led Federal Government, the Borno State Government and the Nigerian Army, had insisted that Boko Haram no longer occupied territory in Nigeria.

Governor Shettima had justified this stance by aggressively rebuilding devastated communities with more than 30,000 housing units for the displaced persons in camps to return home.

Buhari’s initial surge against Boko Haram probably suffered huge setbacks as a result of creeping corruption, war profiteering, the abductions and ransome negotiations, the doubtful loyalties of certain individuals involved in the war and the obvious lack of adequate equipment for our gallant troops to finish a job already well started.

Secondly, Boko Haram had undergone fundamental changes. Following the separation of the Abu Musab Al Barnawi group from the Abubakar Shekau clique, the insurgency took a new turn.

The Shekau group, which thrived on the killing of innocent people and using children and girls for suicide bombing, started shrinking. The Al Barnawi group which became allied with the Islamic State grew in leaps and bounds because they only went after military targets and abhorred senseless killings.

Al Barnawi’s ISWA has now become a rival of the Federal Government in the fight for the hearts of the indigenes of the war zone whom they now offer an alternative regime choice. We must not allow them to win over our people. Otherwise, the entire North may be gone in a flash due to mass loyalty switching.

ISWA has now adopted a semi-orthodox warfare strategy of capturing territories. Nigeria must mobilise an international coalition as in Iraq and Syria before the North becomes a huge hotbed of terror and mass human suffering.

Let’s move to Borno and end the Boko Haram/ISWA threat to Nigeria’s sovereignty!



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