- The Nigerian military has been rejuvenated since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed power in 2015
- The military has made massive gains in the fight against insurgency in the North east
- This was corroborated by a report by Global Amnesty Watch
The Nigerian military has been able to sustain its victory over insurgency due to its highest level of transparency and intelligence, a report by the Global Amnesty Watch (GAW) has shown.
GAW, a non-governmental organization that monitors the conduct of military, defence and security forces in combating crimes globally made this known at the presentation on Tuesday, May 30 in Abuja.
The presentation which was titled: The Mid Term Report on Nigeria's Counter-Insurgency War was an independent assessment by GAW of the Nigerian military war against terrorism.
Customarily, GAW issues periodic reports, interim reports when the need arises and special reports when the situation demands.
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The report released was in commemoration of the Muhammadu Buhari administration's two years in power.
Part of the report read: “In the period under review, the military has recorded some progress even though more can be done to accelerate driving Boko Haram into extinction.
“The military operation in the northeast has successfully liberated the towns and villages that came under the control of insurgents.
“A first batch of 21 Chibok Girls have been freed followed six months later with another 82 of the girls freed. The terrorists are being pressured to free the remaining girls. As at May 2017, 11,894 other hostages of the terror group had been freed. Hundreds of other hostages have been freed in the period since then.
“Several Boko Haram fighters with their commanders (amir) have surrendered, been captured or killed. Many others fled underground and are hiding among civilian population and in refugee camps.
“The military chiefs changed the status quo by being entrenched with the troops on the war front, shared the same ration with them and lead from the front. This has boosted morale while giving the commanders first hand access to the implementation of the rules of engagement.
“The Nigerian Army opened a Human Rights Desk in October 2016 and this contributed immensely to adherence and compliance with rules of engagement.
“In December of 2016 Camp Zero, Boko Haram's former operational base was taken effectively marking the end of terrorists having a structured physical base. The same area from where the terrorists hatched their evil is now the Colonel Ali Shooting Range.
“The US government, which earlier blocked sales of arms and hardware to Nigeria has softened its stance and the embargo has been lifted. The deal for the sale of A29 Super Tucano aircrafts to Nigeria's military is a direct outcome of the notable changes the world has seen both in the improved due diligence that eradicate corruption in military procurement and improved human rights records that meet international standards.’’
The report recommended that the Nigerian government, particularly the Nigerian Army and by extension the entire military, continue to ensure that the civilian population remain protected from insurgents.
“The adherence to the rules of engagement along the current levels should continue,’’ it stated.
The report was presented in conjuction with the Center for International and Strategic Studies, Abuja.
Present at the event was Tom John Lever, GAW representative on African affairs, among other stakeholders.
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Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Reverend Felix Femi Ajakaye, has advised the federal government to re-visit the 2014 National Conference report.
Bishop Ajakaye said the report, if implemented, would address numerous problems, including the problem of regions threatening the co-existence of the country.
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