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Editor's note: Gabriel Onoja, the national coordinator for the Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism writes on Nigeria's fight against insurgency since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015.
Onoja suggests that Nigeria has ceaselessly feted good news from the frontlines since 2015.
“The future will show whether my foresight is as accurate now as it has proved heretofore.” –Nikola Tesla
Writer Nikola Tesla has made a definitive exposition on the power of foresight on the future and its rewarding potency in needy times if appropriate preparations are finalized today. Clairvoyance in leaders is an indispensable and powerful asset.
It gives the leader, a calculative mind that predicts what is to come and the best means to reposition in the immediate to absorb the unexpected. A leader who is barren of foresight is like a General without troops.
President Muhammadu Buhari is one gifted leader, with the exceptional ability to glimpse the future like a soothsayer. And uses this rare power to initiate and embark on actions that will salvage any dimension of an ugly scenario in the future. He sees tomorrow coming and prepares for it.
Insecurities have been the bane of Nigeria under President Buhari. But the President has not been overwhelmed by its multiplicity because he saw tomorrow since yesterday and prepared for it. In the olden days, philosophers would have widely celebrated President Buhari as a man who saw tomorrow on the fate of his country and prepared adequately for it.
Boko Haram Insurgency as we all know was one of the nagging and pronounced problems of Nigerians when President Buhari campaigned in 2014 to be elected Nigeria’s democratic leader.
By his impeccable credentials, Nigerians had no misgivings in trusting in his competence to blight Boko Haram insurgency and they endorsed him massively at the ballot to lead the country of Nigeria on all fronts.
But beyond the glaring problem of Boko Haram, President Buhari suspected the emergence of other monstrous security problems.
And true to his suspicions, Nigeria has slipped into the hands of other multiple insecurity challenges. The country presently contends with multifarious insurgencies and insurrections which have culminated into the spate of insecurities assailing the country.
Good enough, President Buhari envisaged it and their manifestations did not take him by surprise. What terrorists, armed bandits, kidnappers, religious extremists, ethnic warlords and a pantheon of other armed criminals have failed to discern is that the president had sufficiently prepared for the experiences of today through his first and choice Service Chiefs.
President Buhari assembled a dependable, reliable, and very competent team of Service Chiefs to lead the battle on insecurity. Among them, the President also went for a perpetual, unbending and unbreakable warrior and strategist, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai. And after emerging as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Buratai’s responsibilities doubled with his appointment as the coordinator of the counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria.
Candidly, President Buhari saw the dark clouds of tomorrow, by the appointment of General Buratai to coordinate and lead the military assault against the terrorists. In action with the Nigerian troops on the battlefield, General Buratai smacks as an exact replica and direct shadows of Mr President in the counter-insurgency wars, reminiscent of Buhari’s heydays in the Nigerian Army
As soon as General Buratai moseyed on the coast; the warzone became a place too hot for Boko Haram terrorists to handle. General Buratai terminated the dream of terrorists to hold the whole of Northern Nigeria to ransom; he ended terrorist satanism in holding Abuja inhabitants captive with detonated bombs and the COAS has eradicated the shadows of Boko Haram terrorists in extending their atrocious acts to the Southern part of the country.
General Buratai has ingeniously obliterated the practice of terrorist recruitment of Nigerian youths as foot soldiers of the sect; he has buried the act of female bombers; he is able to put a halt to the reckless abductions of vulnerable Nigerians by Boko Haram and he has frustrated Boko Haram agents and sympathizers’ with a fatal blow on cyberspace terrorism.
The Army Chief has arrested the anxiety terrorist camps raised in Nigeria through amplification of fake news. Now, ever since, the Army become noted for the timely dishing out of accurate information to the public about counter-insurgency operations.
Every day and with General Buratai on the saddle of the Theatre of war, Nigeria has ceaselessly feted good news from the frontlines since 2015.
From the outset when General Buratai assumed the commanding height of the anti-terrorism war, Nigerians began to celebrate reclaimed Nigerian territories annexed by Boko Haram; tens of thousands of rescued Nigerians holed in Boko Haram secret camps and the demystification of Sambisa forest deified by Boko Haram insurgents’ as their impenetrable shield.
Furthermore, Nigerians have remained elated with the continuous return of normalcy and restoration of security, as attested by the depletion of IDPs camps. Nigerians are excited with the endless return of hundreds of thousands of IDPs to hitherto desolate communities in the Northeast.
Nigerians keep expecting better news from the theatre of war and Gen. Buratai and Nigerian troops have not disappointed them. Very often, Nigerians hear of how Nigerian troops repelled Boko Haram/ ISWAP terrorists which ambush or attack them, and in all instances, the insurgents are neutralized in droves.
The people of Nigeria are infinitely joyous that the capacity of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists to go berserk in gruesome attacks, killings’ and arsons have been decapitated. Nigerians are proud of Nigerian troops for confining the intermittent operations of terrorists to the Lake Chad vicinities.
Nigerians are excited that the combined force of the Super Camp strategy and the “Operation Last Hold,” as well as the “Operation Deep Punch,” in the last phase of clearance operations against residues of terrorists in the northeast are yielding expected results.
There was thunderous applause from Nigerians a few days back, as the COAS relocated to the Northeast together with the entire focus of the Army Intelligence, strategy and infrastructure to the warzone. Surely, it signals the end of terror as far as the counter-insurgency operations are concerned. This was soon as Buratai ended his operational tour to troops locations in the northeast.
By this move, General Buratai is again in the trenches personally “overseeing and directing the overall operation in the theatre and other Nigerian Army operations across the country.” The Army Chief told troops at the Special Super Camp Ngamdu in Kaga LGA that he will trudge with them to all the nooks and crannies of the theatre of war.
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Now the die is finally cast against the elusive remnants of Boko Haram/ ISWAP terrorists in the Northeast and elsewhere in the country. Nigerians shall not wait for long before the news of the ship of final victory against terrorists will be anchored onshore with rent the air. And the results will be sure beautiful and resounding enough to attract national eulogies for General Buratai and Nigerian troops.
Certainly, like Jim Butcher said, “One can have only as much preparation as he has foresight.” President Buhari’s foresight as a man who saw tomorrow and prepared his country to face the emergent realities anointed General Buratai to lead the counter-insurgency operations ab ignition.
This is justified by the day with lasting impression General Buratia’s leadership capacities has brought to bear rewardingly on the counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria despite its multiplicity.
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