Despite the recent report that over 8000 insurgents have surrendered to the Nigerian Military in the Northeast region since June, the Boko-Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters have continued to launch deadly attacks against the Nigerian Military in the region. It should be recalled that a couple of days ago, it was reported that about 25 gallant soldiers lost their lives after the ISWAP ambushed them in Borno state.
As many Nigerians are still reacting to the ugly incident, another troubling report has emerged, revealing that about 30 Nigerian soldiers were on Friday ambushed and killed by the insurgents around the Marte area of Borno state. According to the Vanguard News, the Soldiers were on their way to Maiduguri when they were ambushed by the ISWAP wing of the insurgents.
Following this ugly report, it has become important that the military should take a critical look at some of its approaches to the fight against terrorism in the Northeast, and make amendments in areas where there is the need to do so. In my view, recent reports about the killings of 30 gallant soldiers have called for a policy change within the military in the region.
To this end, I am of the view that the military should adopt the following 2 policies as preventive measures.
1. Troops on land should never move without the Air Force.
Arguably, the deaths of the 30 Soldiers could have been prevented if the Air Force had moved ahead of the troops, to provide reinforcements from the air, and also to provide information about the exact location of the insurgents. As such, I am proposing that henceforth, troops must not move without the Air Force moving along with them.
2. Daily monitoring of the location and movement of the insurgents
Arguably, the ability to track down the location of the insurgents, and their movements would have foiled the ambush that claimed the lives of the 30 Soldiers. As such, it has become important that the military should always ensure that they track the location and movement of the insurgents, particularly when the troop is about to move from one town or village to the other.
I strongly believe that the two policies discussed above, have the potential to reduce the frequency and magnitude of attacks on the military in the Northeast region of Nigeria. As such, the military should consider adopting them as preventive measures.
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