Lt. Col. Abu Ali’s Death & the Need for a Change of Strategy in the Fight against Boko Haram Islamic Sect —By Richard Romanus

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Late Abu Ali's Corpse arrives airport

Richard Romanus|10 November 2016

Today makes it exactly five days, since Nigerians were thrown into mourning following the death of Lieutenant Colonel Abu Ali, Nigeria Army's unarguably most efficient fighter, who died alongside five other soldiers during an exchange of gunfire with Boko Haram Terrorists.

From the comments and buzz his death has been generating, it is crystal clear that, the late Lieutenant Colonel was indeed an asset to the Nigeria Army. Of course why will any lover of Nigeria not mourn a gallant army like Lieutenant Abu who since his death, revelations have emerged, it was through his doggedness, braveness, professionalism that towns and villages like, Mongonu, Baga, Bama, Gwoza, Yale, Bitam, Doronaira, Mallam Fatori, Kagarwa, Abadam, Banki Junction, Arrege, New Marge in Borno State were recaptured from the Boko Haram Sects. Beyond the liberation of aforementioned towns and villages, it has also been revealed that, he was the one who led others into Sambisa Forest which led to the rescue of the first 296 women that were held hostage by the BokoHaram Sect. What a loss to Nigeria!

The death of Lieutenant Abu and others, raises very serious concerns on the true state of the Boko Haram Islamic Sect vis a vis the renewed deathly attacks by the sect in recent times. It is not too long ago, the media was awash with stories of 83 Nigeria Soldiers missing, after an attack by the sect while between June and now, Borno State has recorded not less than four bomb blast, all claiming lives and injuring many. Even though, the Nigeria Army had through its Spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman announced the return of the missing soldiers, the renewed attacks by the sect is to say the least, sad and unbearable.

What has happened? What has changed? Is Baba's body language no longer performing it's usual magic? Is the present Boko Haram different from the one our Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed told us has been decimated? Is Goodluck Jonathan the cause of the renewed attacks or it is the 'fake' military equipment he bought for the Nigeria military that are becoming obsolete? These are some of the questions begging for answers.

The Truth is, if the fight against Boko Haram must be won, the Nigeria military must as a matter of urgency device a new strategy as it is becoming obvious that, the only reason why, the sect appeared to have been decimated was to enable them study the new strategies of the military and then push for an adjustment and that they have successfully done.

Secondly, beyond the fact that it is also evident that, the Nigeria military are in dire need of new equipments to add to the so called 'fake' ones that were purchased by President Goodluck Jonathan, there is an urgent need for President Muhammadu Buhari's administration to hirer mercenaries and seek collaboration with nearby countries in order to end the Boko Haram scourge. Nigeria cannot continue to be posturing as the Giant of Africa whereas, it's people are being killed on a daily basis after all even the holy Bible warns that "Pride goes before a fall."‎

Thirdly, in saner climes and developed countries, where continuity in government is practised, where a new president maintains the most cordial relationship with his predecessor, where being elected into an office as high as President, is not seen as a ticket for revenge and where former National Security Advisers/security experts of such countries are rallying points for government in times of National insecurity like the one currently being faced in Nigeria, Former President Goodluck Jonathan and his detained ex-National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, could be rallying points considering the fact that towards the end of the President Jonathan tenure, remarkable successes were beginning to be recorded in the fight against Boko Haram. But here in Nigeria, our President has an old axe to grind with the country's immediate past NSA while his government is looking for every means possible to arrest his immediate past predecessor.

Fourthly, the Nigeria Army must henceforth desist from pleasing the political class and the government while the masses are dying on a daily basis and suffering untold hardship as a result of their insincerity. Practical steps must be taken if it is serious in ending the Boko Haram scourge which in my opinion revolves around improving the equipment state of the Nigeria Army and this is only possible if the Government is told nothing but the truth.

Lastly, the current administration must stop playing politics with the security of lives and properties like it is currently doing. Security matters should be discussed and disclose to Nigerians by Security operatives and not the Information and Culture minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who uses every slightest opportunity he has to launder the image of his principal, President Mohammadu Buhari often times to the extend where facts are misrepresented, Nigerians are mislead and lies are told.

To end this contribution, I wish to sincerely use this opportunity to sympathise with the family of Lieutenant Colonel Abu Ali and the families of other departed Soldiers who gave up their lives, so that we may live. I pray that, the Good lord who is the maker of all times and season grant them rest in his bosom even as I call on the Government to immortalise this heroes of our time and ensure the well-being and upkeep of their families.‎

Richard Romanus
Is a Public Affairs Commentator from Oderegha in Obubra LGA of Cross River State. He tweets with the twitter handle, @RichNation2019