Following continuing mop up operations by men of the security forces inside the Darazo Forest in Bauchi State, which was stormed by troops last weekend, 80 general purpose machine guns and 10 rifles have for far been found and evacuated.
Coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC) Mr. Mike Omeri gave the details at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday saying “the men and women apprehended in the forest have continued to give useful information on their activities in the forest as well as terrorists activities in different parts of the federation. The mopping up operation continues.”
NIC also confirmed that some army personnel were presently being tried in a court marshal but did not disclose their offences or how many accused were being tried.
There have been media reports on Thursday about the Nigerian Army court–martialing 18 soldiers involved in an alleged mutiny in May, in which revolting troops opened fire at a car carrying the Commanding General of the Army’s 7 Division in Maiduguri, Borno State.
“It is true that there are court marshals going on in the Nigerian army but I cannot confirm the number of those facing trial. However, at the proper time and as need arises, we will inundate you with the conclusion of the process,” Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu who represented Direcor Defence Information at the briefing told reporters.
On a suggestion that since insurgency is an asymmetrical war, it would have been best for the military to stay aside and allow police men to fight the battle, the NIC disagreed.
“First and foremost, it is not a conventional warfare. Secondly, it is a new kind of warfare in this country. Also, if you look at the strength of the police force, in relation to the policing duty they are supposed to carry out to the society, it may not be enough to confront the insurgency war.
“What we do is this: once we have successfully carried out an operation, the military move along and allow the police to continue with the operation. That is why we are able to sustain the tempo of the operation so it is not out of place to find that the military is involved in this warfare. Once we stabilise, we relinquish those areas for the police to take over. So, it is a joint operation and not that the police is sidelined.
“Everywhere in the world, there is a partnership, collaboration and a convergence of efforts in tackling terrorism. Examples abound in Israel, United States of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and in so many other parts of the world. There is always a strong synergy between and among security forces. The intelligence agencies DSS, police boarder security forces and the military must work together to defeat terrorism and that is exactly what is happening in Nigeria. We must equally remember that we cannot abdicate out responsibilities to other parts of the country. We must continue to keep the traffic flowing, we must continue to guide the banks, we must continue to provide surveillance to our critical infrastructure, and we must continue to fight terrorism.
“It’s not just within the security forces that we must have synergy; this is not just a war for the military; it’s not just a war for the security services; it’s not just a war for the police; it’s a war that will require the entire segment of the Nigerian society to tackle”, Colonel Nwachukwu explained.