Governor Babagana Umara of Borno State has said that the war against Boko Haram may not end soon, as the terrorists have started deploying drones to monitor military operations in Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad region.
The insurgency-affected states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe have lost many lives and property in the last decade.
Umara raised the alarm yesterday at the Government House, Maiduguri, while briefing the House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, and other National Assembly members on the security situation in the state.
“This Boko Haram war may not end soon because the [terrorists] now deploy drones in their operations,” he said.
According to him, the terrorists seem to possess better technological weapons of warfare than the military.
“Without adopting proper and up-to-date technological warfare edge over Boko Haram, this war will never end,” he warned.
Responding, Gbajabiamila assured that the House of Representatives would, among others, consider increasing the numerical strength of security personnel in the Northeast.
Meanwhile, the president, Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), Dr. Ona Ekhomu, has advised the Federal Government to adopt strategic risk management strategies to nip insurgency, militancy and self-help remedy in the bud.
He gave the advice in Lagos through a statement to mark the 10th anniversary of Boko Haram’s emergence, after its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, and other members were killed in Maiduguri, Borno State, on July 30, 2009.
The government’s conflict management decisions, he stated, should be based on qualified risk assessment, threat assessment, probability assessment and vulnerability assessment of events.
“Often, it is the unintended consequences of events that are harder to deal with. The 10th anniversary of Boko Haram should teach us that it is easier to start armed conflict than to end it,” he added.
The first chartered security professional in Nigeria urged the government to avoid the same mistakes that ignited the Boko Haram crisis in the first place.
He said, “The Boko Haram insurgency was a result of the absence of responsible governance in July 2009. The history of Boko Haram should teach governments to avoid arrogance when dealing with groups that could resort to armed struggle.”
Ekhomu cautioned that the Shiites crisis was not being properly handled, adding that the court order for the release of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaki in December 2016 ought to be obeyed by the federal government to douse tension in the country.
The government must avoid giving the impression that it is persecuting the leader of an important religious sect in Nigeria, he said. “The population of Shiites in Nigeria, which is estimated at more than five million, is more than that of many European countries.”
He advised politicians not to start any new insurgency, as the grave and existential security threats by herdsmen, bandits and ethnic militias were yet to be resolved.