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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Security challenges after fall of Sambisa forest by Ekhomu

President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, Dr. Ona Ekhomu has commended President Muhammadu Buhari on the fall of Sambisa Forest, the headquarters of the Boko Haram terrorist group in Borno State, saying there are still challenges, reports ITRealms.

He also said that the capture of this important military objective is a significant achievement in the fight against Boko Haram terrorism and a major morale boost for the Nigerian military.

“Mr. President deserves high accolades for his focus, commitment and the political will that resulted in the fall of Sambisa forest” he said.

Dr. Ekhomu, a renowned security expert said that the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and the entire Nigerian military also deserved high praise for their prowess in battle which resulted in the desired outcome of routing Boko Haram terrorists from their last parcel of real estate and achieving this important operational milestone on the war on terror.

Ekhomu however warned that the Nigerian authorities should not be tricked into a false sense of security. “We shouldn’t think that it is over with Boko Haram. We shouldn’t think that they have been defeated and they are no longer a threat. That would be a big mistake. Boko Haramism is based on Salafist jihadist ideology. So, in addition to battle-field defeat, their perverted strict wahabbi ideology must be defeated before the war can be deemed to be over. If not, the conflict continues,” he added.

In press release made available to ITRealms, the security expert expatiated that BH is engaged in asymmetrical warfare against Nigeria, and does not need real estate to prosecute its terrorist campaigns. “In asymmetrical warfare, there are no front lines, no prescribed methods or means of conflict,” he averred.

Based upon the displacement theory of crime, the senior leadership personnel of BH are likely to have migrated to safer areas across the Nigerian borders (Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, CAR or Mali).  The field commanders should have gone into hiding in Kano, Kaduna, Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu. “This position is supported by the announcement by the Chief of Army Staff that a BH commander was arrested in Lagos last week.”

“BH terrorists do not wear uniforms and they look like everyone else in the general population.  So, it is easy for their foot soldiers to escape far from the northeast in search of refuge in the south or elsewhere. My fear is that with leadership, these guys can regroup quickly and resume their campaign of violence. We have seen this before in 2009 to 2010 when BH pretended that it had been defeated by General Saleh Maina in Maiduguri only for them to resume violence in Sepember 2010 by breaking out over 700 inmates from Maiduguri Prisons  -- mostly radicalized fighters,” he said.

Ekhomu advised the government security forces to remain in a state of high alert for the next 12 months on the BH problem. He urged the intelligence services to work hard to uncover terror plots and urgently intervene to save Nigerian lives. He advised the Police agency to be alert to the presence of criminals and terrorists in their jurisdictions. 

He called for the adoption of criminal profiling and aggressive community oriented policing strategies to identify BT terrorists in our communities. Ekhomu said that the Civilian JTF operatives in Kasuwa Shanu in Maiduguri who detected and prevented two female suicide bombers from accessing the crowded cow market and detonating their explosive payload outside without killing anyone but the bombers, was an example of this community oriented policing. At this crime scene on Monday (Boxing Day), neither the police nor the military were present, yet the Civilian JTF took action to save many lives and killing two suicide terrorists in the process.

He urged the FG not to assume that BH is interested in integrating into Nigerian society. He said: They are committed jihadists and extremists and will only hide as a survival mechanism, and strike when the opportunity presents itself.

He urged Nigerians to conduct background checks on individuals who they hire as security guards, gardeners, house helps, etc. He said that BH members are likely to speak little English and claim to be from Niger Republic, Chad Republic. Prior to hiring West African nationals, they should be asked to provide proof of permission by the Nigerian Immigration Service to work in Nigeria.

The security expert urged the Immigration service to better secure the borders and prevent the free movement of terrorists into and out of Nigeria. He also exhorted immigration officials to eschew petty corruption at the borders as it negates Nigeria’s national security interest.     

He also urged the military to sustain the man-hunt for Abubakar Shekau. He said that without forensic proof, it could not be assumed that Shekau is dead. This mistake has been made several times with Shekau, making him the proverbial cat with nine lives. He advised the military to deploy massive intelligence assets in search of Abubakar Shekau whose neutralization would signal the beginning of the end of Boko Haramism in Nigeria.
  
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