According to multiple sources, it has been revealed that there was a failed attempt by the Boko Haram group to disrupt the Christmas celebrations in parts of North-East Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory.
It was stated that some mercenaries from some of the francophone countries attempted to smuggle their way into Nigeria posing as cattle rearers and was meant to use the grazing routes to infiltrate parts of the country to detonate bombs and carry out other dastardly acts during the Christmas celebrations.
A top intelligence source who pleaded anonymity revealed that the Nigerian Army intensified its operations on major routes along the Lake Chad Basin fringes that have been notorious for camping remnants of Boko Haram elements.
“You know the Chief of Army Staff was in the theatre of operations during the yuletide period, and he practically took control of the command and structure. He emphasized the need to prevent the Boko Haram terrorists or their associates from gaining access to Nigeria. This made the Army conduct a search and rescue operation around the major routes from Doron Baga and other entry and exit points from Lake Chad Basin region.”
The source further added that operational strategy paid off as attempts by some suspicious elements to gain access to Nigeria was thwarted, and they retreated to the Francophone countries.
“We are lucky to have had a peaceful Christmas celebration because the troops were able to neutralize these elements at the point of gaining entry to Nigeria. Of course, these are associates of Boko Haram because, from all indications, most of them are not Nigerians that posed as cattle rearers.”
This fact was also corroborated by a military source who was amongst those that led the clearance operations during the yuletide season. He stated that the Boko Haram group attempted to fill their decimated ranks to cause havoc in the country.
“We got credible intel on the suspicious gathering of people on one of the islands in Lake Chad, and upon investigations, it was discovered that the Boko Haram group were converging and receiving these elements. The game-changer was the fact the COAS was in the command and control centre, and he authorized for a search and rescue operation around the entry points in the Lake Chad Basin region.” He said.
He further added that “The operation was highly successful because the Boko Haram group and their associates could not gain access to Nigeria. The few on the Nigerian side waiting to lead those coming were repealed by troops who engaged them in a fierce gun battle. We had some casualties because the terrain was rough, but there was no death recorded.”
It was also discovered that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai was in the theatre of operations throughout the Christmas period with the troops and commanded most of the operations. A source in the know of events confided in this medium that the Chief of Army Staff’s presence indeed boosted the morale of the troops, hence the successes recorded during the Christmas celebrations.
“The Chief of Army Staff in his characteristics manner was in the trenches with the troops. This has become a constant feature over the years. He does this year in and year out, which allows him to have a one-on-one with troops. This year, he practically took over the command structure and authorized operations that saw to the peaceful Christmas celebrations.”
“There was a mini feast with troops in celebration of the Christmas in the trenches. Most Nigerians do not know that the Chief of Army Staff sometimes leads operations himself whenever he is in the trenches. And as a soldier, when you see your COAS leading, your confidence level increases and your psychological state. And we must agree that these two are necessary ingredients in warfare.”
He further stated that the Boko Haram group relies on external support to carry out attacks as their ranks have been severely decimated.
“Boko Haram can’t launch any serious attack in Nigeria. They have been using third-party sources to plant landmines in routes where the Nigerian Military constantly patrols. They also recruit willing people from neighbouring countries to pose as pastoralist to detonate IEDs in communities and places where they are a large gathering of people.”
“This was what they attempted to do during the Christmas celebrations but for the intervention of the Nigerian Army that thwarted and neutralized their operations and this was largely why we experienced a peaceful Christmas celebration around the country. If not, it would have been a different story altogether.”
All attempts to reach the Director of Army Public Relations were unsuccessful as his known mobile numbers were unreachable.