Why Nigerian Army seems to be loosing to boko haram By George Onmonya Daniel
The Nigerian military seems to be losing to Boko Haram in recent weeks, at least we know now that Baga and several other local governments have fallen into the hands of Boko Haram and the Nigerian military have retreated to Monguno. Just yesterday the governor of Borno State was reported to have cried when he saw President Muhammadu Buhari over the state of affairs in Borno State. No one needs to tell Nigerians that Boko Haram has dealt a deadly blow on the Nigeria military.
Why are the military losing to Boko Haram? Why is that it seems that the top military echelon have lost ideas on fighting Boko Haram? Why is it that our soldiers at the warfront seem unmotivated?
The fact is that the top military echelon of this administration have lost ideas and are devoid of creativity to tackle Boko Haram and they are too proud to admit that they need help.
First, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, got himself embroiled in too much politics that he sold the president the whole idea of “technically defeating” Boko Haram when he hasn’t done his homework. They drum this technically defeat terminology into all our ears and in the ears of the military men and women that some of these military men and women started believing this story and began to relax in the warfront. Boko Haram watched them and studied them and then took them by surprise and keep pushing.
These attacks demoralizes the foot soldiers at the warfront. What is more demoralizing is the reward system. What does a military man or women get when they die in this war? What happens to their families? A lot of the soldiers know that when they die, they are buried and forgotten. The Nigerian State does not remember anyone for long. After you are gone fighting for the state, you are buried, your family quickly moved out of the barracks to make way for others in a short time and it is history, you are history.
Then there is the beliefs that the top officers in the army, like politicians, are the beneficiaries of this war among the junior officers. This furthermore is a demoralizing factor. Above all most of the military men believe Boko Haram have superior weaponry.
However, what wins modern wars, is superior intelligence, that’s where the Nigerian army is lagging behind Boko Haram. The Nigerian military have not been able to march Boko Haram in the areas of intelligence gathering. You would think despite having the likes of Civilian JTF assisting, the Nigerian military would somehow use the locals to infiltrate Boko Haram, but it looks like much of that isn’t happening.
I have watched wars as depicted by Hollywood movies and have read about these wars, and it is intelligence gathering that gives the victors an edge over the enemy. Boko Haram seem to attack our military formation at ease. That shows that they have more intel about our soldiers than we do about them. It shows that they use the people in the communities more than we use them. We must change all that, we must learn to use the locals to the military’s advantage.
The military really needs help and it is not only weaponry, but training. It has clearly shown that the military have been doing the same thing for a long time and are not getting the desired results. The Nigerian military should also distance itself a little from politics and politicians and be a lot more professional.
Boko Haram and the fight against terror may be a different type of warfare all together from conventional warfare, but terrorism is becoming conventional nowadays, and Nigeria must find ways to tackle its demons with creativity.
If the top military men in charge of our security cannot deal with it, the president must be bold enough to change them and bring in new people to replace them. From what I am seeing, it looks like President Buhari’s top military chiefs are failing him or have failed undoubtedly.