by Wale Odunsi
A retired Brigadier-General, Olusegun Ajano, on Thursday faulted the battle strategy of the Nigeria Army in fighting the Boko Haram insurgency, noting that its stance was more reactionary.
“It is when Boko Haram strikes that the forces move, and it shouldn’t have been,” he said in an interview with Channels TV.
Ajano noted that the government as well as the security apparatus ought to have done “something a little bit of extraordinary when it was reported that the terrorists where camped in Sambisa forest.”
“Even if it means taking down that forest, that is the time it ought to have been done.”
On collateral damage, he said “If there are civilians in the forest, it is our responsibility to have located them and probably get them out of the place for a proper military action.
Ajano recalled that the insurgency started as a political problem confined within Borno State but that perhaps there were some root causes yet to be discovered.
His words: “I am not too sure whether we have correct information that got to the government at the beginning of the crisis.
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“It was seen like a few thugs here and there gathered and they were trying to embarrass the government of the state.”
According to him, there is need to find the nitty-gritty of the cause of the insurgency as “if this was done, we would have been saved the losses and the complication that is now arising”.
He explained that the reason why there are still setbacks in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents was because the nation was in a political dispensation.
“It is not going to be too easy for the president of the country, who is the commander in chief of the armed forces just to order troops out.
“He has to have correct information. He has to have correct assessment of the situation before he can order operations,” the retired officer said.