By Kingsley Omonobi
There were indications, weekend, that the Army High Command has ordered the arrest and detention of a Brigadier-General attached to the 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army (names with-held) over allegations of negligence that gave Boko Haram terrorists an opportunity to overrun some communities in Borno State recently.
Vanguard gathered that the senior officer who hails from one of the states in the South West, was the officer coordinating the military onslaught to dislodge several Boko Haram terrorists from Bama, Gwoza, Madagali, Michika and other communities in Borno and Adamawa states that later fell into the hands of the terrorists.
The General was accused of providing poor leadership and failed to instil confidence in the soldiers, resulting in several soldiers allegedly abandoning the fight against the terrorists while several of them lost their lives.
According to the source, when the Boko Haram insurgents came in full force to attack Bama,some top brass of the unit offered no resistance by running into the bush.
The source disclosed that the insurgents entered the Brigade Headquarters and Armoury freely and carted away vehicles and Tanks.
Vanguard was told that some of the commanders were rescued from the bush by a battalion deployed at Konduga, which was stationed about 15 kilometers behind Bama, the last deployment before Maiduguri.
The Military high command was said to be furious that the insurgents after taking over Bama and killing hundreds of civilians ransacked the armoury with no soldier offering resistance, leaving the insurgents to have a free day.
According to the source; after seizing the equipment at the 21 Brigade Bama, the terrorists used the same weapons to attack the infantry battalion at Konduga but met their waterloo where hundreds of the Boko Haram insurgents were killed.
The source added that the 21 Armoured Brigade which had several armoured tanks could not withstand the battle that was later decided by less than 400 infantry soldiers in Konduga.
It was further gathered that after running away from Bama, some top brass of the brigade and about 800 troops went straight to Maiduguri instead of joining the troops in Konduga to repel the attack.
To face court-martial
Vanguard gathered that a board of inquiry is investigating the conduct of the officers for acts of negligence among other offences.
Military sources further told Vanguard that Boko Haram terrorists were not really better armed in the terror war but rather leadership of troops on ground has been discovered as a problem that needed to be tackled.
Giving an instance, a source said: “Commanders of troops are supposed to lead soldiers from the frontline but what we discovered is that most of the commanders operate and give orders from the rear.
“If not that our soldiers are rugged and know that the Boko Haram terrorists could not match them professionally, what we are seeing today would have been the opposite. Actually, when terrorists see soldiers coming, they run for their lives, but due to poor leadership, the back-up arrangements are not activated. When soldiers therefore run out of ammunition and the terrorists regroup, soldiers will have no other choice than to retreat”.
The source cited the successes recorded severally in the battles to take over Konduga as the perfect way the Nigeria Army operates, noting that even though there were four different attacks with heavy weaponry, the army was able to defeat them and recovered stolen weapons.
Military extends restriction of vehicular movement in Maiduguri.
Meanwhile, the ban on vehicular movements in Maiduguri, which was to last from 5 pm last Friday till 7 am today has been extended till tomorrow. The ban was imposed following intelligence reports that Boko Haram terrorists will attack mosques, markets and other public places during the sallah period.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations of 7 Division Col. Sanni Usman, said “all necessary security measures are being implemented, while members of the public are hereby requested to comply fully with this embargo as defaulters will be severely sanctioned”.
He said, however, that workers on essential services such as hospitals and fire services with clear identification are exempted from the restriction.
Colonel Usman then advised members of the public to report any suspicious movement of persons or vehicles around their environment to the nearest security agencies.