Military deploying ‘hybrid warfare’ against B’Haram sect
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, yesterday, declared that the prevailing terrorism and banditry across the federation would end if Nigerians resolve to halt the disturbing trend. He spoke barely 48 hours after no fewer than 23 troops were on Saturday ambushed and killed by bandits at Jibia district in Katsina State.
The gang opened fire on the soldiers who were on foot patrol, according to the sources that pleaded anonymity.“The bodies of 23 soldiers have not been accounted for, while some are still missing,” a military source reportedly said.
In the past, the armed gangs, known locally as “bandits”, were involved in cattle rustling and kidnappings, but experts recently warned that they could be forging ties with jihadist groups in the North West region.
But Buratai, who was speaking with State House correspondents after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of the military in the troubled zone, stated that ending the menace was a collective responsibility of the citizens, as the bulk of the culprits were Nigerians.
The COAS solicited the support of all for the onerous task of defeating the security challenges currently besetting the nation.He went on: “As to whether banditry, terrorism and so on will end, I think it all depends (on us). If Nigerians want it to end today, I can assure you, it will end if everybody joins hands. These bandits are not outside Nigeria. They are not from foreign land. Ninety-nine per cent of them are Nigerians. These kidnappers, I will say 100 per cent of them, are Nigerians. So it is not just a military, security agency’s task to end the insecurity in this country. Everybody has a responsibility to discharge.
“It is also important for the press not to escalate the situation through reportage, giving prominence to the bandits and terrorist activities. This will go a long way in weakening them.”
In a similar vein, the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), and the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, have said the military was deploying “Hybrid Warfare” to contain the Boko Haram sect.
They made the disclosure while addressing the Senior Executive Course 42 participants at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru near Jos, Plateau State yesterday.
Represented by his Special Adviser (Technical) on Armed Forces, Major General Ahmed Tijani Jibrin (rtd), the minister said the character of warfare had changed, as there were more options for pursuing strategic ends just below the threshold of a traditional armed conflict.
“Hybrid wars involve a range of different models of warfare that include conventional capabilities, irregular tactics and formations, terrorism and criminal activities,” he added.
On his part, Olonisakin pointed out that globalisation, technological developments and information revolution had imposed on the world an order of change which humanity had not experienced before. The CDS argued that in the current setting, it was meaningless to classify wars as large or small, regular or irregular.