Escalation of Terrorist Attacks Show That Defence Strategy is Dysfunctional – Says HURIWA

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Prays President Muhammadu Buhari to sack his NSA; Defence minister:

Prominent Civil rights advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has expressed strong disappointment and sadness with the increasing spate and sophistication of coordinated attacks by both the North West based TERRORISTS and the so called unknown gunmen in Imo State and other segments of the South East of Nigeria.

HURIWA reacted against the backdrops of the Weekend’s temporary take over of the Kaduna International Airport by over 200 well armed TERRORISTS operating within the North West axis and the attack in the wee hours of Monday 28th March 2022 in Obowo police formation in Imo State in which two police operatives were reportedly seriously injured just as some officials of the Federal aviation authority were gunned down by the invading terror group in Kaduna which disrupted flights operations for hours at the Weekend.

The Rights group wonders whether the President is waiting for the terrorists to launch a daring invasion of the National Assembly complex within the three arms zone of Abuja before he would realise that he has no effective National Security Adviser and Minister of Defence. HURIWA therefore is appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to take action urgently because the terrorists are becoming even more daring and emboldened because they feel they have nothing to fear.

HURIWA blames what it calls the dysfunctionality of the National defence strategy and the non workability of any sort of national security strategy by the National security Adviser to the President Major General Babagana Monguno(rtd) and the minister of Defence Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi(rtd) for the upsurge in terror attacks resulting in the horrendous afflictions of unprecedented casualties made up mostly of civilians and completely innocent members of the population.

HURIWA has therefore asked the President to immediately rejig his national defence strategy by appointing serving senior military Generals as minister of Defence and National Security Adviser because according to the Rights group, the appointments of very senior and experienced military officers who are currently abreast with the global best practices and the 21st century compliant innovative ideas to beat back the attacks of terrorists and the so called unknown gunmen are exactly the expertise the Country needs to navigate successfully away from terrorists attacks.

The Rights group the Federal Government needs to probe the heads of security services in states whereby terrorists are having a field day to ascertain whether these inefficient security heads are inevitably working with armed non State actors in the South East of Nigeria and North West for them to be recording the kind of successes that they have achieved in the past months at the cost of the economic dislocation of Igboland and the North West.

HURIWA said the President should sack both the Minister of Defence and the National Security Adviser and appoint the Chief of Defence Staff to double up as the minister of Defence whilst the President searches for a versatile and reputable senior General in any of the three segments of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the National security Adviser to bridge the gaps existing between the different arms of the armed forces and to offer credible defence strategic and innovative ideas to the President as he enters the eleventh hours of his final tenure so the President can fix his challenged security strategy before it becomes irreparable.

HURIWA recalled that at the Weekend suspected terrorists attacked the Kaduna International Airport located in Igabi Local Government Area the Kaduna State on Saturday. The attackers, numbering over 200 were said to have taken over the airport. The development caused panic at the airport as the suspected terrorists reportedly killed one security official of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency.

HURIWA recalled that the attack, it was gathered forced the authority to temporarily shut down activities while the military battled the suspected terrorists just as information available disclosed that the terrorists insisted on shutting down the airport. Following the presence of the terrorists on the runway area of the airport, workers attached to the airport were said to have left their duty posts.

HURIWA regretted that the security agencies have become so slow in preventing such a disgraceful terrorist attack targeting a high profile national asset like the Kaduna International Airport stated too that it is totally unacceptable also that an aircraft scheduled to take off for Lagos at 12:30pm could not fly as a result of the presence of the terrorists at the runway of the airport.

The source said, “They started attacking the Airport around midnight. The soldiers were able to repel them that midnight and we thought that was all. In fact, our workers resumed work this morning as usual till around 12:00 pm.

“Then, shortly after that, some NAMA workers went to check some of their equipment, then these bandits appeared and started shooting.

“The NAMA engineers scampered for safety, they could not even go and enter the vehicle that took them to the site. It was in the process that their security man was shot in the head. “The security man was rushed to the hospital and he was confirmed dead.”

Besides, HURIWA recalled that gunmen, on Monday morning, attacked the Otoko Divisional Police Headquarters situated in the Obowo Local Government Area of Imo State, leaving two officers injured.

Villagers the attack, which started around 3am, lasted a long time as residents feared for the unknown.

A villager said, “We didn’t sleep last night. The sounds of the weapons were terrifying. While many ran into the bushes, others took cover in their houses. You know the Police Divisional Headquarters is situated on the Owerri-Umuahia express road.”

HURIWA has therefore appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to take hard measures such as sacking his ineffective and inefficient National Security Adviser and the Minister of Defence before he can begin to get it right since these individuals have been in government for over 7 years and yet all we see are dare devil bloody attacks by terrorists all around the Country as if the Country has become a failed State.

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