IHEJIRIKA BLAMES INSURGENCY ON POROUS BORDERS

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Onyeabo Ihejirika addresses Mali-bound Nigerian soldiers

Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Onyeabo Ihejirika addresses Mali-bound Nigerian soldiers, January 2013

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA
Abuja
Feb. 13, 2014

The immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, has blamed Nigeria’s porous borders for the insurgency in the North-East. Ihejirika said this during his Valedictory Speech at a parade in his honour to mark his exit from the Nigerian Army.

“We must realise that the world is
passing through an increasingly volatile and uncertain 21st century and our situation in Nigeria had been made complex by regional and transnational threat. “This is further accelerated by information
technology,desertification, international migration across the borders, and competition for scarce resources, weapons’ proliferation and several unresolved ethno-religious conflicts.

“In the last few years, we have had to deploy the army extensively at home and abroad along with other services. “And I am proud to be part of our nation’s quest for a more peaceful world through many interactions using different platforms.”

According to him, the military has tried to strengthen critical partnership both local and international. The former army chief said that menace of terrorism and insurgency could be resolved quickly if the nation appreciated the sacrifice made by the services irrespective of political and religious affiliation.

“I urge the Army and other services to remain cohesive and loyal to the
constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria and President Goodluck Jonathan no matter the distraction. “This is key to the restoration of peace in volatile areas. “Let me express my gratitude and deep appreciation to the president for giving me the opportunity to serve.‘’

In his remarks, Gov. Theodore Oji of Abia, described Ihejirika as a humble man, a good soldier and a man determined to change things. He said the former army chief had done very well, adding that the army played a very major role in restoring peace and security to Abia State. “This is the reason all Abians came to felicitate with him because he showed determination, vigour and extra effort to ensure Abia State was stabilised securitywise,” Oji said.

Speaking with the News Agency of
Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the
event, Alhaji Aliyu Isma’ila,Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence,
described Ihejirika as ”a visionary leader who was strategically conscious and patriotic”. Isma’ila also described him as a professional soldier who did his best for the country and wished him all the best.

NAN reports that the “pulling out”
parade coincided with the 58th birthday of the former Chief of Army Staff who was born on Feb. 13, 1956 in Ovim, Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia. He was commissioned into the Army on Dec. 17, 1977 as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy 18th Regular Combatant Course.

He was appointed the Chief of Army Staff on Sept. 8, 2010 a position he held until Jan 16, this year.

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31 Responses to IHEJIRIKA BLAMES INSURGENCY ON POROUS BORDERS

  1. triggah says:

    If porous borders is the issue and he knows and we (Nigerians) knows. Then why didn’t he do something about it. Immediately after his tenure he’s out telling us like its a new story.

    • igbi says:

      I think you should be asking yourself why the FG hasn’t even mentioned the idea of fencing and also mining the borders yet. The borders are too big to be manned, please everybody take a map and see for yourself. GEJ must realize that three surveillance air crafts is not enough, he needs to mine and wall the borders and also create a big dish at the borders in order to reduce the borders to a few manned gates.

    • igbi says:

      With whaich funds were you expecting the former COAS to do this task ?
      The blame goes to GEJ and Ngozi. The General is kind enough to continu caring for Nigeria after he was unfairly treated.

  2. triggah says:

    If porous borders is the issue and he knows and we (Nigerians) knows. Then why didn’t he do something about it? Immediately after his tenure he’s out telling us like its a new story.

  3. Yagazie says:

    NINE soldiers killed in a well executed ambush by the BH insurgents. Not one or two or three BUT NINE soldiers killed in one fell swoop. What the h*ll is going on? How could this be allowed to happen? What kind of vehicle were they travelling in? How come they had no air-support? Was there yet another failure of intel?

    My week has just been ruined. What do you tell the families of these brave men who have made ultimate sacrifice. What do you tell their colleagues?

    A Federal College of Education in Adamawa state is now closed and the students have fled because BH have on this occasion been kind enough to give advance warning that they intend to ‘visit’ the place. AND they will visit the place. That shows you the level of their confidence and disdain for our incompetent Govt.

    Maybe our Govt should give serioud consideration to simply negotiating terms of peace /ceasefire with the BH insurgants and cede territory to them, since they don’t seem to have the will to properly fund the millitary to win this war. Afterall our finance minister believes that the millitary is an unproductive sector of the economy.

    In toying with this matter, our Govt is simply sitting on a ‘powder keg’ that is waiting for the ‘spark’ to ignite it to explode. Are they waiting for troops to revolt as a result of being demorilised due to lack of adequate equipment/proper air support before they take this insurgency seriously ?

    Well the new CDS Air Marshall Badeh has gone on record to state that the BH insurgency will be over by April 2014. Let’s watch and see. I guess he will bring the ‘skills and professionalism’ he exhibited during his stewardship as the immediate past CAS to his new role.

  4. igbi says:

    GEJ and Ngozi think they can solve terrorism for half the price.
    They ought to know that what you don’t pay with money, you pay with blood.

    • Are James says:

      The three names mentioned on this thread bear direct responsibility for what is unfolding on the battlefield.
      Easiest to deal with MoF, she just needs facts, a value case, transparent procurement procedures and maybe a link to her own objectives which are all about attracting positive reviews of her own performance by her former employer candidate donor agencies.
      For the other two, I am more worried about deeper issues around competence -leadership capacity, intellect, sense of reality and vision of what the end result of this war should be.
      Based on these facts I am convinced that this war will last at least into 2019 with disastrous consequences for Nigeria.

  5. rka says:

    Herein the problem lies. You send troops on a planned raid and no co-ordination with the NAF to provide air-cover. I tire o! Lessons haven’t been learnt and it appears it is going to be a long haul to get our armed forces to think tri-service on operations and not to keep thinking an individual service can do it all alone.

    • Are James says:

      I don’t think there are operational resources to provide the level of air cover required to contain the BH offensive, and I am talking bread and butter issues of fuel, pilot scheduling, ammo, frontline good supply etc.c.
      Its even a disgrace to be talking about a BH offensive at this point.
      The newly promoted generals have obviously fallen into the Jonathan ‘new promote trap’.

      • igbi says:

        Jonathan’s way of doing things is worrisome. How can he retire generals like Ihejirika at this period of Nigerian history ? I could understand that he wants to change the leadership of the military, but he should have known that the expert skills of these generals should not be wasted, they should have been given positions as advisers to the military and/or to the government in military affairs.

  6. Henry says:

    @RKA, I don’t believe air cover is the main problem here. Travelling in those light-skinned trucks is a death-sentence. That is the issue.

    We continue to deploy those “skinnies” in large numbers without given them even the most basic armour protection. Non-armouring continues to leave our troops in sad situations such as this.

    I wonder what has come out of the proforce-dicon MoU signed last year. We have seen a lull in IED attacks and a continued rise in ambushes. The same scenario played out when over 50 troops were killed in an ambush, yet we continue to make the same mistakes. This is a clear case of dejavu.

    Secondly, how in the world did our defence budget decrease in a middle of an insurgency. This shit only happens in nigeria.

    I do hope the army begins to roll out igirigi’s and proforce APC’s before the end of this first quarter.

    I’ve spotted the proforce APV 1 with the police, it is a big, well protected vehicle that can be deployed by both the police and military, why we haven’t sped up this process leaves me bewildered.

    • Bola David says:

      @Oga Henry, there is development on the Proforce-Dicon MoU just a couple of days ago.

      But you would not believe that Army authorities were going to fraustrate that effort? I must confess an ugly scenario in which acknoledgement copies of the MoU was posted to DICON and got missing on arrival in Kaduna. General Labaran felt so bad and he was removed afterwards. We never got to hear about it again until Gen. Ihejirika left.

      That’s Naija for you Sir. So now lives of dear compatriots have been wasted cos of selfish interest. Gen. Beegs and other great people on this forum have advocated for mass production, locally, of armoured vehicles for the armed forces but see where we are?

      Thank you Oga Henry. I stand to be controverted but I have my facts.

    • rka says:

      @Oga Henry, that’s part of the problem but not exclusively. MRAPS and co will help, but they are also vulnerable to a well laid IED ambush.

      CAS is very important. There shouldn’t be any raids or patrols without the ability to call in air strikes or at least have QRFs ready to respond in every given situation that’s why I think we haven’t got enough troops deployed in the NE.

      They don’t seem to even use recce troops or mini UAVs they are supposed to have to scout the area first.

      • giles says:

        i dont tink we need all dos mrap,d apc made by proforce and army engineer corp can serve. And pls tell dem if we cant get d A-29 den we can improvise using som of our old bulldog trainer aircraft if der ar stil alive

  7. Nnamdi says:

    @Gen David….Thanks for bringing up that new info. If I may ask, are you saying that some people loyal to the erstwhile CAOS (Gen Ihejirika) sabotaged the agreement or another group within the system? Please tell, I do plead.

  8. doziex says:

    Nigeria, the so called giant of africa, cannot equip it’s soldiers to Amisom standards ?
    The KDF purchased 150 cougar MRAPs before they even thought about going to somalia.
    The UPDF has purchased over 300 APC/MRAPs to support their Amisom activities.
    Granted the US/EU is footing the bill, both deals would not top 60 million usd.
    But nigerian politicians would rather spend that money on themselves, than on our critically exposed troops.

  9. peccavi says:

    Oga Yagazie there is nothing to negotiate. There is no one to negotiate with. There is no political solution to this problem. The enemy must be destroyed and the North east developed until it is self sustaining.
    Unfortunately we have no strategic vision in this country, how many soldiers and police did it take to secure the last election? And it was relatively peaceful. Now with this wahala in the South South and North East plus all the normal political shenanigans where exactly are we going to get the troops to secure the elections, post elections and contain the insurgency?
    The insurgency is not even contained now.
    there is a clock ticking down to the end of this year by which we need to have driven BH main into Cameroun and they need to be on the run.
    But again the issue is not soft skin or armour. The issue is numbers and tempo. The troops need to outmatch and outnumber the insurgents. There should be no circumstance under which 20 insurgents can gather in one place much less 150 or 200.
    9 soldiers is not something you should worry about when 53 have just been murdered and 20 innocent girls kidnapped.
    The dynamics of this conflict are not in our favour we do not need to go and buy new kit, this is an infantry war and the only solution (in my opinion) is a full mobilisation of full division for a clearance op through Sambisa, Gwoza and Lake Chad/ Baga. and then deep into Cameroun beyond the Waza Forest Reserve. And once the op has been completed, Nigerian/ Camerounian forces need to garrison the liberated areas while further forces hunt down the remnants. It will be expensive and bloody but I see no alternatives. And bear in mind I am a fervent believer in negotiated solutions but like Sri Lanka or even Biafra this is a war that must be fought to the finish.

  10. ugobassey says:

    My Ogas, I ve said this before on this forum. The military should be on an all out offensive and not reactionary. Let’s borrow a leaf or two from the American COIN in Afghanistan. Plan ahead strike with armed drones and stealth jets before they know what hit them. Make continuously be looking over their shoulders and trying to second guess. While the defense budget might be an issue, I believe that the current COIN strategy isn’t working. GEJ should get all the regional stake holders together as well as our experienced retired Vets and formulate a long term doctrine with a blitzkrieg aim in mind. Some solutions I have in mind:
    1) Erect an electrified fence from lake Chad to Platue state
    2) Create 2 to 3 more Brigades for the 7th Division each brigade located right at the borders.
    3) Deploy strike drones in collaboration with the army along the entire stretch of the fence
    4) Invest in local intelligence: Village chiefs, emirs, youth leaders to help monitor and identify BH.
    5) NIA and SSS should train personnel to infiltrate BH.
    6) And this is most important: No mediations, no table talks. TAKE THE WAR TO THEM AND KEEP HITTING TILL BH IS PERMANENTLY DISPERSED!!!!!

  11. camouflage1984 says:

    HMS Portland, a type 23 frigate is in Nigeria

  12. startrek says:

    what for Sir

  13. startrek says:

    thanks

  14. Spirit. says:

    Fellow generals,

    I say this with deep sorrow in my heart. BH will continue to kill and maim, until these crop of selfish politicians are replaced by more patriotic ones.

    God bless Nigeria.

  15. Tope says:

    Dis Country isn’t a Serious Country at all! We are jokers honestly, I can tell you that if this was Algeria we would hv seen before end of February 30-50 Mi-24Vs and Mi-35Ps Attack and Transport Helos, Drones in dia 100s spread out in Net and Arrow head Formation and recon and command air fighters at least 2 Squadrons in number complemented by Artillery n Mortar Systems, MRAPS, IFV and APCs in Ranges of 500 and more and we would see at least 3 Brigade Sized Forces combing wit SF taking da Lead by now instead we keep hearing Such rubbish, obviously if u lockdown Maiduguri where do u think Boko Haram will target? Dia Strategy is To keep Nigerian Soldiers on dia toes and spread thin, dis r Distraction Targets what dey do den is have dia main bodies infiltrate da main town n den plant dia bomb n Kaboom! U see dem on Youtube dis Tactics is Eerily Similar to Guerilla Tactics used in Some parts of Iraq recently so let dis Freaking Govt do da Needful PUSH BACK, conduct a Massive Door-to-Door Patrol n Registration of All Citizens in Borno and Adamawa, Close All Routes using GIS and Satellite Images to show Road Paths and insert SF and QRF Forces dia, Insert Jungle Forces and Desert Forces to Comb while increasing patrol in da City n Rural Area in such a manner that every 2 min a Platoon of Soldiers goes by, I see no reason soldiers r sitting in Barracks at this Moment, u declared War so let War Begin who ever has the better strategy wins in War. But we beg FG to do da Needful Buy this Things ASAP, we talkin like Right Now, don’t sign a deal if we wouldn’t see What specs required for in at least 3days no point in waiting till end of month we need them Dis Country isn’t a Serious Country at all! We are jokers honestly, I can tell you that if this was Algeria we would hv seen before end of February 30-50 Mi-24Vs and Mi-35Ps Attack and Transport Helos, Drones in dia 100s spread out in Net and Arrow head Formation and recon and command air fighters at least 2 Squadrons in number complemented by Artillery n Mortar Systems, MRAPS, IFV and APCs in Ranges of 500 and more and we would see at least 3 Brigade Sized Forces combing wit SF taking da Lead by now instead we keep hearing Such rubbish, obviously if u lockdown Maiduguri where do u think Boko Haram will target? Dia Strategy is To keep Nigerian Soldiers on dia toes and spread thin, dis r Distraction Targets what dey do den is have dia main bodies infiltrate da main town n den plant dia bomb n Kaboom! U see dem on Youtube dis Tactics is Eerily Similar to Guerilla Tactics used in Some parts of Iraq recently so let dis Freaking Govt do da Needful PUSH BACK, conduct a Massive Door-to-Door Patrol n Registration of All Citizens in Borno and Adamawa, Close All Routes using GIS and Satellite Images to show Road Paths and insert SF and QRF Forces dia, Insert Jungle Forces and Desert Forces to Comb while increasing patrol in da City n Rural Area in such a manner that every 2 min a Platoon of Soldiers goes by, I see no reason soldiers r sitting in Barracks at this Moment, u declared War so let War Begin who ever has the better strategy wins in War. But we beg FG to do da Needful Buy this Things ASAP, we talkin like Right Now, don’t sign a deal if we wouldn’t see What specs required for in at least 3days no point in waiting till end of month we need them Dis Country isn’t a Serious Country at all! We are jokers honestly, I can tell you that if this was Algeria we would hv seen before end of February 30-50 Mi-24Vs and Mi-35Ps Attack and Transport Helos, Drones in dia 100s spread out in Net and Arrow head Formation and recon and command air fighters at least 2 Squadrons in number complemented by Artillery n Mortar Systems, MRAPS, IFV and APCs in Ranges of 500 and more and we would see at least 3 Brigade Sized Forces combing wit SF taking da Lead by now instead we keep hearing Such rubbish, obviously if u lockdown Maiduguri where do u think Boko Haram will target? Dia Strategy is To keep Nigerian Soldiers on dia toes and spread thin, dis r Distraction Targets what dey do den is have dia main bodies infiltrate da main town n den plant dia bomb n Kaboom! U see dem on Youtube dis Tactics is Eerily Similar to Guerilla Tactics used in Some parts of Iraq recently so let dis Freaking Govt do da Needful PUSH BACK, conduct a Massive Door-to-Door Patrol n Registration of All Citizens in Borno and Adamawa, Close All Routes using GIS and Satellite Images to show Road Paths and insert SF and QRF Forces dia, Insert Jungle Forces and Desert Forces to Comb while increasing patrol in da City n Rural Area in such a manner that every 2 min a Platoon of Soldiers goes by, I see no reason soldiers r sitting in Barracks at this Moment, u declared War so let War Begin who ever has the better strategy wins in War. But we beg FG to do da Needful Buy this Things ASAP, we talkin like Right Now, don’t sign a deal if we wouldn’t see What specs required for in at least 3days no point in waiting till end of month we need them Dis Country isn’t a Serious Country at all! We are jokers honestly, I can tell you that if this was Algeria we would hv seen before end of February 30-50 Mi-24Vs and Mi-35Ps Attack and Transport Helos, Drones in dia 100s spread out in Net and Arrow head Formation and recon and command air fighters at least 2 Squadrons in number complemented by Artillery n Mortar Systems, MRAPS, IFV and APCs in Ranges of 500 and more and we would see at least 3 Brigade Sized Forces combing wit SF taking da Lead by now instead we keep hearing Such rubbish, obviously if u lockdown Maiduguri where do u think Boko Haram will target? Dia Strategy is To keep Nigerian Soldiers on dia toes and spread thin, dis r Distraction Targets what dey do den is have dia main bodies infiltrate da main town n den plant dia bomb n Kaboom! U see dem on Youtube dis Tactics is Eerily Similar to Guerilla Tactics used in Some parts of Iraq recently so let dis Freaking Govt do da Needful PUSH BACK, conduct a Massive Door-to-Door Patrol n Registration of All Citizens in Borno and Adamawa, Close All Routes using GIS and Satellite Images to show Road Paths and insert SF and QRF Forces dia, Insert Jungle Forces and Desert Forces to Comb while increasing patrol in da City n Rural Area in such a manner that every 2 min a Platoon of Soldiers goes by, I see no reason soldiers r sitting in Barracks at this Moment, u declared War so let War Begin who ever has the better strategy wins in War. But we beg FG to do da Needful Buy this Things ASAP, we talkin like Right Now, don’t sign a deal if we wouldn’t see What specs required for in at least 3days no point in waiting till end of month we need them now.

  16. Are James says:

    The urgency of the situation is quite discernible.
    However we are being weakened from the inside at the very top. Take the MRAPs for instance, on this bloc we have posted over 6 different pictures of models the NA had bought or were going to buy. Why have we not seen them on the battlefield? The only armoured vehicles we see in news reports are Otokar Cobras.

    MI 171/35M/35 MP Choppers were supposed to have been received two years ago and have been on the budget for the third year running where are they on the battle field?.

    We have inaugurated Special Forces and their various commands with fanfare, why have they not made and impact?

    UAVs look good on YouTube and during Presidential presentation press conferences, the departing chief of army staff even revealed that another type was bought in large numbers why have they not been made operational?

    I think we have all been suckered by the departing chief of army staff and the current CDS, the blame needs to be laid right at their door. Not being combatant officers, they have underestimated the needs of their frontline commanders and also probably have put their hands in the cookie jar many times.

    The CIC has also shown weak leadership and does not seem to understand anything about defence (except the needs of the navy for understandable reasons). From reports he also has been heard to have praised the current CDS for not asking for money for new acquisitions when he was CAS which is almost UNBELIEVABLE. So which universe are these people from?, where is the professional pride, where is the national pride in our people in leadership positions?

  17. triggah says:

    General are James I salute you sir! You have made a very good point, there is no urgency in winning this war. they act like BH is just a minor disturbance. Someone would think that after the Niger Delta conflict this people would acquir brain but NO, instead they do things in the Nigerian way ( let us manage it). I fear for this country in a full scale war.

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