A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abdul-Rahman Terab, has said the ongoing war against terrorism in Borno State is made difficult as a result of bureaucratic bottlenecks that makes it difficult to deploy soldiers to flashpoints immediately
Terab, who represents Borno State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House, said in addition, the number of soldiers needed to tackle the insurgents was grossly insufficient.
Terab, who revealed this during a chat with the House Press Corps, said in addition to these problems, much of the attacks on local communities in southern parts of the state are not reported, thus magnifying the scope of the crisis beyond what is known to ordinary Nigerians and the federal government.
“Go round and check most of these attacks. Unfortunately 80 percent of the attacks are not being reported. They don’t come and attack in the presence of our forces,” he noted.
He, therefore, stressed: “If that is the case, it means there is need for them to run around and even get more personnel. This is imperative at this moment.”
He noted that before the emergency rule, about 200 soldiers stationed at the 212 Battalion in Bama could only move to crisis spots when there is “express approval of Mr. President being the Commander-in-Chief.”
He wondered about the feasibility of such bureaucracy, saying: “somebody is in Bama, and 200 or so kilometres away from Ngala there is an attack, you want to tell me they have to look for the president wherever he is for him to give approval for the soldiers to come out?”
He, however, expressed relief that “with the state of emergency, it means as it is presently, they can run around. At least we have some units in Gamboru Ngala. We have some units in parts of Kala-Balge.”
He explained: “We have some units on the shore of Lake Chad which are not barracks. But without the state of emergency, it means they should only be in their designated barracks, and not only that, they cannot respond. Even if the person is bringing the attack to their doorsteps, they have to get the express approval of Mr. President.”
Terab, who traced the history of the sect to its early days as Taliban at Kannama in Yobe State in 2002, said the Department of State Security (DSS), which interrogated the slain leader of the group, Muhammad Yusuf, several times, had a rich dossier on the group and its activities.
“I’m sure like they always say, the DSS have the full information about everything that transpired even before then, because that 2002 was just a launch; even before the launch up to the time of the launch and then the final one, in 2009,” he stated.