New Telegraph

February 24, 2024

Insecurity: How rivalry stalled counterinsurgency war – Shettima

A former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima, has attributed the inability of the Nigeria Armed Forces to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency decisively in the first tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on the rivalry among the service chiefs, resulting in what could be described as uncoordinated approach towards the counter insurgency war. Shettima disclosed this yesterday at a media roundtable on security in Abuja.The roundtable which had at its theme: Fighting Insecurity in Nigeria- Going for Broke was organised by the 21st Century Chronicle newspaper as part of activities marking its one year anniversary.

The former governor, now Senator representing Borno Central Senatorial District, said the unhealthy competition among the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ekwe Ibok Ibas did not help the fight against terrorism, banditry and kidnapping for ransom in the North East region.

These former heads of the service arms of the military appeared to had preferred working in silos and were apparently unprepared to defer to a central command under Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) at that time. President Buhari had in January 2021 sacked that crop of service chiefs and replaced them with Maj Gen LEO Irabor as Chief of Defence Staff; Maj Gen I Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Adm AZ Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff and AVM IO Alao, Chief of Air Staff. A new Chief of Army Staff, Maj Gen Farouk Yahaya was later appointed.

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