Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai has said the Boko Haram terrorists now use drones and foreign fighters in their operations in the war ravaged North East of Nigeria..
Mr Buratai described the exploits of the jihadists as “daring,” saying it threatened to erode the previously recorded achievements in the counter-terrorism efforts.
Boko Haram has carried out successful, back-to-back attacks on Nigerian military bases since July, leaving heavy personnel and equipment losses in their wake.
The army chief said the attacks have put the military’s resolve to test, but assured the insurgency would be uprooted before long.
“Since 2015, the Nigerian Army, in conjunction with sister services and other security agencies have systematically degraded the capabilities and capacity of Boko Haram terrorists and many successes were achieved.
“However, in the last 2 – 3 months, we have noticed daring moves by the terrorists, increased use of drones against our defensive positions and infusion of foreign fighters in their ranks. These potent threats require us to continually review our operations.”
The military has reportedly intensified offensive against Boko Haram positions since the attack on November 18. PRNigeria, a public relations firm close to the militart, cited military sources as saying the Nigerian Air Force carried out a series of aerial bombardments of Boko Haram hideouts since November 25.
Additionally, we gathered President Buhari has dipped his hands into the Excess Crude Account to purchase new fighter jets to bomb the insurgents to submission.
The military purchases have led to a depletion of the Excess Crude Account by 73% in the past three weeks. The Minister of Fiance, Zainab Ahmed disclosed at the end of the Federation Allocation Account Committee FAAC on 25 Novemeber 2018 that the balance in the account stood at $2,319 billion.
But barely three weeks later, the account recorded a withdrawal of $1.6888 billion, almost 73% of the balance. What was left as a balance is a mere $631 million.
The massive withdrawal has kicked off a new controversy as the three tiers of government, the Federal, State and the Local Governments are required by law to grant approval for withdrawals on the account.
The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance Alhaji Mahmoud Isa- Dutse however argued last week that the withdrawals by the President were within the law and the money was used to pay for the third and last tranche of Paris Club refunds to the 36 States of the Federation.
This newspaper however reliably gathered that the money was used to buy new fighter jets to fight in the North East.
Security experts have long warned that Boko Haram was recruiting foreign elements to help advance its jihadist cause in Nigeria. The Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks targeting Nigerian military assets.