The Nigerian Army has declared a total of 86 suspected Boko Haram Commanders wanted. Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, made the declaration yesterday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, at a combined ceremony to flagoff the operationalisation of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), as well as the release of the fourth and final list of wanted terrorists.
Buratai, who spoke at the Chabbal Super Camp in Maiduguri, said that the counterinsurgency war had entered a crucial stage, vowing that the remnants of insurgents would be crushed, no matter where they were hiding.
On the wanted list was the “enigmatic” leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, who occupied 100th position, Modu Sulum (304); Malkam Umar, Mallam Bello Husba, Abu Musab Barnawi, Abu Imma, and Ibrahim Abu Maryam. Others on the wanted list were: Baka Browsing, Kwasari, Mallam Yan Kolo, Mustaoha Ak Anawi, Bana Gonna, Abu Dardda, among others.
As part of measures to facilitate the arrests of the wanted terrorists, the Army chief said the list containing their names and positions would be made available in all formations and units, as well as CJTF personnel.
He, therefore, urged members of the public to be vigilant, and report identified suspects to the Army, or other security agencies nearest to them. According to Buratai, appreciable arrests were made following the release of the first, second and third batches of wanted suspected commanders of Boko Haram. “As we are poised to carry out our final push to flush out Boko Haram, it is, therefore, my opportunity to (unveil) the 4th list of the wanted Boko Haram insurgents.
“We are going to make the list available to all our formations and CJTF locations. They may be at your backyard or your markets. You should fish them out, and arrest them. “During the first, second and third wanted list, we had succeeded in arresting many insurgents and made them to face wrath of the law”, Buratai said. On the operationalisation of the C-JTF, the COAS traced the concept of Volunteer Force to the 18th Century; where men had voluntarily signed on to form the “Delta Force”.
He explained that the CJTF will be embedded in the existing Army Super Camps, to boost operational effectiveness against the enemies of state. His words: “The concept of the Volunteer Forces started back in 18th Century, with the volunteers from various war fronts to form Delta Force. The CJTF started in 2013 to 2014 here in Mauduguri, where they played a major role in chasing out Boko Haram out of Maiduguri and other towns in the state. Since, then, they have been playing a great role in the counter insurgency war.
“The injection of the CJTF into the operation of Super camp will help in identifying the Boko Haram insurgents and their enclaves. We have been stressing that the fight against insurgency is not left for the military alone, hence the collaboration with the government in releasing the CJTF is important in our final push.” While commending the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, for approving the release of the CJTF, Buratai expressed the hope that with the collaboration between the military and CJTF, the insurgency will soon come to an end. Also speaking, Zulum lauded the formal adoption of the CJTF by the Army, saying the development could not have come at a better time than now. Zulum said: “This occasion of streamlining the CJTF into the operations of the Nigerian military in a collaborative efforts and the launching of 4th Batch of the wanted list of Boko Haram is very important in the fight against insurgents and the kind of collaboration we have been calling for. “Peace is necessary. The nexus between peace and development cannot be over emphasized.
This operation would help us in our developmental efforts.” “For those Boko Haram that are still in the bush, I am calling on you to surrender, because you are killing your sisters and brothers, and destroying infrastructure built with your money.
You should have a rethink and give peace a chance.” He used the occasion to announce the donation of additional 100 motorcycles to be injected into the concept, while assuring that his administration would continue to support the CJTF in complementing the military’s counterinsurgency operations.
He also called on the people of Borno State to support the military in discharging their duties and also prayed for the repose of the souls of those killed in the fight and their families, the fortitude to bear the loss.