There have been plenty of knocks for especially the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, as Operation KANTANA JIMLAN, an infantry subsidiary of the Operation LAFIYA DOLE, suffered casualties and lost two soldiers to death while several others sustained serious injuries, in an ambush in Gujba Local Government Area of the State of Yobe, even as heartbreaking videos of pain and panic recorded by overwhelmed Nigerian Army soldiers surface on the social media.
In one of the videos, two soldiers were being helped on the ground as one lamented that he has become condemned even as his fellow attending to him encouraged that he is not condemned. They appeared to have lost their limbs to a bomb explosion. And in a separate video, two other soldiers were making filming the scene, and one was heard mouthing curses towards the leadership of the Army, saying “Army don suffer us…dem de suffer us… See where they lay ambush…Buratai e no go better for you…”
In a press release yesterday, a moody Major General John Enenche, Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, said:
- The Troops of Combat Team 1, Operation KANTANA JIMLAN on long range admin patrol along Buni Yadi – Buni Gari axis encountered multiple Improvised Explosive Devices and Boko Haram Terrorists’ ambush, eight kilometres ahead of Buni-Gari in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State on the 18 of May 2020.
- Two soldiers paid the supreme price and three other soldiers sustained injuries as a result of the IED explosion. Additionally, a recovery truck, one troops carrying vehicle and a water tanker that ran into the IED were destroyed by fire. Three terrorists were neutralized while unconfirmed number escaped with various degrees of injury.
- However, due to mental snap/distress occasioned by fog of war, two of the soldiers who escaped the IED and terrorists’ ambush recorded the incident with uncomplimentary remarks, about the Nigerian Army and her leadership, which was released on the social media. Although this kind of outburst is expected in war, the soldiers involved have been identified and would undergo observation and counseling.
- The Armed Forces of Nigeria will remain unwavering in its quest to end the terrorism and will do everything possible to ensure there is no repeat of this kind of traumatic incident/outburst.
- The Military High Command commends troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE for their unwavering determination, hard work and resilience.
The Operation LAFIYA DOLE has been recording a string of successes in recent months and this particular becomes very underwhelming considering that many had assumed that the Boko Haram Terrorists and ISWAP terrorists were on the back foot and on the run. That they could have enough information, resources and time to plan this ambush shows that there are still plenty to do to incapacitate the murderous terrorists, both in the aspect of intelligence gathering and sociological knowledge of the areas they are operating in. Although it is a rare occurrence in recent time, such blow can be quite demoralising for the Armed Forces personnel engaged in the fight against terrorists and armed bandits. Seeing fellow fighters maimed is one of the most traumatic stress for even the bravest of hearts, therefore the outburst from the soldiers cursing their leadership is understandable. Many hope that the leadership will keep to their word to counsel and re-motivate the soldiers involved in the outburst and not victimise them. And some have said that the leadership also have to consider the underlying causes of their feelings towards the them, and redress.