Sorry the title is misleading. I just needed your attention. It’s not spelt Sanussi. It’s Sanusi.

Now that I have it for a few minutes, let me share this.

Last year, I hosted a guy in my office who had just returned from a one year posting with the Joint Task Force Operation in Borno State. I knew him quite well, having worked with him the previous year on some community based issues.

He appeared in the office with his official uniform, something close to the camo worn during the operation desert storm. He however looked quite frazzled and I asked what the matter was to his surprised that I noticed. I eventually discovered that he had gone through a lot in the heat of the battle against the Boko Haram insurgents.

Wanting more evidence on what he had gone through, he brought out his phone and proceeded to walk me through horrifying pictures of absolute carnage. He suddenly looked like a ghost to me because I couldn’t imagine how he managed to survive such intense fighting. He said to me something like this “Oga, we kill them, kill them, kill them tire.” When I asked how many Nigerian military men he had seen killed in action, he admit that several were killed but because they were more equipped, Boko Haram usually suffered heavier losses during battles. He noted that a lot of these insurgents were not Nigerians but from Niger and probably Chad.

He then stated that when it comes to the real battle, our military men have basically decimated the Boko Haram fighters. So their new tactic is hit-and-run; they attack vulnerable sites through very tortuous paths around the massive borders between Nigeria and Niger/Chad/Northern Cameroon. When I took a look at the terrain on google earth, I immediately understood why the Russians couldn’t defeat the Taliban despite being overwhelmingly better armed.

In this light, It saddens me to read people bash the government for not doing enough and for claiming that Boko Haram is better equipped. I understand that people must voice their concerns. But disparaging the government and discrediting their efforts is exactly what these terrorist intend as an end; destroy the internal validity of the government. Unfortunately, most Nigerians have no idea of the nature of the war. Rather than abuse the government, it might be better for us to quit our jobs and volunteer to carry arms to increase the boots on ground. We can even decide to form militia groups to protect civilian settlements.

According to 2013 statistics, Nigeria has 130,000 Active Frontline Personnel (AFP) and 32,000 Active Reserve Personnel (ARP). If you combine all, it comes to 162,000 members of the forces. You can basically squeeze them all into two Local Government Areas in Borno State and they will still have challenges covering the entire LGAs against insurgents.

We can all see how Hamid Karzai is letting the world know that unless Pakistan is willing to cooperate in displacing the Taliban from their territory, Afghanistan cannot win the war against them. Similarly, to asphyxiate Boko Haram, it will take a multi-state solution. Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon must commit to deploying resources to erasing every trace of Boko Haram activities within their territories (something Nigeria has impressively done, less the sporadic attacks).

Unfortunately, we have to presently deal with the reality of a hit-and-run strategy by these satanic elements. All vulnerable communities must become alert, armed and ready to fight back seeing how small a military force we have to effectively cover all possible routes of attacks. I also don’t think Nigeria should be too proud to ask foreign governments for help with sophisticated surveillance equipment ,with remote striking capabilities. This is the only way surgical strikes can be carried out and Boko Haram sufficiently weakened.

Since we are also fighting against a warped ideology, we must consequently be ready for the next phase of terrorism, which will be suicide bombings. This is where citizen action becomes imperative. If you have friends and family that are already courting extremist ideas, you should note it and keep a close watch on them. Report to the Intelligence Agencies so due monitoring can be done. 

Finally, we should not assume that it is only in the North that terrorism will remain, so we better start blocking those channels through which citizens can become subscribed to a wrong ideology. We must invest in mental health for our citizens. Some people walking around are a time or situational bomb waiting for the right conditions to explode, while taking many with them.

Not too long ago, we read in papers and watched on TV how terrorists were plying their trade in far countries. Today, our system is trying to play catch up. Tomorrow will not be difficult to predict if we follow the trajectory of insanity, as it so often easily provides us the signals.



  1. wow! Reggie, I know you referred us to this article and I had bookmarked it since you asked that question on Facebook. Honestly, this thing is beyond ordinary drawing board. Hit and run is so terrible especially when they now have access to military uniforms too. That was why I suggested Israel’s IDF. They are governed by countries like Jordan, Syria, Lebanon , Palestinian and other war-torn zines and yet they are somehow still winning this battle. They most likely have ideas on tackling insurgents than most countries.
    Afghanistan’s condition is too and like you rightly mentioned, we need to learn that the image of Afghanistan is the future of our country if we (with neighboring states) dont do anything about it.
    Its hightime we had CCTv on every street in Borno. Satellite imaging is also needed (the BH guys probably have some sort of frequency scramblers by now so radios are almost useless)
    Infra-red imagery, heat detectors, sonar echo reflectors and all that are also needed to sweep those thick bushes and forests

    I am willing to volunteer for an intelligent unit army reserve honestly

    Good piece. Bless

  2. Y K says:

    What you have chosen to do is highly unethical, Mister. For two reasons. One, you consciously sensationalize a topic that is causing so much political turmoil already (the issue with CBN Governor Sanusi), knowing that it is misleading…. And two, you put that in the public space at a time like this. Do you have any idea the number of people who will look at the heading of your blog post on a friend’s Facebook wall and form an impression without ever opening your blog to read for themselves, your basis for rumor-mongering? The people who will never see your limp excuse of a retraction? If you think the only way you can attract traffic on your blog – is not by candid relevance (like the Omojuwa’s and eke keeps or Linda Ikejis of our time), I would honestly suggest you shut down your page, and take up a different pastime, less likely to have grave consequences.

    • Thank you for at least caring to read the article and I’m sure you find nothing offensive to your preferences, rather an objective assessment of the issue I choose to focus on. Anyone with common sense will first see that there is a difference between Sanusi and Sanussi. I am not trying to seek popularity through a blog, neither am I interested in getting traffic here. If you charged me to court for the advert, you would loose on the grounds of the content. Now can I have your proper response to the content and not the advert? Thanks! 😀

  3. Hello sir I totally agree with you that the government and the military is doing what they have to do in order to curb this menace and it is well appreciated by those who are aware of these efforts. Our nation is not the only country to have experienced terrorism and won’t be the last. Ours has prevailed for too long and the Nigerian people are not ready to live to chance that one day the insurgents will go away; meaning we would be at their mercy.
    America in their time of terror attacks took some hard decisions to the extent of going to war, they went after the terrorists and made them pay for their sins and I believe our government should do same. You and I know that these people can’t be bigger than the entire Nigerian state and we must prove that to them and the world out there even if it means showing the might of our military to the neighbouring nations. These nations must be made to understand that the welfare and security of our people is first and they should as a matter of necessity cooperate to decimate these enemies of the state.

    Great post sir!

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