Former State Security Adviser in Cross River, Mr Jude Ngaji and an ex-Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West, Chief Olabode George, on Friday called on countries bordering the northeastern axis of Nigeria to renew their support in the fight against terrorism spearheaded by Boko Haram.
In an exclusive interview the duo explained that the Boko Haram attack, which is guerrilla warfare, required the cooperation of the neighboring countries to win.
Chad recently pulled out 1,200 strong forces who were assisting in fighting Boko Haram in the Nigerian border.
According to Ngaji, the efforts of the Nigerian military troops in fighting the terrorists will yield better results if the neighboring countries of Cameroon, Niger Republic, and Chad put in the same effort.
He, however, noted that as a guerrilla war, more intelligence would be required due to the infiltration of the communities in the Northern region by the terrorist groups.
He said, “We underestimated their level of infiltration in the society. The military thought that the terrorists were a group of persons they would just come and clean up, but these people have infiltrated the society. They have become those that even sell your basic daily needs to you.
“Much as we are trying to wipe out these people, we should ask if Cameroon, Niger Republic, and Chad doing the same thing that we are doing. These countries must have to put in the same effort as Nigeria’s for this war to succeed.
“There must be a commitment from the neighboring countries for us to win this war. Cameroon, Niger, and Chad must step up the fight to support our firepower. These guys have gone beyond insurgents, they are now terrorists who operate from different countries.”
Suggesting the need to step up the use of technology to fight the Boko Haram war, George, a retired Navy Commodore and former Director at the Nigerian National War College said intelligence gathering was key.
“If we think that the current war against these terrorists is a conventional war then we have missed it. It is guerrilla warfare and once you have that situation, it takes a much longer time. The people they are fighting lives among the citizens in the communities.
“The only thing that we can do is to keep applying technology, especially the use of satellite equipment to locate their operational bases. We must internationalize this by getting the support of other nations.
“The other option is information gathering and negotiate for peace. These Boko Haram fighters are more of Nigerians, not aliens. Meet their leaders and discuss with them and that is the way you can end this protected guerrilla warfare,” he added.