Troops moved swiftly at the weekend to regain Borno State town Damboa from Boko Haram insurgents. In the process, troops killed 50 insurgents and lost two soldiers.
The troops survived five ambushes to reclaim the town which had been held by the insurgents for about one month.
The Special Forces and more troops have been deployed in Gwoza where more than 150 people had been killed by the insurgents, it was gathered.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki has said that the government had blocked all the source of fund for Boko Baram, thereby making it difficult for the sect to get funding for its nefarious activities.
The Defence Headquarters has also said neither soldiers nor their wives could reject deployment to Gwoza and the Sambisa Forest.
The protest in Maiduguri on Saturday by wives of some soldiers was being regarded as “indiscipline.”
According to a top military source, who gave insights into how Damboa was reclaimed, said: “The troops survived five deadly ambushes by the insurgents to recapture Damboa, Delwa, Mustafari, Manga, Wanga and secure all routes leading to these places.
“We have completed the mop up operation in Damboa and environs. So far, the troops succeeded in killing 50 insurgents and lost two of their colleagues.
“Many arms and ammunition were also recovered from the insurgents including vehicles and anti – aircraft RPG.
“We are doing our best to restore normal life and business activities to these areas. The target is to clear the areas completely of insurgents and ward off further threats.”
On Gwoza where over 150 had been killed, the highly-placed source added: “Special Forces have been sent to the Emirate, including surrounding hill tops.
“We will dislodge the insurgents from the town within the next one week. “The reality is that the insurgents had been taking advantage of the terrain in Gwoza to abduct, maim and kill innocent ones. The battle of Gwoza is expected to cover a lot of air strikes.”
There were indications yesterday that the Defence Headquarters has said that soldiers or their wives cannot reject posting to either Gwoza or Sambisa Forest.
Another military source said: “The soldiers or their wives cannot turn down deployment to Gwoza or Sambisa Forest or anywhere there is a security challenge.
“We are going to engage in massive deployment of troops to these places and other flashpoints in the country. Contrary to insinuations, our troops are well-kitted because we know that curtailing insurgency requires being sufficiently armed.
“What the wives of some of the soldiers did in Maiduguri at the weekend was strange to military ethics and orientation. Right from the time of enlistment, it is made clear that no soldier can reject posting.
“The so-called protest amounted to indiscipline in the Armed Forces., we will not condone such.
“Maybe some of the wives of these soldiers need more orientation and enlightenment. We will not hesitate to guide them accordingly.
The source added: “There is no Army General that has not paid his or her dues by serving in frontline zones or managing security challenges. All our Generals are tested.”
The National Security Adviser(NSA) said the nation’s educational system will be overhauled in the light of the security challenges facing the country.
He said the recent abduction of Chibok girls had compelled the government to place the protection of schools high on national security agenda.
Dasuki made the submissions in a paper at the Nigeria Security Summit at Harvard University, Cambridge, in the United States.
He said: “When we started to deal with the Boko Haram threat, our laws were not so clear on a number of fundamentals. Through the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Act 2013, significant progress has been made.
“It has allowed us to not only define terrorism, but block avenues of financing for their activities while putting in place structures to deal with our current threats. This has included the establishment of a Counter terrorism Centre and, working with key stakeholders, we have developed a National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST).
Dasuki said the nation’s educational system will be overhauled to serve our current security and economic interests.
He said: “Further to this, the threat that we face has drawn our attention to the need to overhaul our educational system. We are struggling with an educational system that does not currently serve our security, political and economic interests and as we revisit our national security policy, education has remained a top priority.
While we grapple with education reform to ensure the right kind of education is available for all, the recent abduction of girls from their school in Chibok has compelled us to place the protection of schools high on our national security agenda.
“Working with traditional institutions, community based organizations and the police, local governments must be proactive in building community resilience and good governance.
“It is time we leverage on our democratic processes to increase access to decision making for a majority of our citizens. Inclusive, non-discriminatory and participatory governance is more likely to detect discontent before it erupts.
“The goal of politics must be to lift our people out of poverty and provide them with the enabling environment to compete favorably.
“This may not eliminate the possibility of misguided individuals or groups rising up against the nation, but will address some of the underlying factors leading to recruitment into groups prone to violent extremism.
“We must also address environmental pressure from climate change that results in increased competition for limited natural resources, leading to increased herdsmen, farmer conflicts, inter-ethnic and communal clashes.
“The youth bulge is both a challenge and an opportunity which the federal government has recognized and initiated programs to increase job opportunities.
“Insurgents seek to force fundamental changes on society, operating with impunity; they violate all decent human values in an effort to draw a commensurate response from authorities. Terrorists win when states respond to their attacks in ways that are incompatible with their values.
The NSA assured that Nigeria will abide by international practices in curtailing the prevalent insurgency.
He said the Armed Forces had been undergoing a series of training on human rights.