By Romanus Okoye
Former Navy Commodore, Kunle Olawunmi, has said if the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to ending insecurity, it should brand the insurgents as terrorists and release names of their sponsors.
Commodore Olawunmi who spoke on a television programme, said: “In April this year, the government said they had arrested 400 Bureau De Change (BDCs)-related people that were sponsoring Boko Haram. They told us. Try them, we know them. Why can’t this government, if not that they are partisan, bring those people out for trial?
“I can’t come on air and start mentioning names of people that are presently in government that the boys we arrested mentioned,” he said, referencing his time as a member of the military intelligence team in 2017.
He claimed attackers of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) did so with help of at least one insider. He said he had handled cases of such nature during his 35 years in service. He said he was certain that at least 60 per cent of the time, there were sell-outs conniving with the enemy.
“We do operations like this too and there is no way we can succeed without somebody inside,” he stated while drawing parallels between the element of surprise as used by the military and the brazing assault on the NDA. We must compromise somebody, either through blackmail or through incentives – maybe we give money or we try to indoctrinate that person. We can’t succeed without an inside person.”
While frowning at the term ‘unknown gunmen’ and ‘bandits’ being used to label those who besieged the academy, he stressed that the brigands were none other than members of the Boko Haram sect which has plagued the country’s North East for many years.
According to him, all other terms used to describe the gunmen are words used in a bid to avoid reprimand from the higher authorities.
“I was the Commandant of Defence Intelligence College and I know that at that time, there were things I cannot say. If you term them terrorists, it carries a lot of weight, and you can be reprimanded for that.
“The Commandant of NDA is going to be very careful to keep on using that same term that is safe to use because there are legal and other implications when you term a group terrorist. But I want to say on this channel, that those people are terrorists.”