Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate, yesterday, declared that Nigeria was at war and called on the military to conduct massive aerial and land bombardment of terrorists’ hideouts in the country.
This was contained in a report of the Adhoc Committee on Nigerian Security Challenges, submitted and debated on the floor of the Senate, yesterday.
The report which was read by the chairman of the committee and Leader of the Senate, Yahaya Abdullahi, offered some holistic recommendations on how to tackle the security challenges in the country.
“There should be identification of all the sites and location of terrorists, kidnappers, bandits and the mobilisation of all the services for massive operation to root them out. Surveillance with drones and night vision gadgets, facilities should be considered. There should be identification and apprehension of local informants who feed the terrorists and bandits with information about target communities and individuals. Relevant information should be extracted from them to help pre-empt and stop bandits and kidnappers attacks in their tracks.
“Security forces should identify traditional rulers and the leaders at the locations where the terrorists and criminals are operating from and through them help the security agencies target and destroy the locations and staging areas. The country is technically at war and so total mobilisation of all forces is required, and simultaneous operation are required to give these bandits, terrorists and criminals no hiding place.
“There is therefore a need for national mobilisation, to immediately overcome the resurgent Boko Haram and the murderous atrocities of bandits, kidnappers in Nigerians rural and urban space.”
“Insurgency and countering it both rely on the element of intelligence gathering to shape dynamic strategy band the element of surprise. On both counts, the armed forces with all the resources at their disposal, appear to have conceded the upper hand. Amassing more weapons of mass destruction may not be the solution especially given the assertion that over 60% of the weaponry and mobility resource of the enemy was seized from our forces.
“What is required is the technological edge which sadly again the insurgents seem to have seized using improvisation of off the shelf technology.
“The Army as a matter of urgency, must acquire sophisticated UAVs comprising conventional drones and fixed wing long endurance which the insurgents are yet to get. This will provide instant intelligence and surveillance for attack and ambush strategy, while the fixed wing high altitude can provide sustained pervasive and dedicated surveillance lasting 24 hours or more, so they can report location and enemy strength and provide intelligence and guidance throughout the planning and execution stage from an undetectable altitude.
“With the insurgents using cheap commercial drones to survey our troop positions for attack planning, it is only a matter of time before they use their ISIS connections to weaponise them with explosive payloads similar to what ISIS is using with devastating efficiency in Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan.
“It is, therefore, imperative that the Army be equipped with drone detection and incapacitating technology in the form of anti-drone systems which can jam radio frequencies used to control drones, causing them to fall out of the sky uncontrollably or even utilise laser beams to burn aerial drones causing internal systemic failure,” the report said.
The adoption of the recommendations was deferred by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.