Reports coming out from the field in the North East where soldiers are currently engaged in a war against the Boko Haram terrorists reveal an uptick in the morale of the Nigerian troops.
The reason for the excitement in the Nigerian camp is the string of victories achieved by the military which has been put down to the arrival of sophisticated armaments and the decision of senior military officers to lead the war against terror directly which also influenced the change of some commanders.
A source who spoke to a national daily said that ”Some of the successes recorded in recovery of big towns in the Northeast were due to deployment of new strategies, improved disciplinary measures, and sincerity of participating countries in the regional alliance and the acquisitions of latest equipment.
”In the past, colonels have led direct attacks in accordance with military tradition, but because of the large scale desertions recorded, Generals then decided to directly lead the war and this has greatly boosted morale.
“Many of the troops that earlier deserted have returned while others have expressed desire to return to the front.”
Recently, five key towns were reclaimed from the hands of the terrorists – Baga, Monguno, Marte, Gamboru Ngala and Dikwa.
Now, Nigerian troops have been mandated to ensure that Boko Haram leader Imam Abubakar Shekau is captured alive before the elections, as well as ensure the release of the Chibok girls. Even Pres. Jonathan said during an interview last Friday that the military would capture Shekau soon.
Twice in the past, the military had claimed to have captured the terrorist leader, only for him to reappear.
But with the recent victories and momentum by the soldiers there are now fresh hopes that Shekau can be captured this time.
The desire to capture the terrorist leader this time, according to a source is because, “On at least two occasions now, troops have killed characters calling themselves Abubakar Shekau in videos but the insurgents manage to find other individuals looking like him and pretend that he was still alive. The order to catch Shekau alive is therefore to ensure that it will no longer be possible to resort to the same trick. The rumour about Shekau’s invincibility is one of the factors that troops are afraid to confront the terrorists.”