Drone Attack: Our Renewed Respect for the Nigerian Army and Leadership By OOAq

Many media houses all over the world have rushed to their online and on-site platforms to use the Nigeria situation to shine and trend as usual while reporting different figures on the alleged army drone attack in northwest Nigeria. Unfortunately, the popular TV stations in Nigeria are not helping matters. The strike took place Sunday night in Kaduna state’s Tudun Biri village, allegedly, while residents observed the Muslim holiday, marking the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. We at securednaija.com sympathize with the victims and the community, with the prayers that God Almighty will give them the fortitude to bear the loss. Our opinion in this writeup has nothing to do with the recent occurrence but to bring to limelight the important things that could deter future repeat of this unfortunate situation.

We also appreciate the military sincerity, saying it was “targeting terrorists and bandits,” as the President, Ahmed Bola Tinubu ordered an investigation into this unfortunate incident. The Army and the military as a whole, without wasting time, publicly informed the world of this incident. The most touching was the declaration of the truth by the Army on how and why this unfortunate incident happened. Immediately, the COAS, Lt Gen TA Lagbaja called off all other official engagements and proceeded to Kaduna for a condolence visit to the community and families of the victims.

Gen Lagbaja met with the Dangaladima Zazau, the District Head of Rigasa, Architect Aminu Idris, other leaders, and members of the community. The COAS in an emotion-laden speech expressed regrets on the unfortunate mishap, describing it as a very disheartening occurrence.

Speaking further, Gen Lagbaja noted that in the recent past, the general area of Tudun Biri and adjoining villages were infested with armed bandits, who terrorized the communities, until troops of the Nigerian Army started conducting operations to sanitize the area and make it habitable. He pointed out, that the troops were carrying out aerial patrols when they observed a group of people and wrongly analyzed and misinterpreted their pattern of activities to be similar to that of the bandits, before the drone strike.

The COAS stated that he was in Tudun Biri to personally witness the site of the mishap and to convey sincere regrets and unreserved apologies on behalf of the Nigerian Army to the District Head and people of the community, as well as the Government and entire people of Kaduna State. He disclosed that he has ordered a thorough inquiry into the incident to ascertain and identify areas of deficiency that led to the inadvertent disaster, adding that the findings and overarching outcome of the investigation will guide the NA in meticulously and professionally seeking and applying lasting solutions to identified lapses and deficiencies in both the human and Artificial Intelligence variables that will forestall future recurrence.

We appreciate the Nigerian military’s transparency and accountability in acknowledging their mistake and accepting responsibility for the drone attack that resulted in the loss of many innocent lives in Kaduna State, Nigeria It is commendable that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen TA Lagbaja, visited the community to assess the situation. The CDS, a people-oriented general also visited to pay his condolences. It could be recalled that Gen Musa said his tenure as CDS will be people-centric. This moves renewed our love and respect for the Nigerian military and the Army in particular.

Nevertheless, the truth is that bandits live among us, and in counter-insurgency operations, the terrorists; the enemies of the nation, and the enemies of you and I mix with the law-abiding citizens to perpetrate their evils. In some situations, the parents don’t even know the atrocities their children can cause in the community with nationwide effects. The same applies to the pastors and Imams who don’t know the level of evil committed by some members but only focus on gathering tithes and saka to push the gospel, the good news in a bad and inhabitable environment. Some of this money was gotten from kidnapping, rituals, and other banditry activities. Then, what have you done as a religious leader???

The traditional rulers are not left out. Many of them crown renowned criminal kingpins as chiefs, chiefs of the jungle who end up terrorizing the palace. All the money given to the palace to be considered for that unfortunate title would be retrieved. Our religious and community leaders and stakeholders are not vigilant, they are carried away by wealth and influence and religious activities while being naive to the security of their followers. They either unknowingly or intentionally allow criminal elements to thrive in their communities and religious centers, putting other followers in danger.

It is therefore important that communities need to be vigilant and take proactive measures to ensure their safety and security. Here are some tips that can help:

Report suspicious activities: If you notice any suspicious activities or individuals in your community, report them to the appropriate authorities immediately. This can help prevent potential security threats.

Be aware of your surroundings: Always be aware of your surroundings and stay alert. This can help you identify potential security risks and take appropriate action.

Secure your homes: Ensure that your homes are properly secured with strong locks and security systems. This can help prevent break-ins and burglaries.

Avoid harboring bandits: Do not harbor bandits or any other individuals who may pose a security threat to your community. This can put your community at risk and lead to serious consequences

In the North East, Northwest, and many other parts of this country, Many communities are infested with terrorists, armed bandits, and armed robbers, who terrorize the communities. Sometimes, such communities think foreigners or neighboring communities are their problems, while in reality, their children, husbands, brothers, and kinsmen are the real devils. The troops of the Nigerian Army conduct operations to sanitize many communities, and local government areas and make it habitable. What I always expect from Nigerians is to continually pray for the success of our securities agencies, especially the Nigerian Army in their bid to protect the nation. Unfortunately, it’s the other way around, when there is a little challenge, the conventional media, and the citizen journalists jump on their devices to castigate the country, the Army, the military, and other security agencies. They feed foreign media and NGOs with information to bastardize the image of the Nation and our security agencies. The Army and the Nigerian Police have suffered so much in this regard.

I was listening to some analysis on this issue by some renowned or self-acclaimed security analysts, some of whom speak as if they have not seen the four walls of the university or the polytechnic as the case may be. They call themselves security analyst and they can’t even see the security lapses in their household not to talk of the Nation. Shio!!! They speak disappointedly as if they don’t understand what war entails. Some question the ability of the Nigerian Army to use drones. Some questions about the existing and strong jointness amongst the security agencies. I wonder where these so-called analysts were 10 years ago??? I wonder if they have seen the significant changes in the Armed forces of Nigeria. Many of the presenters and analysts needed to be trained in patriotism and national security to ensure they reduce how they water their mouths in similar circumstances. 

The Army in the year 2020 established its own UAV Command under a new ORBAT 2016 (Order of Battle). The command deliver responsive, persistent and precise UAV capabilities to achieve the NA’s mission. Also, the new UAV command is to raise, train and sustain a UAV force which will ensure task competency to deliver precise and timely Air Imagery Intelligence. Three Aerosonde 4.7 Fixed Wing UAS vehicles were delivered to Nigeria as part of a foreign military sale (FMS) contract approved by the US State Department. It would be recall that Nigerian Army DJI Phantom Drone the Nigerian army’s 32 Artillery Brigade of the Owena Barracks in Akure procured two DJI Phantom 4 commercial-grade drones for use in combating kidnapping and banditry in the region.

The Nigerian Army took delivery of the Chinese-made Ziyan UAS Blowfish, a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in July this year during the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2023 which is designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The Nigerian Army has been using UAVs for a number of years now, but the Blowfish is another Chinese-made UAV operated by the military. The UAV is used for a variety of ISR missions, including monitoring the activities of terrorist groups, tracking illegal arms shipments, and providing early warning of potential attacks.

The addition of the Blowfish to the Nigerian Army’s UAV fleet is a significant boost to the military’s capabilities. The UAV’s small size and long range make it ideal for operating in difficult terrain and in areas where there is a high risk of detection. The UAV’s sensors will also provide the military with valuable intelligence that can be used to plan and execute operations. The deployment of the Blowfish is a sign of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to modernizing its equipment. The UAV is a versatile and capable platform that will be a valuable asset to the military.

The Army is working in the realization of a renewed hope in Nigeria, we should all come together to support the Army. We should also learn to speak truth to power. communities should be advised to be security conscious and avoid harboring criminals. This will help them to secure their communities from local criminals.

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