A former Nigerian Navy Commodore, Kunle Olawunmi, says the bandits who attacked the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) on Tuesday did so with help of at least one insider.
While appearing as a guest on Wednesday’s edition of Sunrise Daily, the former military officer believes the attack had “insiders’ collaboration”.
Commodore Olawunmi who said he had handled cases of such nature during his 35 years in service 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 during the Channels Television breakfast programme 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.”
The intelligence expert explained that nothing evil can happen to a nation without the insider within that country collaborating with external assailants.
‘They Are Terrorists’
Commodore Olawunmi’s comments are among the most recent takes on the rather brash onslaught on the NDA by bandits – a strike that led to the death of two officers and the abduction of one other.
While frowning at the term ‘unknown gunmen’ and ‘bandits’ used to label those who besieged the academy, the retired military officer emphatically stressed that the brigands were none other than members of the same 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 are things I cannot say,” he said. “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.”
Sponsors Of Boko Haram
In line with his terrorist rhetoric, the former naval officer was of the viewpoint that if “the government of Buhari is serious about putting an end to what we are seeing, then he must pronounce them (bandits/unknown gunmen) terrorist organisation”.
Olawunmi explained that once Buhari makes the pronouncement, it carries a lot of weight and the reaction of the armed forces will be completely different.
He hinted that the Nigerian government knows those behind the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
“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,” said the commodore.
The Presidency had threatened to publish names of those behind the Boko Haram war, but this generated heated controversy across the country.
Months down the line, the long-awaited list is yet to be made public, a situation which the retired military officer says does not bode well for the government who he accused of shielding criminals.
“Try them, we know them. Why can’t this government, if not that they are partisan, bring those people out for trial?” he asked, corroborating calls from several quarters for the Federal Government to make good its promise.
The senior naval officer claimed that the government has developed cold feet in fighting the insurgency because some of those backing Boko Haram were now top-ranking government officials.
“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.