Kuje prison break: Nigerians have not forgotten and we’re asking President Buhari again, why were military officers who dealt heavy blows on Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists ‘unjustly retired’?

We think it is high time we all began to ask questions about what is currently happening in the military because the life of every Nigerian is in grave danger with the escape of these hardened terrorists with a history of numerous terror attacks and massacre.

Many Nigerians are yet to understand the gravity of the danger the country has been plunged in with the recent attack on Kuje prison that opened the way for dangerous terrorists to get back into our society. One of the inmates (terrorists) who escaped was Khalid al-Barnawi, Boko Haram leader behind UN building bombing.

It might interest you to learn that most of the terrorists who had spent years at the prison facility were said to have been arrested by some military officers who ‘involuntarily’ retired from service in 2016.

Some of the officers, who were unjustly retired but won court judgements for their reinstatement included Col. Danladi Ribbah Hassan, Col. Auwal Suleiman and Lt. Col. Mohammed Abdulfatai, who had led several missions that neutralised hundreds of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists, prior to their ‘sudden’ removal from the Nigerian Army.

Hassan, Abdulfatai and Suleiman, also got many insurgents arrested and eventually detained, while also preventing bloody attacks on civilian populations and public infrastructural facilities in Northeast Nigeria and Abuja, before they were arbitrarily retired, six years ago.

In 2009, Suleiman led the arrest/killing of more than 370 insurgents and later helped to scuttle a Boko Haram plan to attack the Presidential Villa, Daily Post reporats.

In 2014, Mohammed led the Konduga operation that eliminated over 200 terrorists. Both received official commendations for their feat, it was also learnt.

A legal representative of one of the ‘illegally’ retired army officers, told PRNigeria that his client and some other military commanders that led combat operations in the North East a few years back, which resulted in the killing and arrest of terrorists, have received threat messages from Boko Haram and ISWAP.

“My client’s life and that of his colleagues are in serious danger. We don’t know what the terrorists are planning to do to them. The military and other relevant security agencies must act fast,” he said.

The counsel, while declining to give his name, expressed dismay over the refusal of the present military hierarchy to facilitate the reinstatement of his clients, and others in line with several court rulings in their favour.

He, however, said he would continue to write appeal letters to relevant authorities to intervene and get justice for the forcefully retired officers.

“It is gratifying to note that the present Service Chiefs do not have an objection to the court ruling.

“Moreover, they were not behind the travails of my client and his colleagues.

“But our concern is the Minister of Defence. He has refused to act and do the needful.

“Nevertheless, we shall not relent in writing and exploring every possible avenue that will get justice for the retired senior army officers,” he noted.

According to the counsel, his client (whose name was not mentioned), and some of his colleagues are still committed to serving the Nigerian military and have even pledged to tackle criminal bandits terrorising states in the North Central and West, together with the Federal Capital, if they are reinstated.

There are also critical questions that we need to ask about the circumstances surrounding Kuje prison break.

Security sources, on Wednesday, revealed that soldiers deployed to Kuje vicinity and the Correctional Centre’s environment, who had mastered the terrain, were moved out and redeployed 24 hours before terrorists attacked Kuje Prison. The source wondered why it was 24 hours after troops, who had come to understand the vicinity, were withdrawn and new ones yet to settle in, arrived that the terrorists struck.However, as reported by Vanguard, the period that the soldiers were supposed to stay in that deployment had elapsed and they were due for rotation.

But then, if that is the case, who gave the terrorists the intelligence about the departure of the military? For security purposes, another troop was supposed to be installed before the outgoing troops finally exists the centre. Nigerians need answers to these concerns.

We think it is high time we all began to ask questions about what is currently happening in the military because the life of every Nigerian is in grave danger with the escape of these hardened terrorists with a history of numerous terror attacks and massacre.

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