Capture of a high profile commander of the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP), Musa Mani, by the military is a big morale booster in the ongoing war against insurgency.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that it was gratifying that intense military operations in the Lake Chad area forced the top ISWAP commander to lay down his weapons and flee before he was later captured.
“Our attention has been drawn to news from the frontlines about the capture of an ISWAP commander by troops of the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) while fleeing intense battle that led to the death of several of his lieutenants few days ago.
“We see it as a great piece of news in the context of the calibre of the terrorist in the custody of military authorities, and the group he represents.
“Mani, who is a Nigerien, is perhaps the most high profile ISWAP commander in custody in recent times and we need to add that his importance in the hierarchy of the terrorist group is underlined by his position as one who controls and manages logistics supplies, taxes and levies paid by fishermen and farmers in Lake Chad.
“So for him to have opted to flee in the face of intense anti-insurgency operations showed that the Nigeria military and their West African allies have been taking the battle to ISWAP terrorists in their hideouts in the area they have been forced to operate from”, the statement added.
BMO however urged the military to keep a close eye on the ISWAP commander in custody, as well as sustain the momentum of their operation.
“We never had any doubt about the capacity of the armed forces which they have displayed in the last few years to push the insurgents to the fringes of the Lake Chad.
“And now that they have taken the battle to the area where ISWAP is turning into a stronghold, we are urging them to go the whole hog.
“They should also pay close attention to the high profile ISWAP commander in custody”.
The group added that the latest offensive is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s charge to the military to take the battle to the terrorists.