A former military officer and historian, Captain AI Adeleke (rtd) has said the current victories of the Nigerian Army over Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists are products of deep strategic thinking on the part of the Nigerian military top brass.
Adeleke, who spoke with our correspondent in an interview in Lagos, said it is part of strategic military planning to lure the enemy into thinking it is gaining the upper hand in a battle only for full arsenal to be unleashed to overwhelm in ways they cannot recover.
He said the fact that Boko Boko Haram terrorists have become sorry sights the battlefield after proclaiming they were unstoppable shows that superior and sophisticated approach to combat has been deployed on them.
The expert, however, said the string of victories being recorded by Nigerian troops did not come as a surprise as the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General TY Buratai, is one of the most strategic thinkers and repertoires of intellect in the military today.
He said from the frontal engagement carried out by troops based on precise intelligence reports with almost zero casualty, it is obvious that Buratai is taking after respected past war heroes who won their battles through the application of strategic planning and tactical drills.
“You don’t record such victories repeatedly through trials and errors but through conscious systemic and deliberate tactics,” he said.
Adeleke said it is not unlikely from the results being recorded against the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists that the Chief of Army Staff must have observed closely the staying power, resilience and master stroke strategies of people like Julius Caesar, Hannibal, Khalid ibn Walid,
Alexander the Great, Frederick the Great, Gustavus Adolphus, Prince Eugene of Savoy and Napoleon Bonaparte.
Citing the war pattern of Gustavus Adolphus, Adeleke said it was his invasion of Germany that helped the Protestants clutch victory from defeat at the hands of the powerful Catholic League, headed by a then world-dominating Spain.
He added that Gustavus became one of the most famous military leaders in history when he turned Sweden into one of the superpowers of Europe after he, like Buratai, won a series of great battles “through innovative integration of infantry which included cavalry and artillery and which provided the foundation for modern military warfare.”
He said Khalid ibn Walid, who is known as the greatest war General in the Arab world, on the other hand, must have inspired Buratai with his outmanoeuvring of a much larger Byzantine force in a brilliant campaign that culminated in his great victory at Yarmouk.
He said Khalid compares with Buratai in the manner he remained undefeated in all of the 100 battles that he fought, which paved the conquest of the Middle East, Persia, India, North Africa and Spain.
Adeleke said Frederick the Great, on the other hand, must have served as an inspiration to Buratai going by the way he defended Prussia During the Seven Years’ War.
He said it took the exceptional resilience of Frederick the great when Prussia was surrounded by much stronger enemies of Austria, Russia, and France on all sides, to survive, and later snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
He said another remarkable influence on the Chief of Army Staff must have been the Roman army commander, Julius Caesar.
He said Caesar, after the conquest of Gaul showed his brilliance in warfare when he led the Roman army into Germany and Britain and established the dominance of Rome over western civilization.
He also said Hannibal who led the single greatest logistical triumph in military history must have inspired Buratai.
He recalled that Hannibal almost destroyed the armies of Rome by ingeniously marching an army of elephants from Africa, through Spain and over the Alps into Italy.
He said Alexander the Great, on the other hand, conquered almost the entire world then and was known for his ruthlessness to completely eliminate the enemy.
He said Buratai definitely shares part of Napoleon’s military genius which the latter demonstrated by his destruction of the Third Coalition and the defeat of the combined armies of Austria, Russia, Portugal and others in a series of battles that culminated in what is known the Battle of Austerlitz.
He said, “As a retired military officer, I can’t help but notice some of the traits of these renowned war heroes in the current Chief of army staff which reassures me that the man not only knows what he is doing but is capable of enacting further breathtaking strategies to bring terrorism and insurgency to an end in Nigeria.
He said, ” When you talk about true grit and military Professionalism there is no way you will not commend Buratai and the troops in the field especially with the application of sophisticated strategies and intellectual depth to warfare.
Adeleke said for an officer who has passed through some of the best military institutions in the world and acquired recondite training coupled with having gained valuable experience before his present assignment, no less should be expected from Buratai.
He said, “The chief of army staff was already heading the multinational task force before he was appointed to present position hence the groundwork for the current victories have been laid by him.
“It was under Buratai as the commander of the multinational task force that Nigeria was able to clear insurgents from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in 2015 for elections to hold there .”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his foresight and ability to discover someone like Lt. Gen TY Buratai to lead the war against the enemies of Nigeria.
“You know Buhari himself is a military tactician who has seen much action in his days in the army, so he recognises talent, skill and mental acuity when he sees one and I’m happy that he made the right choice in appointing an Army Chief with the necessary grit and qualification to deliver,” he added.