A large group of ISWAP are moving out of their base in the Sahel and Niger Republic to the fringes of Lake Chad and North West, a top security source told Daily Trust on Tuesday.
According to military insiders, the terror group, moving with sophisticated weapons, are fleeing the possible ECOWAS military intervention and border closure in Niger Republic.
“The top ISWAP fighters and their foot soldiers have started moving from their base in the Sahel/Niger down to Nigeria, resettling in Kukawa, Abadam, Gaidam and Guzamala areas of the Lake Chad region.
“Also, Northwest states of Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara and Sokoto have started experiencing exodus of ISWAP fighters from Niger Republic,” he said.
Two military sources said the situation started exacerbating after the coup leader in Niger Republic allegedly pulled out of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
“This has begun to pose a serious security threat to the stabilisation of the Lake Chad region.
“We are monitoring the situations in the Lake Chad region, I can tell you that there is a massive movement of ISWAP top fighters from the Sahel region into Lake Chad. Lately, Katsina, Zamfara and Yobe state are not left out.
“Top ISWAP fighters include Abubakar Modu, Shiek Ba’ana Dujum, Marte Alwady, Mohammed Ibn Abubakar, and El-Mansur Dawahli Mouda among others with hundreds of their fighters are said to be on the move.
“We have several reports indicating that in the last couple of days, there has been a massive movement of these deadly ISWAP fighters into Nigerian space.
“It poses a great security threat to the entire region”.
However, stakeholders and experts in Borno State have expressed concerns over the use of military action in Niger Republic by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Many believed that the action would have security repercussions in the entire Lake Chad region and North West, respectively.
Nigeria needs diplomatic shuttles and negotiations to change the perception of security and people in Niger.
A public affairs analyst, Ibrahim Gwamna Mshelizza, said the action taken by the ECOWAS on Niger has great consequences to the security in Nigeria.
“It’s happening at a time we were sighting some relief that insurgents around Lake Chad were decimated.
“So, the current movement of ISWAP in the Sahelian region right from Mali down across to Burkina Faso, coming to Niger and up to Nigeria means that Nigerian Armed Forces would have to increase their strength and the number of soldiers.
“So, if before, they were comfortable with using only 5,000 soldiers to confront these terrorists, they now had to double or even triple. And you know what it means, it would affect Nigerian security.
“Also, in terms of resources, it means the nation would have to budget more money in order to fight these people,” he said.
He said that Nigeria needs a lot of diplomatic shuttles and negotiations to change the perception of security and people in Niger and other countries in the multinational joint task force (MNJTF).
“Nigeria would have to embark on a greater or more massive diplomacy to see to it that we win over countries that are in this multinational joint task force together. What I mean here is, we have to convince these people that Nigeria is for them.
“Whether we like it or not, Nigeria had erred, because Tinubu should have realised that he is the president of Nigeria not ECOWAS, so what he should have done first was to consult the National Assembly even before going there to agree and make that pronouncement,” he said.