Jibrin Ndace: How Nigeria’s decorated war journalist is documenting insurgency experience
NEWS DIGEST – The fight against insurgency in Nigeria wouldn’t be a conversation without mentioning three significant entities.
The government, civil society groups, the media, and these three entities have been the focal point in the fight against insurgency in the country.
But it is important to note that the role of journalism in the fight against terrorism supersedes all other entities earlier mentioned.
Journalists, like soldiers, have given their all and their lives and risked their careers digging deep to unearth incredible facts one wouldn’t think existed.
Jibrin Baba Ndace, an A-list war journalist, is one of the few in the profession who has been to the combat zone between the Nigerian Military and the daredevil monsters disrupting the nation’s peace.
Who is Jibrin Baba Ndace?
Jibrin Baba Ndace is a man of many calling in the media sector. He is an embodiment of all the aspects of the media that you can ever think of.
Asides from being a war journalist, he has served in the capacity of the former Chief Press Secretary to Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello.
Ndace is public relations practitioner, public affairs commentator, peace advocate and currently General Manager, Special Duties Blueprint Newspapers Limited. He writes a weekly column, weekly radio talk show (Buffer Zone) all focused on Defence and Security issues. He also produces and anchors a weekly TV Magazine programme for the Nigerian Navy. His core research area is military affairs, particularly military/media relationships.
Ndace’s experience on the war front
In a recent chit-chat with Legit.ng’s regional correspondent, Ndace, revealed that the war zone was different.
He said: “The war front is a different world entirely. The atmosphere and feeling trigger your sense organ to be twice as active as usual.
“My first day at the war front with Lt. Gen. TY Buratai rtd. was tense. It was tense, adventurous and full of anxiety. First we have to charge through the dangerous Maiduguri-Damaturu road in the night. Then we were welcomed the next morning in Damaturu by a bomb blast by female suicide bombers. This all happened at a Eid ground. And worst of all, we survived ambush on our first outing to the operational area on the Damaturu – Buni Yadi road. So we ended up with the real theatrics of life with the exchange of gunshots and the sound of the cannon from the armoured tank. It was crazy.”
And I was told later that even on our way from Maiduguri to Damaturu there were attempts by Boko Haram to cause collateral damage to our convoy.
Ndace further noted that he is currently working on a documented piece to give a first-hand account of his experience at the war front.
And that particular period has remained most profound in my journalism career.
Even though, I spent some of my formative years in the barracks, and therefore as a barrack boy or what the Americans call military brat, my embedded experience under General Buratai gave me first hand contact with combatants in action in real war situation.
He stated that he is working on a trilogy book titled “Walking the war front with Lt. Gen. TY Buratai, “Duty Call Under Buratai’s Command” and finally “The Lonely Grave”, a collection of poems.
He said: “These books were inspired by many veterans who fought on and off the war field.
“Soldiers who sacrificed their lives to serve our great nation, the courage they showcased and the aftermath of their gruesome experiences.
“Amongst many soldiers and servicemen, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai occupies a large part of the storytelling.
“Lt. Gen TY Buratai is a retired Nigerian army Lieutenant General, Former chief of Army staff, who was appointed in 2015 and retired in January of 2021.”
When asked if the war against insurgency had been won, Ndace said:
“We all knew where we were in 2015 and where we are now. Since 2015, there has been political will by the political masters, courage and commitment by strategic leaders and commanders.
Today, no fewer than 83,000 terrorists have surrendered to troops in various locations. Isn’t that a testament that the war has been won? Isn’t the northeast safe again for our boys and girls, old and young and our fathers and mothers tilling the farmlands? The war has been won, and insurgents will never rise again.”