Thursday, December 24, 2015 6:48 pm
On Wednesday, Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed told news editors in Lagos that Nigeria’s military has met the December deadline given to it by President Muhammadu Buhari to defeat Boko Haram.
Choosing his words, Mohammed who a few weeks go led journalists to Mubi, Bama and Maiduguri said:
“Today, I can report that the war against Boko Haram is largely won. I can confidently say this because just recently, I led a group of 33 journalists from both the local and international media to the hot bed of the insurgency, that is, Maiduguri, Konduga, Kaoure and Bama.
“Today, I can report to you that the entire 70 plus kilometres stretch from Maiduguri to Bama and all the way to Banki which leads to Cameroon and the Central African Republic are in the hands of our gallant troops.”
He said the military presence could be felt ”every few metres along the road; at a point along that road we were just a kilometre to Sambisa forest.
“They have so degraded the capacity of Boko Haram that the terrorists can no longer hold on to any territory just as they can no longer carry out any spectacular attack.”
The reality on the ground however is different:
*Boko Haram militants are still holding two local councils in Borno state
*They are yet to be dislodged from Sambisa Forest
*Increasingly Boko Haram kept staging attacks against Nigeria’s neighbours, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, using Nigerian territory as staging post
*Boko Haram still attacks Nigerian isolated villages in the Lake Chad region
Is Alhaji Mohammed’s reading of the Boko Haram war a fair assessment of the situation?
Can we really say that Nigeria’s military has won the war against the insurgents?
Please join the debate.