UN Verdict: Boko Haram Not Yet Defeated

By Stephen Ubanna

In spite of President Muhammadu Buhari’s claim since December, 2015, that the Islamic Fundamentalist , Boko Haram, had been technically defeated, Mohammed Ibn Chambers, a Representative of  the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Gutrres,  for West Africa and the Sahel region said the terrorist group remain a grave threat to the ”stability and survival of people in the Lake Chad region”.

Chambers who spoke at a two-day Lake Chad , governors forum ”  for regional Cooperation on Stabilisation,peace-building and sustainable development”,  confirmed that the  group remain a major threat to the people of Nigeria, Niger and Chad.

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

Appealing to Buhari and his counterparts in Niger and Chad not to relent in their military Cooperation to rout the insurgents, he advised that the ”fight against the insurgents must be pursued to its logical conclusion.

Given his understanding of terrorist  mode of operations in countries  affected by  terrorists attacks in Asia and the Middle Eaast, he agreed  to  claims  by Lucky Irabor, a Nigerian Major General and Commander of the  Multinational Task FoskForce that  the BokoHaram insurgents have been weakened militarily.  The Multinational Joint Task Force comprise of troops donated by  the member countries of the lake Chad region including Cameroun and Republic of Chad.

He is optimistic  that with the support of the international Community to the regional Army to ensure that  the terrorist group activities in the Lake Chad region are defeated, their activities in the region would soon be a thing of the past.

On the part of Nigeria, former president Goodluck Jonathan and his successor Buhari had several  efforts committing huge financial resources to rout the terrorist group  in the north east since 1999 and now. Their efforts may not have translated to complete defeat of the  Boko Haram fighters because of the repeated penetration of the flash point states to launch attacks and leaving scores of people killed.

The attacks was said too bad in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states , forcing  Buhari to give a matching order to the  Service Chiefs to relocate their Headquarters to Maiduguri, Capital of Borno state to keep abreast of what is happening in the Boko Haram infested states.

Many believe  that without  the creation of a new battalion  in Borno  state and the deployment of more police personnel to the states, the insurgents  could have taken a foothold in  the region.  This is evident going by their near total control of almost  half of Borno  until  Buhari had to rejig the  security network that brought in Tukur Buratai and an indigene of Buratai Community in Borno state as the Chief of Army Staff and other Service Chiefs in 2015.

The appointment of Buratai as the Chief of Army Staff, may have given a bite to the  war against the insurgents  as most of the local government Areas occupied by the insurgents in the north east geo-political zone were recaptured and normalcy restored.. This may have forced the insurgents to resort to guerilla ware fare or what security experts call” operation strike and go”.

The frequent bomb blasts  in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states since late 2015, speaks volume about the level of insecurity in the country now. It would be recalled that on May2, 2018, the group suicide bombers detonated bombs in an open market  and a Mosque in Mubi town in Adama state, leaving scores of innocent people and Worshippers killed as well as several others wounded .

The bombings in Mubi was said to have occurred just days after Buhari  met with President Donald Trump met with his Nigeria counterpart, Buhari, in Washington DC, United States . The promise extracted from the  United States President  during their meeting  about the sale of a dozenA-29 Super Tucano war planes may have given hope of defeating the insurgents.

The US president was said to have  reassured him, Buhari, during a bilateral talks while on an official visits to the country recently that the $600 million arms deal has been sealed and could not be reversed.   The $600 million warplanes sale,  was said to have been held up by Obama, on the allegations of Human Rights violation and extra-judicial killing in the north east by the Army.

The US President, according to security sources, may have been encouraged to take a second look on the reasons why his predecessor took the hard decision  not to sale the war planes to Nigeria  because of the incessant killing of Christians and  other innocent citizens by armed bandits in parts of the country.

Only recently, armed bandits suspected  to be BokoHaram fighters who had infiltrated the ranks of the herdsmen in parts of the country,  attacked a Catholic Church at Ukpor village in Gwer East local government Area of Benue state killing tens of Worshippers and two Reverend Fathers, which may have irked the  leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, NAN, to plan a nation-wide protest, which could not hold because pressure from official quarters.

The Benue s killings by armed herdsmen , appear o have  become  regular occurrence which had been extended to Niger, Taraba, Nasarawa and Zamfara states.  The most recent of the attacks was in Gwaska village in Birnin Gwari local government Area of Kaduna state leaving on its throes over 50 people dead. the armed bandits were said to have come  from Dansadu village, in Zamfara state.

Given the spate of attacks in parts of the country by Boko Haram insurgents and armed bandits, there are fears in both official and unofficial circles that the level of insecurity may degenerate  which may hamper the  2019 general election in some states of the federation if urgent security measure are not quickly put in place to arrest the trend.

Security sources confirmed that Buhari has ordered Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff and Ibrahim  Idris, the Inspector General of police to deploy more of their  officers and men  to the troubled states to tighten up security.

Moreso, he has directed the Mike Okiro led Police Service Commission , PSC, to recruit 6000 police men , ahead of the 2019  general elections. The police officers source confirmed  are to be recruited from the 779 Local government Areas across the country.

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