THE endless activities of Boko Haram whose outcome has reverberated throughout the country, has increasingly become a thorn in the flesh of Nigerians on the one hand, and Borno state and the Federal government on the other hand. The insurgency has dragged on unabated, generating controversy over perceived ability to deliver or win the war: While the Borno State Governor, Professor Zulum expressed worry that the Nigerian army cannot defeat Boko Haram, Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff said the Nigerian troops can defeat them without foreign assistance.
Hitherto, right in the first tenure of the PMB administration, the over flogged phrase was that Boko Haram has “technically been degraded”. However, with the incessant attacks and killings, since the past three years or thereabout, the government appears to not have answers. Is it the lack of man power and equipment/technology by the Nigerian troops as argued by Professor Zulum, or the will on the part of Government to mobilise the troops for a decisive victory?
If it is true that the Nigerian troops can end Boko Haram insurgency without resort to any support from foreign military forces, what then has delayed making that a reality? Nigerians have called on the PMB government to change the service chiefs, for newer officers who might have the requisite ideas and strategy that could end the insurgency. On the contrary, the presidency seems adamant to do so, thereby leaving the bulk of the failure or inability to execute the war on insurgents on the court of the presidency.
We believe that the Nigerian troops, if given the necessary equipment and machinery i.e. drone technology and support, can successfully execute the war against insurgency to bring it to a successful end within a record period. And so Buratai could be right in his assertion. Again, the Borno governor’s position that the Nigerian troops cannot defeat the Boko Haram terrorists owing to lack of equipment and manpower also merits consideration. He who wears the shoe knows where it pinches; the Governor cannot be an idle speaker without a thorough research and understanding of what’s on ground. More so, that he was at one time a commissioner who was saddled with the responsibility of reaching out to the helpless victims of areas overrun by the insurgents.
Be that as it may, the ball falls squarely in the federal government’s laps. There must be a lacuna that has not been made known to Nigerians. Since the PMB government does not see reason to appoint new service chiefs to come on board with fresh and possibly better strategies on the war, then it goes without saying that the government is hiding something, at the risks of loss of human lives, both of innocent civilians as well as security personnel.
The people of Borno State know where the Boko Haram terrorists are; we also believe that the Nigerian Army also knows where they are. The question that must be answered is, who supplies the Boko Haram with their food supply, and the sophisticated weapons and vehicles? And their training, who trained them? Are there moles in the Nigerian troops or the government itself?
There has been the reports that some of them are trained from the Nigerian Defence Academy, only to abscond from being commissioned into the country’s troops. More so, what has the government done to address reports that the terrorists are being funded with weapons from Turkey?
It is our observed position that the PMB government has either lost steam to deal with the Boko Haram terrorists, or lack the political will to do so, baring perhaps certain pecuniary interests the government may have to protect. Otherwise, terrorists caught have never been dealt with rather, government only talks of amnesty, deradicalisation even in the midst of their killing spree against law abiding Nigerians!