Nigeria’s Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, has said the Boko Haram insurgency cannot end in one day. This is coming after the Minister declared last week that Nigeria has already defeated Boko Haram.
According to him, Nigerian military has largely succeeded in defeating Boko Haram because the insurgents are now “only operating from one or two local governments”. But he has also urged the media to stop “giving oxygen to the terrorists”, saying the war cannot be successful without the cooperation of journalists.
In a chat with journalists, Lai Mohammed said that “Just as I said in my meeting with the newspapers editors in Lagos on the 21st of December, the military has largely met the deadline to defeat Boko Haram, and the military has matched the capacity of terrorists to carry out the attacks they used to.”
“Of course, I also mentioned that the terrorists will continue to attack such targets as markets, motor parks, entertainment centres and houses of worship; and this is exactly what is going on.
“We know that in an insurgency, the war does not end in one day. The attack on soft targets will continue, but we also want to appeal to the media to stop giving oxygen to the Boko Haram insurgency. When we glamorise the attacks, it gives the terrorists more life and in a time of insurgency like this, the media also has a role to play, which is not to glamorize the attacks.
“What is happening is not unexpected; what is happening is what will happen in any insurgency. But the fact of the attack is that Boko Haram has been sufficiently defeated. Boko Haram can no longer take any territory away from us.
And if you look at the context, about a year ago, Boko Haram had complete control of 20 out of 37 local governments in Borno state. There were about six local governments in Yobe and about four in Adamawa. If today, Boko Haram is operating from one or two local governments in the entire country, I think the military has largely succeeded in wiping out Boko Haram.” Lai argued that isolated bomb attacks on soft targets should not be confused with insurgency, saying such soft attacks will be very hard to eliminate.
“It is possible for insurgents to lay ambush on the road; it does not mean they are in control of that local government.
“We are not saying we are going to eliminate ambush or attacks overnight; it is never done in any insurgency. But what we are saying is that given the fact that just less than a year ago the entire north-east was almost in their complete control, and today they don’t have that kind of command, I think it is only one or two local governments in which they have way at all; and even with what the army have done in the last couple of months, we are very hopeful that before the end of the year a lot of progress would have been met. The media also needs to play its role now and that is also reporting equally the progress reports.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had also confirmed to the BBC that Boko Haram has been “technically’ defeated only for the terrorists to launch a gale of attacks on defenceless Nigerian citizens killing scores across Borno and Adamawa states.
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January 31, 2016 at 9:27 pm
The Apes in APC glamorised the attacks by Boko haram—and used it to chase Jonathan out of aso rock–Now nko? The Apes in APC know there is God abi? Instead of fighting they the Apes in APC, are looking for excuses daily to justify their lack knowledge on how to handle the boko haram war–blame junk weapons again-as Shehu Garba did recently-what a shame. Buhari is an army general and a Fulani–the Boko haram fighters are Fulanis also–so why can’t Buhari an army general solve the security situation of Nigeria with boko haram–The answer is simple -because he is part of the trouble–Did Buhari not ask Jonathan why he is killing the boko haram fighters? That the militants in the Niger delta were treated with kid gloves?