By Mohammed Zanna
At the face of “glaring truth,” false peddlers will still arise among the people. These are people that seek not after the country’s interests, but after their own selfish gains. They scream for proofs and evidence at any news that indicates Boko haram recording casualties.Their delight is in hearing the victory of boko haram insurgency and not its defeat. The increase in the number of boko Haram victims arouse their interest in order to deliberate on how incompetent the President has been in tackling matters of insecurity.
Early this year, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen TY Buratai relocated fully to the North East where he is overseeing and directing the overall operations in the theatre and other Nigerian Army operations across the country. Prior to his relocation, the COAS had been on operational tour to troops’ locations in the North East Theatre of operation since April.
Despite the success of the Nigerian Army in killing and disarming more than 3000 suspected Boko Haram fighters in military operations in north-east Nigeria, they were accused of overstating enemy casualties. They went further to release images of vehicles and weaponry captured from Boko Hara Niger, Chad and Cameroon military coalition with Nigeria to help combat the threat.
These same charlatans claimed that they will all a fun show from media houses.
Even when there are no claims of responsibility for recent massacre, these people are swift to put forward that the assault bore the hallmark of the dreaded Boko Haram armed group.
Contrary to their predictable assertions and opinions, Governor Babagana Zulum indicated clearly that President Muhammadu Buhari has still performed better in handling Borno’s security challenges. This did not sit well with them, and they have been expressing indignation at the governors’ statement.
Zulum said that the years before Buhari came into power; numbers of local government were no-go-areas. Insurgents were so bold to attack and take over military facilities like the army barrack. In fact, it was not possible to move a few kilometres out of Maiduguri. But now, things are safe, and lives are more secured than it used to be.
Zulum said “from statewide statistics on affairs in the 27 local government areas since 2011, the fact is that despite the recent happenings in Borno state, the security situation in Borno state and indeed that of the entire North East Sub-Borno region is still far better under Buhari, and this is based on records. There were daily attacks and bomb blasts I many parts of Maiduguri, the most populated part of the state, but all of these have stopped under Buhar. These are the records and no one can dispute these records.”
Borno state has been the target of bombings in the past, blamed on Boko Haram since it widened its brutal insurgency. Thousands of civilians and soldiers have been killed during the group’s campaign for a breakaway Islamic state. All these attacks have ceased in the past five years, and this is due to the approach and tactics taken by President Muhammadu Buhari since he got into power.
The statement of the Borno governor has been found to be TRUE. The attacks by terrorists groups have been random and largely restricted to villages in northern Borno. There are others that have been close to the capital, Maiduguri but the terrorist group has not been able to attack the Northeast like it did in the past. Definitely, records have supported Governor Zulum’s statement that churches and mosques have been hardly attacked and that no major attack has taken place in the capital. Boko Haram used to bomb churches, mosques and markets, but all that has been halted now.
To put a perspective to it, we can recall that in the past many attacks on churches and mosques especially at the end of the year use to be a reoccurring incident since the advent of Boko Haram insurgency. These were times, families were scared to go to their farms, service in churches won’t hold without the presence of military men, people were always careful to gather in their large numbers for festivity, and many homes were lay desolate due to incessant attacks from this deadly group.
From few records of Boko Haram attacks in the few years back;
Mountain of Fire bomb blast that happened on 25th December, 2011.
The church in kano and Maiduguri that was attacked by Boko Haram gunmen, which took the lives of at least 19 people around April, 2012.
A Sucide bomber that detonated himself at a church in Jos, were 6 worshippers were killed on the 25th February, 2012.
St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger that was bombed on the 25th of December, 2011.
On 19th of January 2013, the Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero was attacked. Two of his sons were injured, while his driver and three guards were killed.
Boko Haram attacked the heavily fortified Giwa military barracks in Maiduguri, freeing comrades from a detention facility. –March 14, 2014
Nine persons were killed when Boko Haram attacked two offices of ThisDay newspaper in Abuja and Kaduna
Boko Haram attacked a Military School near Kano, Killing four officers on the 15th of December 2011
Boko Haram attacked President Buhari’s convoy in July 23 2014, along Ali Akilu Road Kawo-Kaduna at about 2:30pm. 82 people, including his personal relations and security aides were killed.
A sucide bombimg that killed 15 shites in Yobe state on the 3rd of November 2014
Not forgetting the 56 people that were killed in an attack on a Maiduguri mosque on the 12th of Augusut, 2013.
Futhermore, we should not quickly forget the era when they make bold attacks on different regions even after they have publicized it on media, they make their threats open to notable figures in the country and dared them not to move to places where they have placed restrictions.
Who do you think would have known it better than Zulum himself? Definitely, there is no one. This is a man that has seen and witnessed many attacks caused by this group. He is a man that speaks the truth and seeks after his own people’s security. He might not know all, nor fully understand the approaches to fighting the insurgency and military tactics and so on. But one thing we cannot take away from Professor Zulum is his desire to ensure the stability of peace and Unity is returned to every part of Borno. He has worked and spent a great considerable time of his life in Maiduguri for him to have known how safe and secured the state has been, overtime. He is a son of the soil, and he will keep fighting insurgency.
Governor Zulum is right to say that President Buhari has done better on tackling insecurity, and we can boldly say that the President is ever working and our Military are never relenting. Only in a matter of time would insurgency no longer be seen in the sand of time.
Zanna is a counter-terrorism analyst and wrote from Maiduguri.