Army Or Boko Haram, Who Blinks First?


The Nigerian Army has issued a stern warning to the Boko Haram sect that has been throwing bombs all over the place like confetti, that they are coming for the militants.


When we remember the army’s campaign in Odi and Zaki Biam during the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration, we expect that there is going to be a very big showdown between the Army and Boko Haram in the days ahead. This is because the Nigerian army does not talk tough and fail to back it up with action, unlike the police whose head, Hafiz Ringim, boasted that the days of Boko Haram were numbered and in less than 48 hours, the bombers took the battle to the Police Headquarters in Abuja and almost killed the police boss himself.


It was an affront taken too far on Thursday 16 June and now the army has been invited to rein in the militants who have been terrorising Maiduguri and other northern states with reckless abandon.


President Goodluck Jonathan must have been in a quandary over what to make of the state of insecurity across the country, especially the menace posed by the Boko Haram terrorists, hence his decision to unleash the army on the terrorists who appear to have successfully put Nigeria on the world map of terrorists nation.


The army will require a high level of intelligence gathering to smoke out the Boko Haram terrorists who boasted after bombing the Louis Edet Headquarters of the Nigerian Police that they have a more sophisticated intelligence gathering machinery than the police. This may be true, considering the ease with which they have been bombing police stations in Maiduguri and other places.

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As President Jonathan rightly said, a single security agency can’t curb the incubus called Boko Haram. All security agencies must collaborate to stamp out the evil.


Although some observers believe that dialogue with the terrorists would achieve the desired result, others feel coming down hard on them would solve the problem since the terrorists have repeatedly said they are not ready for any kind of dialogue.


Why dialogue with people who have killed over 180 innocent Nigerians since January?


Since the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, has vowed to stamp out the sect, let’s wait and see how far the army can go and who will carry the day by the time the battle is over. With the deployment of over 3,000 men of the Joint Task Force in the North, the stage is set for the final showdown between security agencies and the unyielding terrorists.


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