How Not To Fight Boko Haram

Editorial

In the early hours of yesterday, Nigeria was abuzzed with the shocking news that some Boko Haram insurgents numbering about a hundred carried out large scale co-ordinated attacks on some military bases in Maiduguri, leaving scores of people dead and destroying two helicopters as well as three decommissioned military aircraft. The news was shocking because before then the federal government had given Nigerians the impression that it was winning the war against terror. Nigerians now know, albeit via the hard way, that it was just a hogwash and that the federal government is far from winning the war.

This latest onslaught shows, indeed, that the federal government is just not  getting it right but is also clueless about  how to fight the Boko Haram insurgents. Because if it were really winning the war as it claimed, those muslim extremists would not have carried out the attacks successfully..

The fact that the federal government is clueless about fighting Boko Haram is very clear. President Goodluck Jonathan drew the ire of Nigerians when he said in a media chat that he did not know whether Shekarau, the leader of Boko Haram was dead or not, and that journalists were in a better position to know the truth since they were in contact with members of the Boko Haram group.

This statement, coming from the president, shows how unserious he is in tackling this menace. All this while the federal government has been feeding the public tissues of lies. Nigerians are not really sure of the number of  soldiers and Boko Haram insurgents that have been killed.

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With the shoddy and ignoble manner government has been handling this issue it is either it does not possess the military know-how to deal with it or the insurgents are more sophisticated and  better armed. But the fact remains that if the federal government had the political will to tackle it, Boko Haram would not have only been routed out, it would have become history.

There are so many questions begging for answers here. Why has the federal government not been able to identify the members and sponsors of Boko Haram? Are those people not living in our society. Why hasn’t the government arrested and prosecuted the so-called sponsors of the extremist group they have identifIed? Why are our borders so porous that the insurgents come in from neighbouring countries at will? Who supplies the sophisticated weapons that they use?

Unless these questions are answered and prompt actions taken, all attempts will be tantamount to pursuing will o’ the wisp and many Nigerians will continue to die in cold blood. But for how long will Nigerians continue to be killed unjustly as a result of the ineptitude of government and the intolerance of a few religious bigots.