Nigeria’s Kid Gloves Approach to Boko Haram Fight and Matters Arising
In a short while, the government of the Federation of Nigeria will release another set of Boko Haram suspects into the society. No fewer than 155 of the terrorists will be released soon, according to government sources. Another batch of about 100 Boko Haram fighters were released in February this year. Recently, 480 Boko Haram fighters were granted pardon by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and also released after they were said to have been rehabilitated under the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DRR).
The other season, earlier in the year when 480 members of the deadly regained freedom, there were attacks on public spaces in the North-East. One of the terrorists who was released vowed that he was going back to terrorism and his wife said there was no regret being married to the terrorist.
One astonishing fact is despite the despicable acts of the Boko Haram, the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria seems to be too soft about them.
On Sunday, more than 70 officers of the Nigerian soldier were mauled down by Boko Haram fighters. Unofficial sources said about 115 military officers would have died in that attack on Nigeria’s 157 Task Force Battalion in Borno State while much more than that number could not be accounted for as we write. The military kept this attack under cover until foreign media blew the lid.
At the last cursory count, no fewer than 500 officers of the Nigerian Army have died under the guns of the Boko Haram members since this year. Civilian casualties are much more than this. And it beats imaginations that the military authority would rather want to hide the real situation in their Boko Haram fight. Nigerians have been fed with information that Boko Haram has been defeated and government urging residents of flashpoint areas to return home. In that guise, captured fighters of the terrorist group were set free. But the real situation is what we see today.
President Buhari should know that Boko Haram is far more deadly and dangerous than he might want to believe. If Boko Haram were a monster created by any individuals, those creators may wish to know that the monsters they created have gone weird beyond their control. It is important to note that the government should deploy drastic measures against Boko Haram, the same way the government could tackle any other form of insurgency from any other part of the country.
Barely one week after slaughtering over 70 officers, President Buhari on Saturday said he was shocked over the killing of military personnel in Metele village of Borno State by Boko Haram terrorists, assuring at the same time that immediate measures are being taken to ensure that the loopholes which led to the fatalities are blocked once and for all.
According to President Buhari, no responsible Commander-in-Chief would rest on his oars or fold his hands to allow terrorists to endanger the lives of its military personnel and other citizens. “Our loyal forces have proved their strength over the terrorists and we are ready to give them all the needed support in terms of equipment and manpower to succeed in ending the renewed threat. In the coming days, I am engaging the Military and Intelligence Chiefs in extensive discussions on the next steps we shall be taking.”
“The President noted that fighting terrorism has taken a global dimension, which necessitates international collaboration among states facing similar security challenges.
“President Buhari reassured Nigerians of his continued commitment to their security and of his efforts to sustain the momentum in the previous significant successes recorded against the terrorists.
“He, however, advised Nigerians against making a political capital out of national tragedy, stressing that members of the armed forces are one family who are commonly committed to the security and safety of all Nigerians”, Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu said in a statement.
There is no denying the fact that this terrorist group, about the deadliest of them all has taken more lives in Nigeria more than any epidemic. The Government should look at them as terrorists they are and enforce actions that would check their activities and stop their spread. Treating Boko Haram with this approach we consider a kid gloves approach is not doing Nigeria any good.