On Thursday, August 13, during the decoration of Nigeria’s new service chiefs, President Muhammadu Buhari gave them till December 2015 to wipe out Boko Haram and end its activities.
Tomorrow is December 1, 2015.
Since then, the Nigerian Army has continuously expressed its determination and ability to meet the deadline.
“I have no iota of doubt in my mind that our troops will wipe out the insurgents in the shortest possible time and we are committed to this target,” Army spokesperson, Colonel Sani Usman said on Thursday, September 3, during a news conference in Abuja.
The sentiment has also been mirrored by Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai who has been very hands-on with his job.
“I want to reassure Nigerians that Nigerian Army is ever determined to succeed in meeting up with the set deadline of defeating Boko Haram terrorists by the end of this year,” Buratai said via a statement in the same month.
However, the deadline is here and Boko Haram seems to be very much in business.
On November 27, a suicide bomber working for the sect attacked a Shia Muslim procession in Kano State and killed 21 people in the resulting explosion.
“When our brother reached his target, he detonated his explosive belt amidst their gathering,” Boko Haram said in claiming the attack via Twitter, according to Jihad monitoring service, SITE Intelligence.
The day before, the government of Niger revealed that 18 of its citizens had been butchered by the terrorists in a village on the border with Nigeria.
“Boko Haram has once again sent us into mourning," Justice Minister and government spokesman, Marou Amadou in a statement.
“Eighteen villagers were killed, including the chief imam for the village whose throat was slit by his own nephew,” he added.
Also, on Sunday, November 29, Boko Haram insurgents reportedly invaded Bam Village, a community close to Buratai Village, the Chief of Army Staff’s hometown, and killed four people.
The terrorists were also said to have abducted an unspecified number of women during the attack.
“These hoodlums always attack our villages unchallenged. I am calling on General Buratai to do something about this because the soldiers seem to be doing little to stop them from coming here,” a fleeing resident, Mohammed Ahmed, told Punch.
“We have been telling the soldiers that the Boko Haram fighters are in some villages around here but they only go to Mangari few kilometres away from Buratai and shot into the air and come back. It seems the soldiers are afraid to confront them,” he added.
It’s surprising that despite the army’s many assurances that Boko Haram is being checked, the terrorists are still operating with impunity and even have the audacity to attack a village near Buratai’s.
The army’s frequent statements on how many villages it has rescued from the insurgents seems to be in direct contrast to what’s actually happening in the troubled North-East.
This is just to remind the army that the deadline is already here and Boko Haram is still a very present threat.
It would do a world of good for the military to review its strategy for dealing with the terrorists so that Boko Haram can indeed be a thing of the past and Nigerians can finally have peace.
Watch video of Boko Haram celebrating Sallah in Sambisa Forest below: