Boko Haram: Why ‘technical’ victory is not enough

Boko Haram: Why ‘technical’ victory is not enough
January 13 20:17 2016

By Victor Akoji

[O]n the last day of 2015, the deadline given by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerian military to put an end to the Boko Haram insurgency in the country came to an end. But before then, government had gone public with the tale that it had defeated the terrorists ‘technically.’

According to the explanation offered by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed which was corroborated by President Buhari in his maiden media chat, the Nigerian Armed Forces had successfully broken the capacity of the sect to hold territories and launch major, embarrassing attacks on strategic government establishments like barracks and government houses and all that.

This however sounds like a face-saving measure on the side of the Federal Government. Since it knew that by December 31, 2015, the dreaded Boko Haram sect would still be with us, the government now resorted to its ‘technical’ definition of victory.

As sensible as the issue of ‘technical’ victory is, Nigerians cannot celebrate that because they invested a lot of hope in this President, being a respected and capable retired general and voted out a naive civilian who displayed crass incompetence in dealing with the terrorists.

‘Technical’ defeat after 7 months was not what the President and his party promised during electioneering and no government official should be seen to be celebrating this like the information minister seems to be doing. If not, it will be interpreted that the minister is dancing on the graves of soft targets which the militants kill for fun these days and laughing at the misery of millions of women and children living in untold discomfort in IDP camps across the country.

Some Nigerians are also of the opinion that the
December deadline wasn’t realistic with the volume of attacks the country witnessed in the early days of President Buharii’s administration. It is hoped that the President is not also under-estimating the capacity of this criminal group to re- launch itself back to prominence by killing innocent civilians.

We need to drum it in the ear of Mr President and his security chiefs that Nigerians are not finding it funny that after the expiration of the deadline, bombs are still going off, lives and properties are still under constant threats, all efforts to cleanse the land are not yielding adequate results yet and the IDPs who were assured safe return back to their towns and villages are still living in squalor.

We have not lost hope in the ability of the present administration to fully cleanse the land and rid it of extreme elements and the terrible consequences of their terrorism but we must urge our President to move faster before insurgents kill all the soft targets in the northeast.

These innocent people who are being killed in parks and markets are human beings too and they are Nigerians. The government needs to come out of its ‘technical victory’ comfort zone and act fast to save the civilian population in northeast.

No any kind of victory should be celebrated until the average Bama or Gwoza man can go back home to base, sleep with two eyes closed in his village, wake up and go to the farm to sort out his daily bread.