It is now clear that Boko Haram is not dead or defeated as the Federal Government wants us to believe. About ten days ago, the terrorist group re-announced itself in an embarrassing way through the coldblooded murder of Nigerian soldiers in Metele, Borno state. Some reports put the dead toll at 100 but the Nigerian Army says 39. Whatever the figure this is bad news!
The insurgency caught the soldiers unawares making one wonder what has become of our military intelligence. Boko Haram invaded the soldiers, killing many and looted weapons. Those killed included the adjutant and the regimental sergeant major. How sad!
According to reports, the most lethal arsenal in the hands of Nigerian troops, including 40 barrel artillery gun and three T-17 tanks were carted away by Boko Haram. For an army said to be struggling with limited and archaic weapons, to lose some to the enemy is frightening.
It does not matter what the Government says now, the handwriting is on the wall. President Buhari has visited Borno and promised to annihilate the terrorists but we have heard that before many times. Army boss Lt. Gen Brutai also wants us to believe that the “recent sporadic skirmishes” from Boko Haram are a desperate effort from a “highly degraded and expiring adversary”. He said Boko Haram is striving to portray itself as formidable and cohesive but that this is “completely false”. Finally, the General described the attacks as the “last kicks of a dying horse”. But the picture we see does not show a dying Boko Haram but an organised and resilient terrorist group. An insurgency that carries out and sustains attacks on an organised national army cannot be feeble or dying.
It is time the Federal Government told Nigerians the truth about Boko Haram. It is time it admitted that it is fighting a determined and deadly terrorist group with both local and foreign connection. President Buhari has told us not to politicise the death of the soldiers. But he should also tell us about the nation’s internal security and explain how the latest killings caught the country off guard. Again where is military intelligence?
Why did we suffer much casualty? Were our soldiers ambushed, drugged, poisoned or betrayed? There are rumours of “converted” Boko Haramists being drafted into our army, prompting the question whether there are moles in the military.
We have been told over and again that the Nigerian army lack sophisticated weapons to fight the insurgency. This has repeatedly been denied. What really is the true situation? What has bocame of the N1 billion loans approved for the military to buy weapons? We need an update on security; we need to know how capable and equipped our army is. It is not acceptable for our solders to be continuously slaughtered like dogs by a group the Federal Government once claimed have been defeated.