- The kidnapped Abuja-Kaduna train passengers have not returned.
- Unknown gunmen continue to kill innocent citizens across the country
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday, tweeted for the first time since the country reversed the ban it imposed on Twitter in June last year.
Buhari had made a tweet that referenced the Nigerian Civil War, and threatened to deal with those behind insecurity in the “language they understand”. The tweet was deleted and the ban came after. But, the federal government said the ban was unrelated to the deleted tweets.
The ban, according to Nigeria, was lifted after Twitter agreed to meet its conditions for operations in the country, including registering as a corporate entity in Nigeria – a condition Twitter has yet fulfilled.
Coming back with his face in his hands, President Buhari took to the platform to share photos of himself observing the Eid-el-Fitr prayer with the Muslim faithful at the Mambila Barracks Parade Ground in Abuja.
In the series of tweets, Buhari spoke about the fight against insurgency.
“After a period of fasting and reflection, this year, we have cause to welcome the occasion in hope. The battle waged against terrorists who falsely masquerade under the name of Islam is approaching its conclusion,” he said.
“The fight has been long and hard. The final victory is within sight. Boko Haram and its offshoots’ final embers are now fading. Last month, the leader of ISWAP was killed in an airstrike. Since the New Year, thousands of fighters have surrendered.
“The territories they used to occupy are now seeing the return of those who were forced to flee their barbarity. Normality is finally beginning to return to the Northeast. It is a long process. Yet it is one we are, together, now embarking upon.
“With the designation of bandit groups as terrorists, the challenges of banditry & kidnapping are being tackled differently in the North-West and North-Central where the latest military acquisitions and Armed Forces are being fanned out across the region to thwart acts of terror.”
But, it is not the first time the Muhammadu Buhari administration says terrorism is getting to its end.
In October 2019, President Buhari said his administration’s efforts to curb insecurity in the country have resulted in Boko Haram terrorists being ‘substantially defeated’.
“The nation is appreciative of the gallantry and sacrifices of officers and men of our Armed Forces in the campaign against insurgency and other internal security operations. This has led to the return of normalcy in affected parts of the nation,” Buhari said at the launch of the 2020 armed forces remembrance day emblem.
“The Boko Haram terrorists have been substantially defeated and degraded to the extent that they are only daring soft targets.”
The immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, had said that the Boko Haram terrorist group had since been defeated but the Nigerian military is now fighting an international criminal gang known as the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP).
He then explained that what is currently playing out in the northeast is the “metamorphosis of ISWAP which is an attempt by a group of international criminal organisations to explore the loopholes created by the breakdown of law and order in some neighbouring countries to perpetrate criminality in the West African sub-region”.
The statement is a repeated one.
On kidnapping, Buhari says “rescuing the abducted victims is a delicate situation that requires wisdom, caution and also patience. Any rescue operation that results in the death of any hostage cannot be deemed a success. The government doesn’t want this kind of tragic outcome.
“This is a complex situation that demands proper handling. The primary objective of any rescue operation is to free the hostages safely, unharmed and alive.”
An attempt to push forward the political willingness of Buhari to decelerate insecurity in Nigeria?