One of the common characteristics of an insurgency is that it has no timeline. Also, insurgency cannot be likened to a war that can be altered through the signing of a peace treaty or a ‘no victor, no vanquished’ declaration, rather it goes on for as long as the terrorist group is strong and equipped to fight — or ready to surrender.
The Boko Haram sect evolved into an insurgent group in the year 2009 and has since wreaked havoc on the nation especially the Northeastern part; killing thousands and rendering millions homeless.
This problem was a major campaign point of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 election and it endeared majority of voters to the party especially the fact that the candidate of the party, Muhammadu Buhari was a retired Army General who is expected to bring to bear his military experience to tackle these terrorists but, it appears we are just going in circles.
The first mistake this government made in its first year was that it never designed a grand plan to defeat these insurgents, whose activities were massively decimated by the Nigerian Army towards the 2015 elections, making it possible for some of those displaced to vote in their communities.
What it did was to declare, through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that the sect had been “technically defeated.” Three years after, Boko Haram has grown stronger, recruiting more fighters and has experienced a break in its rank, leading to factions, and giving rise to the now deadly Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS).
As a reminder, ISWAP is responsible for the abduction of the United Nations aid workers and the Dapchi schoolgirls. It is yet to release Leah Sharibu and has already executed two of the aid workers.
The group has carried out several unreported attacks that have claimed the lives of both civilians and men of the armed forces. In its recent attack, it killed an Army commander and fourty-three soldiers. Sadly, these heroes might be buried without the necessary military honours and a statement from the Presidency. Several days after their demise, the military is yet to utter a statement neither has the Presidency confirmed it.
Here are the undeniable facts. Boko-Haram is stronger than it used to be, they are still attacking communities and our military establishments in the North East, the service chiefs are tired with nothing new to deliver.
In the midst of this, the federal government might have no clue as to how to solve this quagmire.
We should stop saying, ‘Boko Haram has been defeated’.