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Did the Presidency Win the War Against Boko Haram?

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President Buhari said his Government has succeeded in winning the war against Boko Haram terrorists.

Evidence from local news platforms and international rankings say otherwise. Reports from 2017 till date tell a sordid tale regarding insurgency in Nigeria. 

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Last week Thursday, President Buhari claimed his administration restored Nigeria’s pride and honour. He said this during the commissioning of three attack helicopters at Eagle square. The “restoration…” was premised on the President fulfilling his promise to end the Boko Haram insurgency. Platforms such as  Premium Times, The Nation, News Nigeria have published this report.

“You will agree with me that the successes we have achieved so far have restored our pride and honour in the world over”

President Buhari

Likewise, the President’s spokesman in an interview with channels television also commented on the reduction in insecurity. He based his assertion on a 2015 comparison. He further stated that Nigerians should be grateful for it.

Is this the case?

In 2015, President Buhari appointed these service chiefs after his first successful election. Under military regulations, their terms of service expired in 2017.

Premium Times reported how members of the Nigerian House of Representatives, called for the removal of service chiefs. This call was made in a bid to find a solution to the uprising of insecurity in the country,

A call for the removal deemed necessary to them to subdue the security/insecurities threat posed at the country.

Insecurity on the rise despite the president’s claims

Insecurity since President Buhari’s inauguration has not gotten better as claimed… it’s been on the rise. Several reports have revealed that the attacks have not subsided.

In 2018, we recall when Boko Haram abducted 110 schoolgirls from Dapchi in Yobe state. Then, the terrorists released some of the girls after weeks after negotiation with the federal government. Still, five girls died in captivity according to reports. Also, one girl remained in their custody.

That same year, reports stated how the sect kidnapped aid workers with the International Committee of Red Cross. Not to mention, the melee attack the group orchestrated that claimed the lives of 70 soldiers.

Last year, Boko Haram killed 11  people in the suburb area of Maiduguri. The group followed that attack, with a mass slaughter at a funeral procession in Maiduguri, leaving 60 dead.

Still in the year 2019, Boko Haram ambushed a military base, killing 20 officers and one army commander.

As at September 2019, a report by CNN gives the total number of missing Nigerians since Boko Haram started as 22,000.

Still, this year, January, there are still reports of homicide from the sect. The group reportedly killed a 22-year old student in Plateau and beheaded a clergy in Adamawa who refused Islamic conversion. Matter of fact, the documented report of people who lost their lives to violence in Nigeria, this year, is a total of  245, amidst other reports.

International Rankings

The World Economic Forum released its ranking of the most dangerous countries to live in based on safety and security through a report published by the Independent UK  in 2017. Nigeria ranked number five on this list.

Agnes Callamard, U.N special rapporteur on extrajudicial in a press conference gave her findings in Nigeria.  She says that Nigerian insecurity requires urgent attention.

She referred to Nigeria as a “pressure cooker of internal conflict”, saying the situation is one of utmost concern, which if not tackled can affect other African nations.

“the police and military had shown an excessive use of lethal force across the West African country which, combined with a lack of effective investigations and meaningful prosecution, caused a lack of accountability”

Agnes Callamard

To put things into perspective, Nigeria is amongst the most dangerous places to live. This is per Human rights watch’s, Expat insider survey of 2019. 

Temilade Onilede is a researcher and the Programme Assistant for Dubawa, Nigeria. She holds an undergraduate degree in Performing Arts From the University of Ilorin, Ilorin Kwara State. She is a trained journalist, with good research and writing skills, coupled with her knowledge in Journalism; a personable character and an engaging mind who is well skilled in the field of fact-checking and verification.

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