FG Upbeat on December Deadline Line To End Insurgency

FG Upbeat on December Deadline Line To End Insurgency

Chris Steven,  Abuja

Despite having less than 30 days to wipe out the Boko Haram terrorists  as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the
military has sufficiently degraded the capacity of the group to
launch spectacular attacks while also retaking most of the territories
seized by the terrorists.

While speaking in Abuja on Tuesday following his recent trip to Borno state to visit the areas liberated by the military,  the Minister said  the military has
substantially done well saying ” winning the war against insurgency is about sufficiently degrading the  insurgents’ capacity for action. The rest is mop-up actions”.

”The military has largely met the deadline issued by the President,
and would have done so totally by December. The question, therefore,
is no longer whether the military will be able to meet the December
deadline, it is about how to give the military all the support it
requires to continue to keep our country safe from the activities of
the terrorists,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed however explained that, decimated and put on the run,
the rump of the insurgents has now resorted to attacking soft targets:
motor parks, entertainment centres, houses of worship, etc.

”Make no mistake about it, this will not stop overnight. It will
gradually taper off. That is the way it happens anywhere such a war
has been fought.

”It is also important to situate the deadline by the President in its
necessary context. Insurgency is an asymmetrical warfare, not a
‘shooting war’ between two Armies. No truce or armistice is ever
signed to end such war. The implication is that while Boko Haram can
no longer execute spectacular attacks, hold territories, declare a
Caliphate and even collect taxes, lone wolf attacks – which are like
the death pangs of a dying horse – will continue for some time and
then fizzle out. This is the absolute truth,” he said.

The Minister, who went on the tour of the liberated areas with 33
journalists, paid a glowing tribute to the military, saying: ”Let me
say, without mincing words, that all of us, Nigerians, owe a debt of
gratitude to our men and women in uniform for their patriotism,
sacrifice and service. I say this because what I saw during my trip to
Maiduguri, Konduga, Kaure and Bama last Saturday left me, and indeed
all members of my entourage, in awe of the commitment and loyalty of
the military to our country’s peace and unity.”

He rallied Nigerians to support and own the war, adding that it is not
a war for the military alone.

”Gentlemen, what is missing now in the war against terrorism is the
civilian component, the need for all Nigerians to support our gallant
men and women in uniform, and the need for them to own the war. This
is not a war for the military alone, it is a war for all Nigerians,”
the Minister said, urging the media to inform our people about the
heroics of the military and the progress being made.

”On our part, this Ministry will soon initiate a process to bridge
the gap between the military and the media, and the structure will
include top military and intelligence officials as well as senior
journalists. The essence is to ensure a smoother information flow,
with a view to keeping the media better informed so they can in turn
better inform Nigerians about the war that is now largely won.

”We also plan to use the media to sensitize Nigerians to be more
security conscious, especially now that the Christmas and New Year
festivities are approaching,” he added.