Buhari Claims He Has Won the Boko Haram War
Barely 24 hours after the Minister of Information shocked Nigerians with his claim that the government has kept to its promise of winning the Boko Haram war this December, President Muhammadu Buhari has added to the confusion when he said that his government has technically won the war against Boko Haram.
The President, in an interview with a BBC correspondent, reiterated his promise to wipe out the insurgents by the end of 2015, stressing that his government has not failed in that area.
According to him, “I assure you we haven’t failed. Adamawa State, Yobe State are free from Boko Haram. Borno State which is their base, I think they have two to three Local Governments. Boko Haram has reverted to using Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs), indoctrinating young girls from 15 years and below to go and explode it in churches, mosques, market places, motor parks.
“They have now been reduced to that but articulated conventional attacks on centres of communication and population in towns and so on, they are no longer capable of doing that effectively. So I think technically we have won the war because people are going back to their neighborhoods,” the President stated.
Speaking further, Buhari said, “We have our committees on the ground liaising with Local governments. People are going back. Our major problem now is rehabilitation because over 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) repairing the infrastructures, schools, health centres, the number of bridges blown; that is what we are facing now. But Boko Haram as an organized fighting force, I assure you that we have dealt with them,” he added.
When asked what he thinks about Nigerians criticising him for always blaming the last government instead of focusing on how to make the country better, Buhari said, “I think they are being unfair. Boko Haram was effective on 16 local government areas before in the three states; Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
“Yobe and Adamawa are absolutely freed and there are about three local governments where Boko Harams are there and I have told you they cannot marshal forces and attack towns or military installations as they did in Maiduguri before.
“I don’t think this is mere talking. We have moved Service Chiefs, we re-organised the military. We have got some hardware for them and we have gotten retraining from the British, Americans and with the French. A lot is being done,” he said.