Special Report On Boko Haram: Knocks, Kudos For Buhari | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Special Report On Boko Haram: Knocks, Kudos For Buhari

Posted: Sep 18, 2015 at 12:45 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


By Oladele Ogunsola (Ibadan), Juliet Oyoyo (Kaduna) and Innocent Anolu (Owerri)

Nigerians have expressed divergent opinions on the effort by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to curtail the activities of the Boko Haram terror group.

While some are of the view that he has done well in leading efforts to tame the activities of the group, others say he has done little in this regard.

For instance, former member of the House of Representatives, Lateef Adebola Alli, said that the activities of the sect seemed to have so far defied all remedies, going by the group’s continuous strikes.

He recalled that the Army recently declared that Nigeria was winning the war against Boko Haram because of the way the insurgents were operating, targeting the defenceless citizens as against when they were attacking barracks and other sensitive targets.

“To me, Nigeria, under President Muhammadu Buhari, is winning the war. I can only commend him for the restructuring he carried out in the military, which we have all seen as yielding positive result with display of high morale on the part of the military personnel.

“The other area requiring immediate intervention is the rehabilitation scheme, and this is visibly receiving the desired attention through the care of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to send a signal that the insurgency will soon be ended and stability will be restored in the war-affected zone,” he said.

In Imo State, when Daily Independent spoke with some residents, opinions were varied on Buhari’s performance.

For Chief Maduka Ibeawuchi, an Owerri-based businessman and community leader, “President Buhari appears to be interested in probing past administrations for now. I am not saying that he is not interested in checking the activities of Boko Haram, but the direction he is going, he has not seriously focused his attention on the sect.”

Another analyst, Rev. Josiah Nwamadi of Rising Hope Divine Ministry Owerri, argued that: “Nigerians are still dying in droves in the Boko Haram-infested states in the North-East and North-Central. As a matter of fact the president has assured Nigerians that the Boko Haram issue would be soon be a thing of the past in this country.

“He has deployed more soldiers to the states under the siege of the sect, so let us give him the benefit of the doubt.”

On her part, Mrs. Nneka Charity Iwuji noted that: “When President Goodluck Jonathan was in Owerri, people said that the Boko Haram people came on board to frustrate him because he was a southerner. Now that power has returned to the North, why are they still fighting?

“President Buhari should do something urgently about this, but I cannot judge him now because his administration is till new.”

Meanwhile, former national publicity secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Anthony Sanni, said, “I think the mobilisation and training of the Nigerian Armed Forces, combined with support from the international community and participation by neighboring countries which have taken the fight to the door steps of the insurgents, is the right approach.

“And, since suicide bombing is not a conventional warfare, the approach must include comprehensive anti-terrorism strategies for addressing the underlying causes of insurgence, which include economic deprivation, radicalisation of unsuspecting and gullible youths, as well as the effective use of intelligence community to block sources of funding and importation of explosive chemicals.

“The government should also ban the use of hijab by young girls until Boko Haram has been reined in. The option of dialogue should not be closed. Massive education and de-radicalisation of the youths should be employed by the governments.”

Major Umar (rtd) added another dimension to the discourse saying, “So far, most of the local governments in question have been liberated. The big question is President Buhari donated N21 billion to the Multi-National Joint Task Force while the American government gave $5 million.

“But till date, the MNJTF of 8,500 soldiers from Cameroun, Chad and Niger, have not been involved in the fight to end the insurgency. Where then is the large amount given to aid the fight against Boko Haram?

“More so, troops at the front line are still complaining of lack of proper arms and equipment. Our air force has not been equipped with modern aircraft to end the insurgency on schedule. Buhari and the COAS should put their money where their mouth is, if they really want to end the war on schedule.

“The MNJTF should move into the theater immediately to bring an end to Boko Haram.”

In the view of the president/convener of Nigerian Voters’ Assembly (VOTAS), Mashood Erubami, “The high expectations of Nigerians on fighting Boko Haram are patently hinged on the trust they have in President Buhari as a former military general and the change mantra of the APC.

“In this regard, fighting insecurity has become high on the priority list of the Buhari administration, especially against the current trend of arms and ammunition proliferation in the country; he has within the short time of his assumption of office embarked on measures that can be visibly seen to be dealing with general insecurity and rooting out insurgency including the phenomenon of kidnapping, armed robbery, ethnic and sectarian clashes across the country,” Erubami said.