Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has once again ordered the Nigerian Armed Forces to intensify its fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast region. The president marching orders come in the wake of the gruesome murder of 43 farmers in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State on Saturday, November 28, 2020.
The terrorist attack has led to widespread condemnation of the Buhari-led government’s efforts towards eradicating the terrorist group. The president sent a delegation to Maiduguri, Borno State capital, to deliver a condolence and solidarity message on Monday, November 30, 2020.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, President Buhari described the massacre in Zabarmari community of Borno State as the worst form of senseless, barbaric and gruesome murder. He promised that his administration will continue to make resources available to the military to keep up its onslaught against Boko Haram until the group is eradicated.
The 77-year-old also vowed to work closely with neighboring countries similarly affected by Boko Haram activities to ensure there is no hiding place for the terrorists.
“Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of the people. Everything is secondary when security is at stake,” he said.
In response to the president’s assurances, Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, proposed a list of recommendations for the president to boost the war against terror. Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, was at the burial of people massacred by Boko Haram. He urged the president to engage the services of the mercenaries to clear the entire Sambisa forest which has served as Boko Haram’s primary base for years.
The governor also requested the immediate enlistment of Borno youths in the military and paramilitary services to complement the efforts of the Nigerian forces. Zulum also requested more equipment for security forces battling Boko Haram, and asked for Buhari’s support in the repatriation of displaced Nigerians currently residing in Cameroon and Niger Republic.
President Buhari has claimed for years, since he was first elected in 2015, that Boko Haram has been technically defeated and posed no significant operational threat to the country.
Many of his past claims were usually ridiculed by the public, especially in light of numerous attacks carried out by Boko Haram which has terrorized the northeast for over a decade. The Islamic sect has killed over 30,000 people and displaced millions in the restive region since its insurgency escalated in 2009.
Overall, deaths from terrorism in Nigeria are now 83% lower than at their peak in 2014 according to the 2020 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report published last week, but Boko Haram killings increased in 2019 over the previous year.
The Islamic sect known as Boko Haram was ranked as the second deadliest terrorist group globally in 2019 ahead of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and Al-Shabaab, and only behind the Taliban. Nigeria remains the third most-affected by terrorism across the world, a position it first assumed in 2015 after dropping from second place.
However, Nigerian Governors Forum has condemned the killing of 43 rice farmers in Borno State by Boko Haram. The forum, in a statement by its Chairman and the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Kayode Fayemi, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, described the attack as morally reprehensible.
He said that the attack brought back ugly memories of several dastardly attacks on soft targets in the state. Fayemi noted that the farmers were attacked while harvesting their produce totally oblivious of the danger that awaits them in nearby bushes.
He said that the method was consistent with the senseless bombings of busy markets, bus stations, schools and abattoirs whenever the terrorists felt overpowered by the security operatives. According to his words;
“This sad narrative raises serious questions on the general security situation in the country and around the capability of the nation’s security architecture.
“It also raises questions on whether or not there are adequate arrangements to protect lives and property.
“Since insurgency engulfed the country more than a decade ago, each time it seems like the situation is coming under control, the enemy strikes again. This has happened consistently.”
Fayemi said that the governors were concerned that the carnage was degenerating beyond explicable limits.
He said that the catalogue of destruction had an adverse effect on everything in the state and the country at large.
Fayemi said that the Nigerian Governors Forum would collectively review those issues at its next meeting to forge the way forward.