By Aminu Iyawa
It is understandable that tempers are a bit high and some people are charged after the Auno carnage by Boko Haram that claimed the lives of 30, including a Unimaid student whose beauty in a trendin picture on social media captivated many, illiciting emotional reaction.
All the same, we should not lose our heads and get hoodwinked by some propagandists who thrive on such occasional setbacks in our war with the terrorists, to tell us that the situation in the Northeast is worse than how President Buhari met it in 2015.
I am from the Northeast and will never forget that 25 local government areas in three states; Borno, Yobe and Adamawa were fully controlled by Boko Haram when he took over the mantle of leadership from ex-president Jonathan on May 29, 2015. Today, all 25 have been liberated and some of the residents that had fled have since made it back to their homes.
The return of the Emirs of Mubi, Bama and Gwoza, all first class traditional rulers and their subjects to their towns and territories in the first one year of the Buhari administration because of the gallant successes of our military against Boko Haram is an undeniable fact that those claiming armageddon in the Northeast are just up for mischief.
The recent upsurge in attacks can be attributed to what we all know for a fact; that things are tough for the group and with no territory or open base per sè, it resorts to hit and run (guerilla tactics) that is difficult to police by the military. This war is no more conventional and we must therefore appreciate the effort our men and officers who are out there fighting an invisble group that has blended in to the community.
President Buhari’s appeal this afternoon to the communities to cooperate with the military by providing it with intelligence should be heeded. No army, no matter how mighty, wins a war over guerillas without the support of the locals. The United States has been fighting the Taliban for almost two decades, but total success is still far away due to the uncooperative attitude of the locals.
All said and done, we should be wary of some political demagogues and religious bigots who, out of mischief, find pleasure in turning the recent upsurge in Boko Haram attacks into war against this administration. How can a religious leader stoop so low; lie and worst, incite the army fighting for our country into believing that “Nigeria is not worth dying for.” If this is not treason, a call for mutiny and a call for uprising, I don’t know what it is.
It is also a shame that some political losers could hire some youths to express public resentment against the government as we have witnessed in a viral video of a staged scene in Maiduguri. Or that of the Minister Defence who, if you look closely, had his head down and busy jotting notes on a pad with pen in his hand, but the opposition took to the social media, lied again, that he was sleeping.
Agreed there are necessary improvements and changes in strategy that Mr President needs to consider, but Nigerians are no fools and will never fall for that old antics that implies the war against Boko Haram is a complete failure. It is certainly not and, we are better off today in the Northeast than we were before 2015.