The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed ,
said on Wednesday that the Nigerian military had met
the December deadline to defeat Boko Haram terrorists.
The minister said this during his maiden meeting with
editorial heads of media houses in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that
President Buhari had, upon assuming office, issued a
December 31 deadline to the military to defeat the Boko
“Today, I can report that the war against Boko Haram is
largely won.I can confidently say this because just recently, I
led a group of 33 journalists from both the local and
international media to the hot bed of the insurgency, that is,
Maiduguri, Kondugua, Kaoure and Bama.
“Today, I can report to you that the entire 70 plus kilometres
stretch from Maiduguri to Bama and all the way to Banki
which leads to Cameroun and the Central African Republic are
in the hands of our gallant troops.”
He said the military presence could be felt every few
metres along the road; at a point along that road we
were just a kilometre to Sambisa forest.
“They have so degraded the capacity of Boko Haram that the
terrorists can no longer hold on to any territory just as they
can no longer carry out any spectacular attack.”
Mohammed, however, said that though there were still
cases of suicide bombings, it was pertinent to note that
such was the nature if insurgency globally.
“Unlike a war between two armies, an insurgency never ends
with arms victory. Even in countries like Colombia where
insurgency was supposed to have ended decades ago,
attacks like this still happen.”
He said that the insurgents had adopted a new style of
attacking soft targets like motor parks, schools,
entertainment centres, religious centres, killing innocent
people mostly women and children.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to support the military in
the fight against terrorism in the country, saying that the
military had availed itself creditably.
“It is our turn as civilians to give them our support; to realise
that the war they are fighting is not their war alone, but our
war, hence we must own the war.”
The minister disclosed that a national security campaign
had commenced to raise awareness among Nigerians
about the war, the sacrifices of our troops, and how to
stamp out the remnant of the war.
“Jingles are being played on national radio and television as
part of the campaign in order to keep the media better
informed about the war, so that they can also better inform
Nigerians,’’ he said.
Mohammed also said that an ad-hoc committee,
comprising media representatives as well as intelligence
agencies, would be inaugurated to regularly be updated
about the war in order to better inform the public.
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