Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram is still ongoing, but wives of the soldiers are retaliating because the government cannot properly arm their husbands. The wives surrounded a base in Maiduguri to stop deployment to Gwoza in northwest Borno state.
“No weapons for our husbands, no trip to Gwoza or any volatile place. We are tired of burying our loved ones,” said Thabita John.
Boko Haram conquered Gwoza last week. The radical Islamic terrorist group butchered residents while many people fled. Some civilians ran to Maiduguri, which is around 85 miles from Gowza, but many are stranded in the mountains and need food.
“Our husbands are always given inferior weapons while the Boko Haram have superior weapons,” said Rahina Ali.
The government believes the army owns the proper equipment to fight Boko Haram.
“The army officers’ wives are not professionals to know the capacity of guns and weapons that they are carrying,” said government spokesman Mike Omeri.
The terrorist group formed in 2009. Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden,” but the group expanded its targets to include anyone who does not share its vision of a strict Islamic state. The Council on Foreign Relations stated the group killed almost 3,000 people this year. Over 200 schoolgirls abducted by the group in April are still missing. Nigeria’s military cannot keep up, especially since the group attacks on a daily basis.
“Our wives are speaking our minds: we are grossly under-equipped,” said one soldier, who did not want to be named. “Our guns are weak and armoured carriers not serviceable.”