Nigeria’s former minister of information said the removal of the three governors in the northeastern part of the country that houses Boko Haram’s primary stronghold would allow the nation’s military to annihilate the jihadist organization once and for all.
“If this is done, I am sure that in space of six months Boko Haram will be given final burial,” Edwin Clark, the former official, told reporters this week, according to Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper. “Anything short of this, the nation will be fighting a ding dong war.”
The Nigerian government has repeatedly claimed to have defeated Boko Haram, only to have the group resurface soon after and carry out deadly attacks.
Clark urged Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency and suspend the governors of the three northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe.
Nigerian military officials have identified northeastern Nigeria’s vast Sambisa Forest, which covers parts of the states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Kano, as Boko Haram’s last stronghold in the country.
The birthplace of Boko Haram is considered Borno state.
While addressing reporters this week, Clark said:
To win the war against [the Boko Haram] insurgency in the three northeastern states is very easy because of the fighting spirit, competence, and commitment of the nation’s troops which have fought similar battles abroad. If only those who are confusing and manipulating the system in the northeast are removed from office, and the military is allowed to deal with the insurgents professionally.
In its latest posture statement presented to the American Congress this week, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) identified Boko Haram as one of the top violent extremist organizations (VEOs) terrorizing and recruiting from the disenfranchised population in the continent.
Although Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), a different group — ISIS West Africa — has also surfaced in the region under a different leader.
“U.S. Africa Command supports the efforts of the Lake Chad Region partners to counter Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa by providing advisors, intelligence, training, and equipment instead of engaging in direct military operations,” noted the AFRICOM posture statement.
AFRICOM identified containing and degrading “Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa” as one of its top goals.
The U.S. State Department recently deemed ISIS West African a foreign terrorist organization.
This year, Boko Haram set ablaze dozens of homes in its Nigerian birthplace of Borno State, killing at least three and injuring seven others soon after Nigeria falsely claimed again to have defeated the terrorist group.
“Just yesterday, we heard on the radio that Boko Haram has been defeated, just less than 2 hours later they killed our people, burnt down 57 homes, and many were injured. It is saddening,” Saminu Abba, a survivor of the attack, told Sahara Reporters.