The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said the Nigeria military has met the deadline set for it by President Muhammadu Buhari to end terrorism by the end of December, 2015.
Lai Mohammed who commended the Military for its effort said the sect members’ power has now been reduced to only bomb blasts.
He said: “Today, I can report to you that the entire 70-plus kilometre stretch (territories) from Maiduguri to Bama and all the way to Banki (which leads to Cameroon and the Central African Republic) are in the hands of our gallant troops.
“Our soldiers’ presence can be felt every few metres along the road that skirts the Sambisa Forest. At a point along that road, we were just about two kilometres to the Sambisa Forest, which is continuously being pounded by our dedicated and patriotic military.
“That brings me to the issue of the December 31, 2015 deadline issued by President Muhammadu Buhari to our military to defeat the terrorists. Based on what I saw during my trip to the liberated areas of Borno State (which by the way is the epicentre of the war) and the briefings I received from the Chief of Defence Staff and the Theatre Commander, I can confidently inform you that our gallant military has largely met that deadline.
“They have so degraded the capability of Boko Haram that the terrorists can no longer hold on to any territory, just as they can no longer carry out any spectacular attacks. Remember, gentlemen, that at the height of the war, Boko Haram controlled 20 of the 27 local governments in Borno. Today, they do not control any local government anywhere.”
He added, “I can hear you saying to yourself, ‘but the terrorists are still carrying out suicide bombings and killing people’. My response to that is that such is the nature of insurgency anywhere. Unlike a war between two armies, an insurgency never ends with an armistice. Even in countries like Colombia, where insurgency was supposed to have ended decades ago, attacks still happen.
“The largely defeated Boko Haram has now adopted a new style: attacking soft targets like motor parks, schools, entertainment centres, religious centres, etc, killing innocent people, mostly women and children.
“They have capitalised on the missing part of the war on terrorism: the civilian component. Our military has availed itself creditably. It is our turn, as civilians, to give them our unalloyed support, to realise that what they are fighting is not their war but our war; hence we must own the war.”