We have Crushed Boko Haram, FG Insists

Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday maintained the federal government’s position that the terrorist group, Boko Haram, has been decimated, despite a recent spike in suicide bomb attacks in the North east.

Addressing journalists in his office in Abuja on Tuesday, Mohammed said that the recent attack is not surprising as such actions targeted at of targets usually occur after clamp down on insurgents.

”During the immediate period after an insurgency has been degraded, the fact that terrorists are dispersed into the community is often followed by an upsurge of terror attacks in the form of suicide bombing and sabotage of critical facilities.

”Activities during these periods are often carried out within population and against soft targets or vulnerable groups. There is often apprehension in the community that terrorism is getting worse, even though, in reality, insurgency has been weakened as a cohesive terror force. This is the current phase of insurgency in the country,” the minister said.

While condemning the recent attacks, he said that they should not be misconstrued as a resurgence of the insurgency and warned Nigerians against making comments that would encourage the Boko Haram fighters.

”Gentlemen, there is no resurgence of Boko Haram. The terrorists remain massively degraded and largely defeated. The recent string of attacks is not an indication that Boko Haram is bouncing back,” he said.

”Many commentators have latched on to these attacks to infer a resurgence of Boko Haram, while some have even made outrageous statements regarding the territories controlled by Boko Haram. Fortunately, no less a personality than the President, strongly backed by the Governors of Borno and Yobe, has debunked such unsubstantiated claims.”

While also commiserating with the families of those killed in recent attacks, Mohammed urged Nigerians to give the military their total support in its efforts to build on recent successes against the insurgents.

”We want to appeal to all not to say or do anything that will demoralize our gallant men and women in uniform, who are daily fighting – and sometimes paying the supreme price – so that we can all be safe. Having travelled to the theatre of operations myself, I have seen the huge sacrifices of our military. They deserve nothing but our undiluted support. This is the best form of appreciation we can show them at this time. Anything else is counter-productive. Commendation, not condemnation. Support, not second guessing. That’s what we owe the gallant troops,” he said.

The minister assured that the federal government was taking appropriate measures, in line with global best practices, to deal with insurgency, including “strengthening of intelligence and security, especially in the affected communities and the stepping up of the reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement efforts.”

Speaking further on government efforts in the war against terror, Mohammed said that it had succeeded in enlisting the support of the international community, including Nigeria’s next door neighbours, in the fight against the insurgents as well as the reconstruction and rehabilitation of impacted communities.

”Boko Haram has been dislodged from their occupied territories; thousands of their captives have been set free; their capacity to operate as a troop moving in convoy of vehicles and motor cycles to launch attacks on communities and military formations has been neutralized. In essence, the insurgents have been effectively denied territory or sanctuary and are now in disarray.



    “Scattered, demoralized and hungry, they have resorted to terror tactics available to a degraded and defeated insurgent group. The fact that they operate in a few local governments does not equate to holding and controlling territories. We must make that distinction.”

    The minister declined commenting on other issues at the press briefing, particularly the sacking on Monday of the chief executive officers of agencies under his supervision.

    Mohammed yesterday announced the sacking of the chief executives of the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, Sola Omole; News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Ima Niboro; Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, Ladan Salihu; National Orientation Agency, NOA;, Mike Omeri; National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Emeka Mba and Voice of Nigeria, VON, Sam Worlu.

    Asked by reporters the heads of the agencies were removed, some of them several months before the statutory end of their tenures, Mohammed declined giving answers, insisting that he called the press briefing to speak exclusively on Boko Haram and the insurgency in the North east.


    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement


    - Advertisement