The Nigerian Army on Monday, July 25, 2016 declared that the Boko Haram terrorist group that has devastated the North Eastern part of Nigeria has been decisively crushed.
The assertion was made by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sanni Usman, while addressing the press at the inauguration of Strategic Communication Course for senior officers at the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information, Bonny Camp, Lagos.
According to the Army spokesman, the military can, with all sense of confidence, say they have defeated the dreaded terrorist group.
“The situation in the North East has tremendously improved. The military operations or the fight against terrorism and insurgency in the North East is hinged on three things.
“First, defeating the Boko Haram terrorists, which has been accomplished, and making room to facilitate humanitarian assistance, which is also ongoing.
“Then restoration of law and order for good governance to take place.
“We no longer have camps of Boko Haram terrorists and we no longer have them converge in the territories. Roads that were hitherto closed are now open to the extent that we have trans-border trade.
“Take for instance, just recently the important road that links Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon was re-opened.
“We have come to the point that we can beat our chest and decisively say we have dealt with Boko Haram.”
Recall that the Boko Haram, which calls themselves Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād, was founded in 2002. They became increasingly radicalised after their leader Mohammed Yusuf was executed in 2009, and by 2011 the group had started launching suicide attacks, targeting military and police posts as well as soft targets, triggering a major wave of violence which covered the entire North Eastern Nigeria and also spread towards the North Central part and parts of the North West. Border regions of neighbouring countries were also affected. The countries include neighboring Cameroun, Niger and Chad.
The conflict has resulted in the death of about 20,000 and over 2.3 million people were displaced since the wave of violence started.
The group is also known for mass abduction, notably the kidnaping of 250 Secondary school girls from Chibok, a town in Maiduguri in April 2014. The kidnap drew worldwide condemnation with protests organised in different parts of the world calling for their release.
Here is a look at some of the deadly attack unleashed by the terrorist group :
Konduga massacre (Borno State), February 14, 2014
The targeted village was a predominantly Christian village. Insurgents dressed in military gear, raided the village. Some of their victims were shot. Others had their throats slit. By the end of February 15, 2014, 121 people had been killed.
Gwoza (Borno State) massacre, June 2, 2014
Boko Haram terrorists dressed as soldiers slaughtered about 200 civilians predominantly Christians in the villages of Goshe, Attagara, Agapalwa and Aganjara. Most of the targets were boys and men. Some villagers who managed to escape were unfortunately waylaid outside the villages by some gunmen on motorcycles who would catch and slaughter the men and young boys, while the women and children to go.
Kano bombing, November 28, 2014
The attack took place at the Central Mosque (Grand Mosque) in Kano, when the Friday prayers were under way. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up and gunmen opened fire on those who were trying to escape. Around 120 people were said to have lost their lives while 260 sustained different degrees of injuries.
Baga (Borno State) massacre, January 3 and January 7, 2015
Amnesty International described the attack on Baga, a town in Borno State close to Lake Chad, and its neighbouring villages as the deadliest since the insurgency started. The attack which took place between January 3 and January 7, 2015 saw the terrorist group open fire on about 16 villages in the area leaving about 2,000 dead. The death toll was said to be in the range of hundreds to as many as 2,000 people. About 30,000 people were displaced, authorities said with 20,000 fleeing to Maiduguri, Borno State capital. Bodies were said to left littering bushes in the aftermath of the attack.
– Olalekan Olonilua for encomium.ng