The war against the monstrous extremist movement of Boko Haram in the Northern part of Nigeria by the Buhari’s administration has generated mixed reactions and interpretations. While, some will say the Nigerian army is winning the war, others agreed that Boko Haram is technically defeated and to some, the war can only be won when Boko Haram members are totally annihilated and the Chibok girls are reunited safely with their families.
If there is one thing we can all agree on despite our differences in interpreting the winning status of the war is the fact that the vibrancy and kamikaze gusto of Boko Haram have greatly been reduced and limited to attacks on soft and vulnerable targets. Five signs show a silver lining in the war of attrition against these “No western education” extremists by the Nigerian Army, who have suddenly found voice, sense of purpose, drive and gallantry under the Buhari’s administration.
Shekau Missing In Action: I could remember vividly watching a boastful and scornful video of Shekau bragging on how Almighty Allah have given him the right to sell the Chibok girls into prostitution and I felt disgusted and angry at the situation the country find itself and what the country pride itself for. Fast forward to present time, his name is virtually non-existent (though debatable) or a flash in pan unlike in the Jonathan’s administration that Shekau’s name was a household name and a thorn in every Nigerians’ flesh.
Military Formation Fortified: Under the Jonathan’s administration, there is hardly a week gone by without the Boko Haram being in the news for attacking military formations and structures, laying ambush for the army which led to the popular mutiny and attacking Northern states in commando style with army fleeing in their wake. The Nigerian Army under the Buhari’s administration have all of sudden woken from their slumber, re-vitalized and with renewed sense of duty taken the war to Boko Haram both from within to outside of their military formations.
Sambisa No Entry, No Exit Surveillance: If what is in the news and pictures from social media are to go by, then there is no escape route for Boko Haram members because their previous fortuitous home now has a cracked wall. The Nigerian army through its different operational nomenclatures and mopping up activities have laid siege in the Sambisa forest making it virtually impossible for in-road and out-road movements in the forest without being caught and if they try to escape, they get killed.
Shekau’s Prophecy: Shekau in a video message that contained none of the regular defiant bluster, taunts and denunciation of political leaders of previous videos and will likely be interpreted as an admission of defeat; the dejected-looking Shekau declared: “For me the end has come” in March 2015 and pledge allegiance to ISIL. From the garrulous leader that seems untouchable to a dejected and weakened prophet, one can only imagine how time flies.
Birds’ Suicide Bombing: I think the ingenious suicide bombing inventions of the Boko Haram sect should be applauded. The commander of a Multinational Force fighting Islamist insurgents, Major General Lamidi Adeosun, shockingly revealed the latest strategy employed by the Boko Haram insurgents who now strap bombs on birds to carry out their attacks. The use of birds and children for suicide bombing demonstrate the depletion in the ranks and file of the sect and their desperate ploy to make a statement.