Boko Haram: Tinubu faults Buhari’s tactics
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has suggested that with the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the 6th Executive President of Nigeria on May 29, the deadly Boko Haram sect has only escalated its attacks.
A series of bombings that have killed dozens of defenceless citizens across the North-east, have become commonplace since President Buhari’s inauguration making it the bloodiest in the recent months.
Faulting Buhari’s approach, Tinubu said “defeating Boko Haram is not simply about military strategy but addressing how the group emerged in the first place.”
Tinubu who made this disclosure on Friday through a report titled “Will the US back Buhari’s tough stance against Boko Haram?” published in The Nation Newspaper dated June 12, 2015 was responding to a publication in the Washington Post.
The publication stressed that the next chapter of President Buhari’s fight against insurgency could be difficult, seeing the rising waves of attack by the insurgent group.
“The next chapter of the fight against Boko Haram could be the most difficult, I think we might be seeing the end of the large battlefield phase of this, but if Boko Haram goes back to hit-and-run tactics, it could be even harder for Nigerian military forces,” Washington Post stated, quoting a senior U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
In response, Tinubu stated; “The military has said for months that Boko Haram has been forced out of key cities and villages in operations that seemed to lay the groundwork for the group’s elimination after President Buhari took power.
“Instead, the past week has been the bloodiest in recent months.”
“Attacks were coordinated by militants near the Maiduguri International Airport last week, killing eight, and in a mosque, killing about 25.
“Then, on Tuesday, a man blew himself up in a slaughterhouse in the same city, killing about 40.”
Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital, was among the places where Nigerian security forces said they had vanquished Boko Haram.
The piece went on to detail the frequency of recent attacks.
“Over the past few months, there had been relatively few attacks, and the city’s markets and streets were packed.’’
“In the most recent attack, penultimate Thursday, militants bombed a market in the northeastern city of Yola, Adamawa State, killing at least 31 and wounding dozens, according to officials.”
Meanwhile, insurgents appear to be intent on proving their capacity to launch deadly attacks despite the re-location of the Military command Centre to Maiduguri, Borno State Capital, fondly called the hot bed of terrorism.
In a 10-minute video released Tuesday, the group rejected the military’s claims of success.
“Most of our territory is still under our control,” said an unidentified man featured in the video, who was carrying an AK-47 and standing in front of two Sport Utility Vehicles, SUVs.
Also in the video, militants show the identification cards of soldiers they claimed to have killed and the wreckage of a jet they allegedly brought down.
“Here in Sambisa you can travel more than four to five hours under the black flag of Islam,” said the man in the Boko Haram video.
The APC National leader who had on Wednesday blamed President Buhari for expressing “perceived neutrality” in who emerges as the leaders of the 8th National Assembly emphasized that Buhari had earlier blamed the former President for not taming the insurgents.
“After his victory in a historic election — the first time an incumbent had ever lost a presidential contest in Nigeria — many Nigerians had huge hopes for President Buhari, who last ruled the country for less than two years, from 1983 to 1985.
“In his first week in office, he has already condemned Boko Haram and criticised his predecessor, Dr. Jonathan, for allowing the extremists to take root.
In his inauguration speech, he explained the group’s ascent as a product of “official bungling, negligence, complacency or collusion,” calling Boko Haram “godless” and “mindless,” Tinubu said.
“His first directives as President were to move the military headquarters out of the capital and to Borno State, considered Boko Haram’s stronghold,’’ he added.
“The Buhari administration is going to have to think about the center of the fight not just in geographic terms,” said Carl LeVan, an expert at American University.
“What is really the heart of the battle? Is it retaking Gwoza and other Boko Haram strongholds and holding them? Or is it tackling the broader message about the role of Islam in a multicultural Nigeria?”