Chief of Nigeria’s Army, Tukur Buratai, a General,has long joined the sea of spin doctors and public relations in the government for which nothing seem to be working. On May 30,a day after Mohammadu Buhari was sworn in , Mr Buratai said something very familiar. “Boko Haram is gone. It will never return”.
Nigerians did not believe him especially those who live in the North East and the soldiers that are butchered daily. If they did, they won’t again because in a coordination, 30 people were killed while watching football earlier last week. A matter which Mr Buhari has handed over to God “to punish” them( attackers).
Again, last week, Mr Buhari promised to end “banditry once and for all”. And for saying that ,a village in Zamfara would have about 24 people killed by “bandits ” .Two days ago, it was reported that the military is deploying drones to Ekiti and Ondo state. I was forced to ask if the authorities had given up on the North.
“The security environment in the North-East has deteriorated since 2018 and there is a heightened risk of kidnap”-UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth office.
It is not news that the Nigerian government has failed abysmally in security. It has run out of people to blame . But let’s take a look at a week in Nigeria:
June 8: Bandits killed fifty in Rabah and Isa LGAs of Sokoto.
June 9: Bandits killed seventy in Shiroro, Niger. Some reports indicate that the death toll may be cumulative over a few days following the Sunday attack.
June 9: The Nigerian army reported that it killed nine Boko Haram social media personalities. No date or location were provided (estimated in Borno).
June 10: Nigerian soldiers killed one Boko Haram militant in Kukawa, Borno.
June 10: The Nigerian Air Force killed “several” (estimated at ten) Boko Haram militants in Gwoza, Borno.
June 11: During a Boko Haram attack in Darak, Cameroon, sixty-four Boko Haram militants, twenty-one soldiers, and sixteen civilians were killed.
June 11: Gunmen abducted four in Igabi, Kaduna.
June 12: Herdsmen killed one in a highway attack in Irewole, Osun
.June 12: Boko Haram killed twenty-one Nigerian soldiers in Mobbar, Borno.
June 13: Nigerian police killed one bandit in a gun duel in Kankara, Katsina.June 14: Bandits killed thirty-five in Shinkafi, Zamfara.
And now, specifically, military casualties:
On April 26, Sabon Gari in Borno was attacked by Boko Haram leaving ten soldiers dead.
On May 3, Magumeri in Borno state was also attacked by Boko Haram members and 14 soldiers were killed. A captain and a Lieutenant were among the deceased.
On May 10, Gajiganma was attacked and 15 soldiers were killed in another attack by Boko Haram leaving several others injured.
On May 13, a Lieutenant colonel and two soldiers were killed in Borgozo.
On June 12 ( new democracy day), 15 soldiers were killed in Kareto also in Borno including the commanding officer, a Lt Col.
On June 17, over 20 soldiers were killed in Gajiram.
“Relying on press reports of violence presents methodological limitations. There is a dearth of accurate reporting across certain regions, death tolls are imprecise, and accounts of incidents vary. There is the potential for political manipulation of media”. Nigeria Security Tracker, CFR, Washington DC.
The FCO and CFR are not reporting anything new. Kidnapping and banditry, among a raft of other crimes, have become the new normal. In a navel grazing blindness to reality, the government pretends as it keeps up with the lies and duplicity. This has not helped . People die daily in Nigeria just because they live in Nigeria. Including soldiers.
Blood and investment don’t mix. Nigeria will get poorer as the security situation worsens. Too sad for a candidate whose ascension in 2015 was hugely based on fixing insecurity.