At the national security summit in Abuja on Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari said that the abduction of 110 Dapchi schoolgirls, as well as the attack on an Internally Displaced Persons’ camp in Rann, Borno State, would not be allowed to recur.
Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari said that the federal government has dealt severe blows on the Boko Haram sect.
According to the president, the recent attacks on soft targets by the terrorists aimed to create the impression that the terrorists still held sway whereas they had been effectively degraded.
Here’s what he said:
“Boko Haram, as we all know, rejects authority and strives to take over territory, to establish a caliphate in line with ISIS objectives. Between 2012 and 2015, they seemed to be well on their way to achieve their objectives by annexing some territory of Nigeria.
”As of March 2015, Boko Haram controlled about 20,000square kilometres of Nigeria, that is about the size of Belgium, from the eastern border of Cameroun to parts of Lake Chad. In Borno State, 20 out of 27 local government areas were under Boko Haram control, including Mubi in Adamawa and some villages.
”In addition to this, their footprints were registered in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano with the bombings of the UN building and Police HQ in Abuja. That was the state of affairs as of early 2015. Today, BH does not occupy any local government area in Nigeria. And they no longer have the capacity to hold a territory. and challenge the sovereignty of the state.
“Gone are the days they operated outside the precincts of the northeast, leaving behind carnage and bloodshed. They are now operating as desperate criminal gangs mostly in relics or groups taking over some communities, using children as suicide bombers, kidnapping innocent girls and children.”
The event which held at the National Defence College (NDC), Abuja, was organised by the Alumni Association of the NDC in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the NDC. The theme was “Fighting Tomorrows’ Warfare Today.”