Boko Haram now “substantially” defeated - Buhari

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After saying two years ago that the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram had been “technically defeated” even as the group continued its resurgence and continues to wreak havoc in the war-ravaged Northeast, President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday made another bold declaration, saying his administration’s efforts to combat insecurity in the country has resulted in Boko Haram terrorists being “substantially defeated.”

“The nation is appreciative of the gallantry and sacrifices of officers and men of our Armed Forces in the campaign against insurgency and other internal security operations. This has led to the return of normalcy in affected parts of the nation,” Buhari said at the launch of the 2020 armed forces Remembrance Day emblem. The Boko Haram terrorists have been substantially defeated and degraded to the extent that they are only daring soft targets.”

The Nigerian president urged the country’s security operatives to protect innocent Nigerians, who he said are soft targets.  Buhari’s claim on the Nigerian military’s ‘defeat’ of Boko Haram insurgents has been subjected in different contexts since his election in 2015. The president in 2015 promised to curb insecurity in the country. And he subsequently said his administration was winning the war against the insurgency.

Nigeria’s information and culture minister Lai Mohammed had also claimed that Boko Haram has been “technically defeated.” Despite the president’s claim, Boko Haram and other insurgency groups have continued to attack communities and villages in Nigeria’s northeast, killing, displacing and kidnapping Nigerians, including school children.

“We shall not rest until all our displaced persons are safely resettled into their communities without fear of further attacks,” Buhari said, adding: “…the peace and security of Nigeria is non-negotiable and the security agencies must continue to do their work diligently.”

The Nigerian president assured the security personnel that his administration will continue to provide necessary logistical support to ensure that the Armed Forces operate with the best modern warfare equipment while addressing the issues of their welfare.

Buhari stated that his government will remain steadfast in developing alliances with neighbors and friends in the international community for the total defeat of the insurgents. “The task of resettling and rehabilitating our citizens as well as the reconstruction of territories affected by the war will continue to be one of the priorities of this Administration,” Buhari said.