The federal government yesterday attributed the delay in effectively routing Boko Haram, which it said it had technically defeated, to global powers that are blocking Nigeria’s moves to acquire weapons to fight terrorism and win the insurgency war.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, told reporters in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, that the action of the world powers was frustrating Nigeria’s resolve to end the insurgency war.
Mohammed, who was in Makurdi to visit the state Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, spoke against the backdrop of the outrage generated by Saturday’s killing of no fewer than 43 rice farmers by Boko Haram in Zabarmari, Borno State.
“Nigeria had made attempts to acquire better and more effective platforms to deal with terrorists and for one reason or the other, we have been denied these platforms; and without adequate platforms, we will remain at the mercy of terrorists,” he lamented.
Incensed by the killing, President Muhammadu Buhari in his second comment since the incident yesterday gave the military marching orders to take the battle to the insurgents and crush them.
He also sent a delegation, led by President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, and which included his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, to condole with the Borne State government and people.
The presidency, however, explained yesterday that the slain farmers went to the farm without getting clearance from the military as the area is part of Boko Haram’s enclave and people need military’s go-ahead to know areas safe for movements.
But to win the insurgency war, the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, made six recommendations to the federal government, including the use of mercenaries to clear the Sambisa Forest.
The killing of the 43 farmers attracted more criticisms yesterday with the United States condemning the incident.
After meeting Ortom in Makurdi, Mohammed said notwithstanding the frustrations from the superpowers, the federal government would fight terrorism and insurgency to a logical conclusion.
He said: “We will never stop protecting lives and livelihoods. However, we must also understand that we are dealing with terrorists who are financed globally and we also need more support from global partners.
“When people talk about terrorism, they don’t seem to appreciate the fact that terrorism is not a local but a global issue and there is no part of the world that is not experiencing pockets of terrorism.”
He said he was glad that the governor admitted that the federal government had tried to curb insecurity in the state.
The minister, who expressed worry over certain factors frustrating the battle against insurgency, noted that fighting terrorists is not a joke.
According to him, “You must also be able to look at the terrorists. You see, terrorists also use media and publicity as oxygen, so when they go on this kind of mindless killings of the innocent, it is for attention.
“It is just that a dying terrorist group will suddenly spring to life, it does not mean that the government is not doing enough. “Terrorism in Africa and any other place in the world has the same concept; you have a group of people who are extremists in their thoughts, who don’t believe that we and you should be alive.”