Nigeria News takes a look at the various circumstances that surround the workings of the Nigerian Army in their fight against Boko Haram.
My car was stopped abruptly and the soldier with his gun pointed to the driver ordered me to come down. I summoned the courage and instructed the driver to pull over so that we could allow vehicles behind us to pass.
As the car moved away from the road, I could hear the cocking of the gun but before the soldier could pull the trigger, I came down from the car and strolled down to meet the visibly angry soldier.
Are you crazy, he queried me? I could not say a word as he moved closer to me and dragged my telephone handset from my hands. Why were you receiving call inside the car? he asked. I was not the one driving. I have a driver or is it wrong for me to receive calls when not behind the wheel. Didn’t you see the sign, the soldier queried again? I saw it but I think it is for drivers and not for passengers, I said.
Okay, sit down here, the soldier ordered me. I was to catch a flight at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and had boarded a taxi to take me there. I did not know that it is prohibited to make calls along the Airport Road until this particular day.
The soldier delayed me for about 30 minutes and I actually missed my flight to Lagos. I sat with him as he lectured me on how to use my phone and throughout the lecture, thousands of vehicles had passed without being checked so far the passengers and drivers did not use their phones.
I knew there would be criminals and contrabands in some of the vehicles that had passed after and before me but had kept to the rules of phones to beat the soldiers.
That is how bad security had gone in my country, Nigeria. And when the Nigerian Army announced its breakthrough of capturing Sambisa Forest, the hidden spot of the dreaded Boko Haram, I hardly believed their story.
I suspect that Boko Haram has moles among the soldiers, even some of the military brass are para-Boko Haram. I suspect that the Boko Haram insurgents have changed their base and the continued negotiation with Federal Government to release abducted Chibok schoolgirls signals their ready presence in Nigeria.
Despite the jubilation by the army that Boko Haram had been reduced to carcasses, the terrorists struck again last Monday at the Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi and abducted scores of pupils.
“They came in six new Hilux vans and disguised in army uniform to the school,” one of the students who escaped had said.
It is obvious that Boko Haram is a rich killer group for it to have come in six brand new Hilux vans to pack the girls. Recalled that there are still about a hundred of Chibok schoolgirls in the custody of the Boko Haram, the terrorists had abducted another hundred, which of course will be negotiated to make money.
A list of 106 students had since been released to the public, out of which about 48 had been rescued. It took hours for the troops of the Nigerian Army to arrive Dapchi and when they came, they guarded the empty college instead of pursuing the Boko Haram.
I do not write to castigate the Nigerian Army, it is one of the best in Africa and has won various awards for reducing the Boko Haram insurgency. However, there is much to be done. Enough of propaganda. The leader of the Boko Haram, Ibrahim Shekau has released some video clips in the last few weeks to debunk Army’s claim of capturing his group.
Shekau may be boastful anyway, he does this because the soldiers have failed to capture him. The soldiers’ claim lately is that there was an order from above not to capture Shekau now. This sounds illogical, it defines the true, the half true and the lies about the dreaded terrorists.