About 72 hours to the deadline given the Nigerian military to defeat Boko Haram, the terrorists have carried out devastating attacks in two northeastern states of Adamawa and Borno.
No fewer than 45 people have died in two separate attacks in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and Madagali village in Adamawa State, North East Nigeria.
One of the blasts in the Maiduguri attacks occurred near a mosque in the Suleimanti area behind the Central Bank of Nigeria while the other targeted a residence behind an internally displaced people’s camp known as Bakassi, which killed 18 members of a family.
Based on initial reports, 28 people had died in the blasts while hospital sources said at least 75 people were receiving treatment from wounds sustained from the explosions. The death toll has since risen.
The injured are mostly worshippers from the Suleimanti mosque who were attacked shortly after the early morning prayers.
In the Adamawa attack, two female suicide bombers reportedly detonated a bomb in a market in Madagali, at about 8:00am on Monday The Adamawa state government has said 17 people were killed while 44 persons sustained various degrees of injuries.
According to Brigade Commander, 28 Task Force Brigade, Brigadier General Victor Ezugu, those injured were evacuated to the 143 Rangers Battalion military facility in Madagali and the general hospital in Mubi.
The state commissioner of Information, Ahmad Sajoh, who disclosed the casualty figure said “As a government we have also already mapped out sensitization programme through our traditional institutions in which the populace would be sensitized on how to identify suicide bombers and what to do to stay safe,” Mr. Sajoh said.
“We have posters and other materials needed for such sensitization and they would effectively be used in most of our communities.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has said that 14 suspected female suicide bombers aged between 12 and 18 attempted invading Maiduguri city from four entry points on Sunday.
According to the General Officer Commanding the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, Major General Lamidi Adeosun, 13 of the suspects were killed while one was arrested.
Boko Haram insurgents have been largely defeated and are incapable of carrying out any major attacks in Nigeria.
This is a statement made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, on Monday while addressing reporters in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
“For anybody to know and appreciate what the military has done, cast your mind back to this time last year (2014), when 20 out of 27 local governments in Borno State were in the firm control of Boko Haram and six local governments in Yobe State and four in Adamawa State were in their control, till today when you probably have one or two local governments where they are still trying to operate from.
“That will give you an idea as to what the military has achieved in the last couple of months. The Army has been able to decimate them as they have been decapitated and lack the capacity to launch the kind of attacks they used to launch before,” Mr Mohammed said.
The Minister also said the recent pockets of violence carried out by the sect were indications that the terrorist group was living in its last days.
“When we say that the Boko Haram has been largely defeated, we are actually vindicated by the fact that even what happened till Christmas is the kind of thing you expect from any insurgency, because they know they are on their way out.
“Boko Haram insurgency, like any insurgency, is not a conventional war. We are not saying that by December 31, there will be no more attacks, bombings or suicides; that is the nature of insurgency. It is for us in Nigeria today as civilians to also own the war and supply the missing link,” he said.
According to the Minister, the Federal Government believes that the deadline of ending the insurgency in the disturbed northeast has been met.
President Muhammadu Buhari had expressed confidence that the Boko Haram sect’s ability to attack, seize, ravage and hold any Nigerian territories would be completely obliterated by the end of 2015.
The President said that with greater support from his administration in terms of improved training, equipment, logistics and welfare, the Nigerian Armed Forces were well positioned to meet the December deadline.
The Service Chiefs have since been assuring Nigerians that the deadline would be met.
While the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, said the military was working hard to succeed in meeting up with the December deadline, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said that part of his strategy was to ensure a good and healthy life for his men.