Boko Haram: Mind Your Language, Criminologist Tells FG

The pioneer Vice Chancellor of Salem University, Kogi State, Prof. Paul Omaji, on Tuesday warned against the use of language when making pronouncements on the success recorded in the fight against Boko Haram so as “not to give the public a false sense of security”.

He also said Nigeria is yet to fully win the fight against insurgency, despite the success recorded in some areas.

“The happenings we are seeing and hearing about in Maiduguri and other parts of Adamawa State, indicate clearly that the capability of Boko Haram has not been fully removed”, he said on Sunrise Daily, adding that the “government still has a lot to do”.

The criminologist, who commended the federal government for their efforts in ending the insurgency, however noted that “we must emphasise that every terrorist attack raises the level of insecurity in the land” insisting that “that is not conducive to nation-building”.

He further noted that terrorism is a global phenomenon that is difficult to completely eradicate, adding that “the effort of any responsible government should be targeted at bringing it (attacks) to the barest minimum.

“Every government must work hard to ensure that we minimise or completely stop the needless and senseless killing of human lives”, he said.

Prof Omaji also maintained that Nigeria, being a member of the United Nations, should seek external help to fight the menace but the government must be clear as to what it requires most.

“It is not about aligning with a particular bloc or the other, but making sure that Nigerian citizens are free from terror and sense of insecurity” so “they can focus their minds on contributing to nation building.

“So Nigeria should continue to engage with the rest of the of world, in making sure that these challenges are reduced to the barest minimum.” he said

He further commended the synergy between security agents but added that more needs to be done to promote inter-agency collaboration in the fight and speaking with “one voice” maintaining that “the information they put out seems to be the same thing across board, which is an improvement over what we had before”.

The former vice chancellor, however, disagreed with the Federal Government’s assertion that Boko Haram lacks the capacity to carry out major attacks, maintaining that “any life lost needlessly must be a pain to the nation”.

Boko Haram Has Been Largely Defeated

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, on Monday while addressing reporters in Lagos State, said Boko Haram insurgents have been largely defeated and are incapable of carrying out any major attacks in Nigeria .

“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.

Deadline Met

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.

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