by Bosun Awoniyi
The ongoing nightmare in Nigeria has demonstrated the battle against Boko Haram militant is far from over. Boko Haram had stepped up its attacks in the Lake Chad Basin area not only in Nigeria, but also in Niger and Chad mainly against civilian targets.
Nigeria, Africa’s most biggest country has in the last two weeks witnessed an escalation of Boko Haram’s bloody campaign, with several suicide bomb and gun attacks targeting places of worship, communities and public places, killing hundreds of people.
Many of the recent attacks have been by suicide bombers often young women.
The latest attacks occurred late on Sunday and early Tuesday at central north city of Jos and at a local government office in Zaria in Kaduna State respectively.
In Kaduna, 26 people were confirmed dead when a suspected suicide bomber detonated an explosive where civil servants had gathered for data verification in the Sabon Gari area of Zaria.
In Jos bomb blast, Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reported that the death toll from Sunday’s bomb blast in Jos had risen from 44 to 51.
As of Monday, NEMA confirmed that 44 persons died from the blast and about 67 sustained serious injuries of different proportions.
More than 400 Nigerians are estimated to have been killed by the sect in the last five weeks as Nigerians are calling for more action to end the wave of violence blamed on Boko Haram militants.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, violence by Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria’s northeast continues to send thousands of refugees across the border into neighboring countries.
Many families were forced to flee on foot, taking few belongings with them and walking tens of kilometers before finding safety in Cameroon. Cameroon is hosting thousands of refugees from Nigeria and Central African Republic.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, who expressed sadness over the reported dastardly bomb attack at a church on the outskirts of Potiskum, Yobe, on Sunday, has called for an expanded regional force to be deployed more rapidly.
Buhari accepted an invitation from President Paul Biya to visit Cameroon at his earliest convenience for talks on the intensification of cooperation between Nigeria and neighboring countries in the war against Boko Haram and terrorism.
He is expected to visit Cameroon for the high-level talks soon after the end of the Ramadan fast.
Though, he had expressed confidence in the ability of the Nigerian military to overcome and eradicate Boko Haram. Buhari declared in early June that the Nigerian Army, remained a virile fighting force.
Buhari said because of the peculiarities of terrorism, the movement of terrorists across borders and the unconventional nature of the war against terror, Nigeria would continue to seek the support of neighboring countries in its bid to overcome Boko Haram.
The Nigerian leader thereafter ordered the release of 21 million U.S. dollars out of the 100 million dollars pledged by Nigeria to the Multi National Joint Task Force against Boko Haram.
Buhari, who made the announcement while chairing the African Union (AU), Peace and Security Council (PSC) meeting at the AU summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, said the order was in response to a decision by the leaders of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin in Abuja to immediately fund the MNJTF with not less than 30 million dollars.
He also extended the invitation to submit requests of the needs of the country in the fight against Boko Haram asked by the G7 to member nations of the LCBC.
Buhari also said the cross border war against insurgency was not limited by troops fighting in their respective territories as Chad and Niger soldiers were already in Nigeria to flush out the insurgents.
He said the foreign troops had chased out Boko Haram and secured Nigerian territories.
Recently, Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) told reporters that the Boko Haram insurgents will be in for surprises for daring the resolve of President Buhari to end the insurgency.
Party’s National Chairman, John Odigie said it was obvious that the insurgents were daring the president’s resolve.
Though, he said expectations were high, the chairman added that the party was on the proper path toward responding to the yearnings and needs of Nigerians.
However, the police has advised citizens of the West African country to be on the alert following recent bomb blasts in some parts of the country.
Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase has directed the commencement of special ‘stop and search’ operation on roads and highways across the country.
He said the directive was sequel to intelligence report before him.
The police chief stressed that during the operation, emphasis would placed on roads in and out of major cities and towns.
Arase enjoined citizens to bear with the Police during the operation, which would be a temporary measure to address the issues contained in the intelligence report. Enditem