The Ruins of Gubio, Magumeri 

Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara

The few people remaining in Gubio and Magumeri local government areas of Borno State are still counting their losses after the gruesome attacks by Boko Haram last week. The tears of many may never dry. The terrorists operated in the communities for hours without resistance, killing dozens of people while many others are still unaccounted for. Scores of homes and government offices were destroyed. In Magumeri, the terrorists, after taking over control, razed the council’s secretariat, other public structures and residential houses, including that of the Member representing Gubio, Magumeri and Kaga Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Usman Zannah.

Few weeks back, Boko Haram struck in Gajiram, the headquarters of Ngazai Local Government Area of the state, killing scores of innocent Nigerians. They looted houses and shops, carted away foodstuffs and livestock, leaving residents in tears. Several vehicles at the local government secretariat were burnt.

While the destruction of Gajiram, Gubio and Magumeri lasted, the military did not respond to the distress messages sent to them. I heard Governor Babagana Zulum blaming the failure of security agents to respond to the invasion on the new Super Camp tactic of the military. This governor has evidently shown his naivety about factors responsible for the inability of the military to curb Boko Haram attacks. Ferocious attacks on communities in Borno State have persisted with or without Super Camp. So, it’s not about the newly introduced war tactic. The Nigerian military as presently constituted, lacks the capacity to curb or end Boko Haram assaults. This is why the killings of thousands of civilians and soldiers by the terrorists have occurred. It is persisting because this government has refused to embrace pragmatic steps.

The war against Boko Haram is beyond the capabilities of our gallant soldiers. The leaders of the military have failed the soldiers on the war front by denying them quality equipment and welfare. This is why they are struggling to contain the rebels. It is so depressing hearing stories of soldiers on the war front being owed field allowances. Technology, quality equipment and quality manpower will be needed to destroy Boko Haram. Our military lacks these. All the lies that the terrorists had been decapitated are falling like a pack of cards, with security agents struggling to hold on to areas under their control. The way forward is to engage mercenaries for this war against Boko Haram.

The strategy for getting result against Boko Haram is largely through aerial power. It requires quality fighter jets, quality armoured attack helicopters, technology, intelligence and quality manpower. Our military lacks the capacity for these. We must hire mercenaries to finish this war. This is the way forward if President Buhari is genuinely interested in ending this fratricidal conflict. The leadership of the military and that of the country have evidently failed the people of Borno State. Buhari must take concrete actions as listed above if he is interested in redeeming his image on this war.