The biggest drawback to the war against Boko Haram under the Buhari administration is the massive lies about progress on the battle field. A technically defeated Boko Haram keeps drubbing our soldiers, military formations and innocent citizens. The first step towards tackling a problem is to admit it exists. This is what this government has persistently failed to do. It is so sad to note that the newly sworn in Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), has decided to commence his tenure with this faulty approach. It was ridiculous seeing Magashi telling Nigerians that 22 Borno local government areas had been liberated since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2015. I was not surprised that the minister, who spoke during his ongoing tour of military formations in the North-east, was silent on the identities of the LGAs liberated.
When the Jonathan administration handed over to Buhari on May 29, 2015, Boko Haram had been pushed to the fringes of Zambisa forest. Many local government areas were retaken by the terrorists under the Buhari government. As I pen this piece, aid agencies can’t access many local government areas of Borno State. The terrorists roam freely in these areas. They even run their own government and collect taxes.
Magashi should stop all these propaganda and face the task ahead squarely. It is the tenacious propaganda by government that pushed the North-east to this very bad state. The truth is that the terrorists are alive and kicking in many parts of Borno State. They are also controlling territories. Our gallant soldiers are doing their best but lack the capabilities to end the war. Boko Haram is growing stronger daily, with better equipment. I urge Magashi to face this fact and come out with pragmatic solution to this quagmire.
Tyranny of Governor Ben Ayade
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State is averse to criticism. He rules the state with an iron fist. Ayade is always very ruthless when confronted with facts and figures showing his failings. This has been his tactic for over four years now. Leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Cross River State University can testify to this. He recently bared his fangs at the publisher of CrossRiverWatch, Agba Jalingo, for reporting that he allegedly diverted N500 million meant for the state’s micro finance bank. Ayade mobilised the Cross Rivers State Police Command to Lagos to abduct Jalingo in his home. I am shocked that he is using the police to terrorise innocent people. If this governor is aggrieved by the publication, I expect him to file for libel. Abducting a journalist and locking him for over two weeks is lawlessness. Ayade, a professor, is persistently intimidating his perceived opponents with security agents. This governor needs to be reminded that he is a public officer and must learn to be tolerant of criticism. Criticism is necessary in a free society. This baloney has to stop. All forces of good must mount pressure on Ayade to free Jalingo. Today, I urge the Acting IG Muhammed Adamu, to reprimand the Commissioner of Police, Cross River State Command (Austin Agbonlahor) for allowing Ayade to use him to perpetrate injustice.