Shekau’s killing boosted Nigerians confidence in military – FG
The Federal Government has described as confidence booster for Nigerians, the reported killing of Boko Haram leader, Ahmed Shekau, by soldiers adding that proved that the military was equal to the task of routing out the terrorists who have held a northern part of the country hostage for the past couple of years.
Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, fielding questions from State House correspondents on the issue at the Federal Executive Council (FEC), said the reason government officials had refrained from speaking on the military operations which heightened exactly three months ago with the declaration of state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states by President Goodluck Jonathan, was deliberate to allow the military tell their story.
On the ambiguity of the defence headquarters statement saying that Shekau may have died of injuries he sustained in a gun duel with Joint Military Task Force (JTF), Maku stated that it was also to ensure that comments of political office holders does not cause misunderstanding and muddling up the scenario.
Maku who commended the media for an objective and supportive coverage of the anti-terrorism campaign, also described the state of emergency as a huge success with Borno being able to host a durbar for the first time in four years, just like Zaria did recently after two years of jot hosting for fear of terrorist attacks.
Maku said, “you will notice that since the president proclaimed the state of emergency three months ago we have kept politicl comments out of it. We decided that it is better for the military to tell their story that is why I have not spoken on it. We want to remove this security operation from any misunderstanding especially from politician. As a government it is our operation but the most important thing is to allow the military tell the story of what is happening.
“From the story you and I have read, it is very clear that this state of emergency has achieved a lot of result for which all Nigerians are proud of the performance of our military and security services.
“For example for four years Borno state has not witnessed any durbar but this year thousands of people in Borno witnessed durbar. Zaria also had their own durbar which was suspended three or four years ago because of security situation. But significantly several portions of Borno state that had already come under seige by the military have been reclaimed and the militants have been dislodged from those areas. Economic activities in Borno and Yobe have resumed significantly in the aftermath of the activities and the good work being done by the special operations forces. Todayleaders of the insurgents are running from pillars to post because the area is no longer conducive for them as it used to be.
“Every operation against a guerrilla styled insurgency is not something that can be contained over night. In Iraq we are still having occasional attacks after the Americans left just as we are having in Pakistan and other places. The presumption by Nigerians is that the incidence will end tomorrow. No. We are regaining territories, we are regaining confidence and stability. What the insurgents are doing is to go to remote places and start striking at innocent people like they did recently at Danboa. That shows the desperation of these people. We must be proud of our security forces. As we clock three months of the state or emergency, the military has just announced the creation of a new division which means that the operation would further go up from what it is. It will be more orderly and the military will gain further control which was shared with other security services. This also show the emphasis by the military to ensure complete success. What is significant is that not only in Nigeria but internationally the performance of our military has been commended. The criminality of these insurgents have also come under international opprobrium when the International Criminal Court accused them of crime against criminality.
“One of the fall outs of the declaration of state of emergency is the increase confidence by member of the public to come out clearly to interface with the security forces in identifying some of the hide outs of the criminals and murderers involved in the terrorist attacks on innocent Nigerians. You have very crucial roles being played by youths in the area.
“Relating to the story that we have read, I think it is better we leave it at that. These people are on the run and we will allow the military to tell the story. The military said that it would appear that in one of their operations, the leader of the insurgent was mortally wounded and they were rushing him from place to place and they believe that he could indeed be dead. There is no question of losing confidence. It should give us more confidence. What it means is that the security forces are closing up on some of the king pins of this murderous group that has denied thousands of Nigerians their lives. Some of the key leaders have been pronounced dead. I think that rather than losing confidence, we should continue to pray for the military continue to hope that in the end they succeed and they are succeeding. what is remaining is for the media to support the military. It is the most important thing we need in Nigeria because if there is no peace in the northern part of the country there won’t be peace in Nigeria”.