By ANDREW OJIEZEL
It is no longer news that President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to end insurgency is just 29 days’ time, the news is that promise may turn out to be a mirage following the burning down of army base by Boko Haram northeastern Nigeria.
According to Associated Press (AP) report, Boko Haram would have recapture the village if not the gallant efforts by the local fighters that prevented the insurgents from retaking Gulak, the headquarters of Madagali Local Government area of Adamawa State.
James Ularamu, a former chairman of the council, told AP the brave civilian fighters held Gulak town after the soldiers ran away, until the military sent reinforcements who then fought off the extremists. By that time, the base had been burned down.
“Sunday night’s attack came as a military intelligence officer confirmed that 107 soldiers remain missing nearly two weeks after a Nov. 19 battle,” the report said. The Nigerian Army has denied that the soldiers were missing.
A newspaper had stated that the soldiers from the 157 Battalion, including their commanding officer, were missing in action along with the tank, three artillery guns and eight trucks including one carrying 60,000 rounds of ammunition.
It added that an army officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Boko Haram also drove off with an army T-72 tank and dozens of new camouflage uniforms. According to AP, the military has reported that it destroyed dozens of Boko Haram camps and freed more than 1,000 kidnap victims in recent weeks. “But Boko Haram has stepped up the tempo and range of its attacks, with raids and suicide bombings in the past week in Niger, Cameroon and northern Nigeria. “Early Sunday the extremists kidnapped dozens of girls and set ablaze hundreds of buildings in Bam in Borno state, said resident Mallam Ali.”
The report noted that these setbacks are coming as Nigeria’s government admitted it cannot crush by December the 6-year uprising that has killed some 20,000 people.