By Abdulrazaq Hamzat
The terrorist group, Boko Haram is yet to be defeated, degraded or decimated, this is the glaring truth that must be accepted and confronted with all sincerity, so that they can truly be defeated and decimated beyond the rhetoric.
While the group is no longer gaining more grounds like it used to do during the previous administration, they are still very much alive and active. It has in our observation, adopted a different mode of operation, which is no longer about sacking communities or gaining territories, but consolidating its achievement and gaining the heart of the people in the area it has significant influence, a method that seems to be silently working in its favor, as seen in their heroic welcome in Dapchi village, when they returned the abducted Dapchi girls on 21st March, 2018.
Contrary to popular claims that the people were excited because the abducted girls were returned, Foundation for Peace Professionals (FPP) hold the views that, what was seen in Dapchi was not an excitement about the returned girls alone, it is indeed a welcome reception for the terrorist group, by those who willingly or unwillingly align with their ideology.
It is true that significant progress has been made in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency by the current administration. However, we are compelled to observe that in government quest to paint a rosy picture of the progress, it is doing so beyond the reality on ground, thereby beclouding itself from the reality stirring the general public in the face.
In a video widely circulated on social media, excited locals were seen struggling to get close to Boko Haram vehicle in other to touch it like a sort of celebrities and those that did got close was seen touching the terrorists with passion and praying for them to succeed.
“May God assist you in your mission’’ some locals prayed in Hausa language.
In another video posted on Sahara Reporters online media platform, crowd of sympathizers in Dapchi town were seen praising Boko Haram commanders for their efforts and praying for them to succeed in their agenda. The report also said that the group warned parents to desist from taking their children to school.
A careful analysis of that event by Foundation for Peace Professionals (FPP) indicates that the entrance of Boko Haram to Dapchi town with their flag right up is a psychological victory for the group and a blow of Nigeria. It re-enforces the fact that they are still in control in some areas and failure to abide by their directives open the people to their wrath. Who dare listen to the government, when the terrorist group is clearly in charge? Who dare disregard the group in those areas, when they can kidnap and return over 100 people at will? This is contrary to claim of government that Boko Haram has been defeated.
We call on the government to accept the reality of the situation and mobilize all Nigerians behind it in its quest to truly defeating the group and restoring peace and order.
Abdulrazaq Hamzat, writes from the Foundation for Peace Professionals.