Boko Haram: That Military Offensive


Reports of the successes recorded in
the fight against Boko Haram in the
North-Eastern part of Nigeria has been soul-lifting and moral-boosting for many Nigerians who feared for the country as it faced a clear and present danger.
Barely weeks into the fresh military campaign, after a shift in the country’s election time-table, the military has invaded the infamous Sambisa forest and killed hundreds of insurgents and destroyed their camps.
The military has also taken back Baga and 15 other key towns under the control of Boko Haram, discovered, and in some cases, destroyed large caches of arms and ammunition. This is not  to mention the number of military men being tried and convicted for aiding Boko Haram.
Indeed, the recent success of the Nigerian military against the insurgents has tended  to restore the pride of the ordinary Nigerian and confirmed their rating as one of the best in the world. It has also confirmed the wisdom behind the shift of the election dates.
The current offensive against Boko Haram has also raised hopes that  the North-East geo-political zone will vote at the re-scheduled election. As expected, the routing of the insurgents and the provision of an enabling environment for  the  Internally Displaced Persons to return home will mark the return of peace to that part of Nigeria.
While the present feat may not have been possible without the collaboration with neighbouring  Chad, Cameroun and Niger Republic among others and the new arms acquired by Nigeria, the Federal Government and the military deserve commendation.
The development easily provides the answer for pessimists and unpatriotic elements that expressed joy whenever the insurgents took over military barracks and whole local government areas in the North-East. Indeed, the patriotic fervour  it has generated is invaluable.
Even with this, the US is training more men for the operation. Nigerian soldiers are among the 1,300 from 28 African and Western countries involved in operation “Flintlock” in N’djamena, Chad billed as a warn-up for a multi-pronged onslaught against Boko Haram.
The US-backed three-week counter terrorism exercise which began February 16, includes training drill, intelligence sharing, patrols, desert survival technique, airborne operation and marksmanship.
The Tide expects that neither the Federal Government nor the military will subscribe to any  negotiation or ceasefire until the last of the insurgents had been killed or arrested. Indeed, efforts should also be made to identify the sponsors of Boko Haram, especially those from Nigeria for necessary sanctions.
Even so, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are going back to their homes require the assistance and support of the government and the military. Some actually have no structures or property to return to, neither are there schools for their children. But it is important that they settle back as soon as possible.
As the offensive intensifies, we urge traditional, religious, political leaders and the youth in the North-East in particular and Nigeria at large to support the Federal Government to provide the needed security and stability that people can leverage on.
Nigerians are expected to volunteer useful information that would help the military track the insurgents as some of them are known to have filtered into other parts of the country to take refuge.
The Tide is proud of the Nigerian Military and will want to join patriots and other well-meaning individuals to hail our military. We also commend the people and government of Cameroun, Chad and Niger for the support they are providing.