*Jack Vince is reporting from Maiduguri
Here. Is. The. Truth. Of. The. Matter. The level of apprehension for Boko Haram activities among hapless citizens of the northeast, Borno in particular, has reduced exponentially. However, this reduction in people’s fear has absolutely nothing to do with the ongoing spate of landmines setting, bombing of soft targets, detonation of improvised explosive devices strapped to the loins of suicide bombers and hit-and-run guerrilla tactics employed by the outlaws recently. The people are only compelled by circumstances to have faith in the new handlers of security while their hopes for a better and safer society linger. One thing, though, is certain. The people cannot, at this turn of events, afford to be taken for yet another hectic bumpy ride of propaganda.
Contrary to erroneous opinion held by pundits, like the proverbial cat with nine lives, the insurgents who have apparently only retreated from Sambisa, Gamboru/Ngala, Marte, Kukawa, Malamfatori, Cross-Kauwa, Doro Naira and several of such towns are still quite in a very large number in the bush, if the testimony of soldiers encountering them is anything to go by. Like the Vietnamese, as depicted in Hollywood movies, the number of the insurgents keeps proliferating with every report of supposed decimation.
What must should be done to ensure that our troops, daily paying the supreme price, don’t get demoralised and disillusioned. This is because the soldiers are saying that nothing extraordinary in terms of boosting their armoury has occurred. Even if for nothing else, mines sweepers should be provided to safeguard their lives. Soldiers. Are. Daily. Being. Killed. By. Landmines. Also, the multinational joint task force comprising of Benin Republic and the Chad Basin countries of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon is yet to commence work in practical terms.
Quite frankly, but for the commitment of the present team which makes the whole difference, our “war strategists”, “counterterrorism contrivers” “intelligence experts” and so on seem to be as clueless as ever in putting a stop to the detonation of explosive devices in market places and worship areas, schools and parks. Local government area headquarters, towns and villages outside Maiduguri are still being attacked with untold destruction of lives and properties. Soldiers die from mines without even seeing the enemy. How unfortunate? How sad? As it was in the days of the last administration, the activities of the insurgents are still in effect now. Folks only see two sides of the same coin #