WE in Vanguard Newspapers have always maintained an unflinching focus on the anti-Boko Haram and other security threats damaging the fabric of the nation, and the reasons are obvious.
Though no one knows exactly what the Federal and the three flashpoint North Eastern states (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe) spent on the Boko Haram war and humanitarian complications attached to it, it is on record that President Muhammadu Buhari arbitrarily took one billion US Dollars from the Excess Crude Account last year to tackle security, with very little to show for it so far.
That the ten-year anti-insurgency war has become a quagmire for the country is evident in the fact that almost four years after the Buhari government triumphantly announced the “technical defeat” of Boko Haram, declaring that it no longer occupied “an inch” of Nigeria’s territory, Boko Haram followed up their serial hits on the military’s facilities earlier this year by attacking and burning downtowns in Gubio and Magumeri local government areas last week.
The Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum and his immediate predecessor, Kashim Shettima(now a Senator), have rushed to the Presidential Villa in Abuja to plead for more military push to stop the total collapse of the security situation.
We plead, for the umpteenth time, that time has come for the Boko Haram war to end.
We fully align with the exhortations of the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Olusegun Adeniyi, that it is time to “finish the war and go home”.
We had expected this to be the war cry from the Presidency at the inception of the Buhari Government’s second term.
We had expected the “Next Level” slogan of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to impact on the war against Boko Haram through the total overhaul of the security architecture, including the appointment of new Service Chiefs with fresh ideas and renewed vigour.
We are aghast that a formula that has failed in four years of its application is still in use. The character of the insurgency has continued to change with the times and Nigeria has to be ahead of the enemies in order to overcome it.
The Islamists have built new coalitions with the Islamic State and Al Qaeda Network. Nigeria needs to enlist the assistance of major powers to confront them in the same manner that was used to stamp them out in Syria and Iraq.
Without such a massive worldwide effort, Nigeria may turn into another Afghanistan and the entire West and Central Africa regions risk being destabilised.
It is time to do everything possible to end the Boko Haram war. Without it, apart from losses to our sovereignty and human lives, we will continue to waste precious, scarce resources on an endless insurgency.