– The lawmaker disclosed this after visiting some states in the northeast region to perform an oversight function A House of Reps member on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sani Mohammed, has challenged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government’s claim that Boko Haram has been decimated and normalcy restored to the northeast of the country. According to Premium Times, Mohammed who is the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Humanitarian Affairs, the federal government’s claim of Boko Haram ‘defeat’ is a “lie”. The lawmaker said the region has “failed”, and he feared such failure could affect other parts of the country.
Mohammed spoke while briefing his colleagues on his experience after visiting some states in the region. “We just returned from an oversight function from Borno and Yobe states and I can say that the description that the northern part of Nigeria is under siege by Hon. Chika is an understatement,” the lawmaker said in a rare frank comment about the situation in the region still facing a deadly Boko Haram crisis.
“The northern part of the country is failing. Actually, it has failed in so much part of it. My fear is that this grave situation will have a contagious effect on other parts of the country. “On Thursday when we went to Maiduguri. Upon arrival, Boko Haram insurgents launched an attack on an IDPs camp called Dalori 2 which is just opposite the University of Maiduguri. They burned down a substantial part of that camp, killed eight people and abducted women and ran into the bush unchallenged,” the lawmaker said.
“We went to Bama. The second most important town in Borno state which is also the exit point to three other countries; Chad, Niger and neighbouring Cameroon.” In what seems an apparent reference to the federal government’s positive statements on the war, Mohammed said the statements that stabilisation has been restored to the region was only a lie.
The current administration has consistently said that Boko Haram insurgents had been “technically defeated” before saying they have been “degraded.” Addressing troops in the garrison town of Monguno in July, President Buhari said Boko Haram fighters were surrendering “willingly”.
“It’s evident that we are in a post-conflict stability phase, which has been made possible by the good work of our armed forces,” he added. However, Mohammed believes the government’s acclaimed defeat does not reflect the true situation on ground. “There are no 200 persons in Bama today. The talk of safety being restored, the talk of normalcy and stabilisation being restored in part of northeast is a farce, is a ruse. It’s not correct. It’s a lie,” the lawmaker was quoted to have said.
He recounted the experiences he and other committee members had in Borno and Yobe states. “Before you will be escorted to any of those parts I’m talking about, you need almost a platoon of soldiers. Even the soldiers themselves, in spite of the encouragement we give them, the truth of the matter is that they are not confident.
“On Saturday, we travelled to Gashua in Yobe state. On our way back we were at Damaturu at exactly seven o’clock, we could not move to Maiduguri which was just a distance of one hour. By six o clock, up till now there is no movement into Maiduguri.
I wonder that my colleagues are not painting this picture on the floor of this parliament. “So, we had to stay back in Maiduguri (Damaturu) with the only clothes we had. No towels, no brushes, until the following day when we were allowed by the security forces, including our escorts.”
Mohammed said the committee could not go to Chibok due to the security situation in the town. “Part of our assignment would have been to travel to Chibok. Chibok is a no-go area. Only three days earlier, they raided a village where the Chief of Army staff comes from, killed people and went back unchallenged. The fact of the matter is that these insurgents are also in control of some territories,” he said.
It was previously reported that the federal government, through the minister of defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on Friday, December 7, pleaded with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to help it battle and overcome extremist Islamic ideology which is rampant among the youths in the northeast region.
Dan-Ali made the appeal in Maiduguri during the flag-off of the distribution of relief materials donated by King Salman Ibn Abdul-Aziz humanitarian aid and relief centre to displaced persons in Borno and Yobe.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should please help Nigeria in the propagation and promotion of the right Islamic ideals to the youth in the Northeast in order to eradicate the warped Boko Haram Islamic ideology in the region,” he said. Dan-Ali blamed terrorism on poverty brought about by bad governance. He also appealed to Saudi Arabia to share defence intelligence and information with Nigeria on insurgency.