Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has insisted that the Boko Haram Terrorist group has been badly degraded and can only attack soft targets.
The Minister made the submission on Tuesday during a press conference where he described the recent attack by the terrorist group on some rice farmers in Borno State as an act of cowardice.
It will be recalled that Boko Haram on Saturday attacked and killed not less than 43 rice farmers in Zabarmari area of Borno State, just about 20 kilometers north of Maiduguri, the state capital.
Members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) also discovered at least additional 35 decomposing bodies on Monday in the area of the attack after the 43 initial bodies had been buried on Sunday.
However, while commenting on the development on Tuesday, Mohammed declared that the recent killings do not reflect the victories already recorded against the insurgents by the military.
He said the terrorists were only trying to cling to straws and remain relevant by going after soft targets as they have been badly degraded by the military onslaught in recent times.
“On the killing of farmers in Borno, I want to say it is an act of cowardice and savagery by a group of deranged terrorists, and it does not reflect the progress being made by the military against Boko Haram,” the Minister said.
“The modus operandi of a losing terror group is to go after soft targets in order to stay relevant. It’s not only Boko Haram that does that. In 2019, Al-Shabab attacked DusitD2 Complex in Nairobi, Kenya, killing more than 20.
“Similarly, the Peshawar school massacre of 16 December 2014 in Pakistan, carried out by six gunmen affiliated with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, left about 150 people dead, most of them students.
“The truth is that Boko Haram is badly degraded and can only carry out cowardly attacks like the one against defenceless farmers over the weekend.”
Similarly, Alhaji Mohammed denied saying expressly that Nigeria was at the mercy of Boko Haram during his courtesy visit to the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.
He claimed his statement while addressing journalists after the visit has been misconstrued to give it a different meaning.
He said: “This is sheer fabrication and an abuse of a platform. While in Makurdi, Benue State, on an official visit, I was asked by journalists to comment on the killing of farmers in Borno State over the weekend,” he said.
“I said terrorism is a global problem that requires the collaborative efforts among nations to combat. I said Nigeria needs the support of global partners, especially in the area of acquisition of effective platforms to deal with the terrorists.
“I recalled that some of the platforms ordered and paid for by Nigeria have yet to be supplied till date, thus weakening the war on terror.
“How these statements translate to Nigeria being at the mercy of Boko Haram is baffling, and could only have come from warped minds who are more interested in attracting traffic to their websites than upholding the truth. Is anyone still in doubt that something urgent needs to be done to rein in the abuse of social media?”
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