President Goodluck Jonathan: The Beginning ofthe End of Boko Haram

 

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Adeoye Akinsanya in his book, An introduction to
Political Science in Nigeria, reports: “In 1983, when
Chadian forces invaded Nigeria in the Borno State,
Buhari used the forces under his command to chase
them out of the country, crossing into Chadian
territory in spite of an order given by then President
Shagari to withdraw. This 1983 Chadian military
affair led to more than 100 victims and “prisoners of
war”. Chivalrous as this act may have seemed at the
time, it would turn out to be sheer tomfoolery
because for a long time, Nigeria would have to deal
with a lack-lustre, if not even frosty, relationship with
her close regional neighbours.
When the Boko Haram insurgency, which reared its
head in earnest in 2009 and fuelled inopportunely by
rogue elites for the 2007 elections, took root, it was
time to hem in the insurgents and deal decisively
with their undesirable acts. It was a tough act. Some
antagonists of government had earlier promised to
foment violence after losing out in the 2007
elections. Their actions would lead to sabotage,
divisiveness and outright support for the insurgency.
They infiltrated the ranks of government and the
armed forces and caused esprit-de-corps to dip
among the rank and file. Added to this, Nigeria was
not getting all the much needed support from her
neighbours in arresting the miscreants. Things got so
out of hand that suicide bombings, kidnappings,
mass murder and land grabs were the order of the
day.
It has taken the sagacity and tact by the President
and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, to reverse the
plunge. Firstly, he moved to equip the armed forces
through trainings and provision of cutting-edge
military hardware. Then, he engaged Nigeria’s
neighbours in fruitful diplomatic reengagement. In
the process, the much needed esprit-de-corps among
the Nigerian troops was revived and a previously
taciturn neighbourhood came alive in helping to fight
the insurgents. In the past few weeks, Boko Haram
has been on the back foot. The once dreaded group
has now been reduced to a mere gang of irritants. It
won’t be long before the entire insurgency is totally
decimated.

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