Posted by Igho Akeregha and Zaliha Abubakar (Abuja) | 21 September 2017 | 2,083 times
A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Buba Galadima, has debunked a claim by the Federal Government that all territories have been reclaimed from Boko Haram, saying that at least seven local governments in Borno State are still under the control of the sect.
In an exclusive interview with The Guardian in Abuja, Galadima, who is a founding member of the APC from Yobe State, said there are 27 local governments in Borno State but not all are functioning because of the activities of Boko Haram.
“As I speak to you, many local government councils operate partially in Borno State. There are supposed to be 27 of them and you find out that not all of them are functional with their secretariats, at least seven of them, still under the control of Boko Haram.
“You will discover that all the emirs are resident in Maiduguri rather than in their domains and, of course, you will also know that feeding of troops in some local government headquarters is done by dropping food for them with helicopters,” Galadima disclosed.
He said: “Even if they cook, there is no access to the troops. They drop ammunition, they drop food for them from the air, so can anyone say that because you are in the local government headquarters and you can’t move one inch from where you are, you have reclaimed everywhere?”
On the claim by government that Boko Haram’s stronghold of Sambisa forest has been liberated, Galadima said: “If they (military) have taken over some parts of Sambisa which is so extensive and over 1,000 kilometers stretching from Jigawa through Bauchi, Gombe to Adamawa states and into Cameroun and liberated only the headquarters of the proposed national guard which is about 30 kilometres away from Maiduguri, that is not total liberation.”
According to him, the national guard training camp also known as ‘Ground Zero’ has bunkers which were previously occupied by Boko Haram before the military uprooted them from there. “What about the rest of the place, the remaining vast area of 1,000 kilometres?” he asked.
The APC chieftain suggested that the military should be proactive to acquire territory and hold the ground and not to be in one place. “They wait for attack by Boko Haram and then repel, if they had been moving, even if it’s one kilometer per day, they could have finished the job.”
Asked why he thought the military had not been proactive, Galadima who said he was a classmate of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Aruba, replied: “I wouldn’t know, it’s only the military that can tell you why they are not proactive but defensive. So how can the war come to an end if the military is playing a defensive game?”
On the role of the Nigeria Air Force in the war against the insurgents, the respected politician said the Air Force which is leading the battle from the air doesn’t win a war because it doesn’t take territory. “They can bomb and go and the people remain where they are, those that are alive.”
According to Galadima, the military has a long way to go unless it becomes proactive and starts taking territory. “If they are not taking territory and holding it, then the war can never be over.”
•Text courtesy of The Guardian.
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