Boko Haram Can No Longer Take Any Territory – Information Minister
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Lai Mohammed said that “the terrorists will continue to attack targets like markets, motor parks, entertainment centres and houses of worship.
“We know that insurgent attacks will not end in one day – the attack of such target will continue, but it will also keep-off.
“We also want to appeal to the media to stop giving oxygen to the Boko Haram insurgency; when we glamourise the attacks, we put them on stage one which gives them more life.
“In this kind of insurgency, the media has a role to play which is, not to glamourise the attacks.
“And if you look at the context, about a year ago, the Boko Haram had complete control of 20 out of 37 local governments in Borno, six in Yobe and four in Adamawa State.
“If today, the Boko Haram is operating from one or two local governments in the entire country, I think you must give it to the military that they have largely defeated the Boko Haram.
Talking about what the government is doing to secure the soft targets, the Minister said that ‘soft targets are the most difficult to defend in the whole world.
“Even the most advanced technology cannot secure all soft targets. All you need do is that people must own the war, report suspicious movements and complement the efforts of the military”, he said.
Mr Mohammed further said that public awareness campaign had been held to educate people on various ways IEDs could appear.
“The IEDs come in many forms and it is difficult to completely patrol. For instance, the last one that was recently detected by the Civilian Task Force, was kept in food flask, at times they put them in cans and nylon bags.
“That is why we are running a public awareness campaign on the various forms the IEDs could take and where it could be detonated”, he said.
The Minister sent condolences to the families of victims of blasts which claimed more than 45 lives in Borno and Adamawa States.
“We condole with families of the victims, but just as I said in my meeting with the military in Lagos on December 23, the military has largely met the deadline to defeat Boko Haram and it has massively degraded the capacity of terrorists to carry out the kind of spectacular attacks we used to experience in the past”, he maintained.
The terrorists had just carried out devastating attacks in two northeastern states of Adamawa and Borno. No fewer than 45 people died in the two separate attacks in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and Madagali village in Adamawa State, North East Nigeria.