By Prof Farooq Kperogi
The abduction of innocent school girls in Dapchi, Yobe State, is yet another evidence of the falsehood about Buhari’s “success” in downgrading Boko Haram. I have called out these lies several times in the past at the cost of inviting smears and ad hominem attacks on myself. But I don’t care. It’s an insignificant price to pay for standing for the truth.
Contrary to claims that his government has downgraded Boko Haram, Buhari is actually bolstering the group. For evidence, look at these facts:
As a reward for releasing 84 Chibok girls, the Buhari government paid Boko Haram a €2 million ransom, which adds up about N705 million, according to the Wall Street Journal of December 4, 2017. Earlier in October 2016, the government paid the terrorist group what the London Guardian of October 14, 2016 called a “‘handsome ransom’ worth millions of dollars” in exchange for the release of 21 Chibok girls. “Millions of dollars” would add up to at least a billion naira. Again on February 11, 2018, the government paid Boko Haram an unspecified amount of money to free 13 hostages. In essence, Boko Haram now has a bigger, fiercer, more menacing war chest—financed from Nigeria’s public treasury— than the Nigerian military.
Meanwhile, Boko Haram’s ranks are being swelled by the same government. For instance, in addition to paying the group 705 million naira in 2017, five notoriously vicious Boko Haram commanders in the custody of Nigerian authorities were released. On January 15, 2018, the government freed 244 “repentant” Boko Haram members. How the hell did they know that they are “repentant”? And what does that even mean? Four days ago, the government freed another 526 Boko Haram members, according to CNN. There’s more, but that’s what I remember for now. Feel free to add to this.
When you add this to the fact that on at least two occasions (according to BBC Hausa and Daily Trust), our foot soldiers who came close to capturing Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau were told to back off by unnamed honchos in Abuja, there is little doubt that the Buhari administration is an enabler of Boko Haram.
What’s even more tragic, though, is the utterly irresponsible propaganda the government spews about “technically defeating” Boko Haram, which has anesthetized vulnerable people into a false sense of security and made them easy targets of the murderous, nihilistic terrorists.