The claims by Nigeria’s government that terrorist group Boko Haram has been “technically defeated” continue to ring hollow.
A renewed attack by the terrorist group on a military base in Metele, Borno State last Sunday led to the death of100 soldiers, Reuters reports.
This is contrary to 44 soldiers, Nigeria’s Senate said, were killed leading to the adjournment of its plenary on Wednesday.
The attack has been attributed to Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP), a breakout faction of Boko Haram that’s affiliated with the Islamic State terror group. The attack is one of the deadliest by Boko Haram since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in 2015.
Collaborating, Ahmad Salkida, a journalist known to have access to the terrorists has revealed those behind the recent attack.
Salkida, Friday, confirmed that ISWAP was behind the recent attack that claimed the lives of the military personnel.
The brazenness of the attack on a military base raises questions on the lack of equipment for Nigeria’s soldiers in the front-lines—a recurring theme since the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009.
Several reports have previously suggested Nigeria’s army lacked the necessary gear to combat the terrorists. Last year, Nigeria purchased arms valued at nearly $600 million from the US to boost its army.
The timing of the attack is also crucial given Nigeria’s upcoming elections in February.
Insecurity was a prominent factor in the last elections as president Buhari strongly campaigned on his strengths as a former army general.
Under his administration, Nigeria’s army quickly made gains on Boko Haram, winning back seized territory, rescuing some abductees and sacking the militants from their Sambisa Forest stronghold.
But regardless, the government’s claims of victory have proven premature. Boko Haram has continued to launch attacks in Nigeria’s northeast notably bombing the University of Maiduguri, once described as the safest place in the city at the peak of the insurgency.
In a series of tweets, Salkida stated that ISWAP was set to become the most lethal branch of IS terrorist group in the world.
According to the journalist, the factional Boko Haram group intended to achieve its aim through its current trend of attacks and recruitment.
He wrote: “#ISWAP in Al-Naba news confirmed that it carried out attacks on a military base in Metele, on 18th and a second one on 19th/20th, when the military went to collect the fallen comrades. In all, the terror group claimed to have killed 100 soldiers.
“If the current trend of recruitments and attacks continues, #ISWAP looks set to be the most lethal branch of #IS in the world. The pace of recruitment today, is almost similar to 2013/14. Today, there is a competition to join Jihadi herd between Nigerians and Francophone youths.
“The current video that is trending online (as pictured here), is not the latest attack in Metele, it is the Zari attack on 30th August and the video was released September 7/8, 2018. Now, the question is, where will #ISWAP or #BokoHaram attack next, because the trend is apparently predictable?”
Lending a voice too, Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) tweeted at 7:20 PM on Fri, Nov 23, 2018: “100 soldiers killed by Boko Haram on Sunday and Buhari maintains that Boko Haram has been “technically defeated?”
“Worse still he refuses to commend the gallantry and sacrifice of our soldiers or express his regrets and condolences to the families of those that have been killed.”