FW: What is happening with Boko Haram and the Nigerian army?

On Monday, November 19, 2018, Boko Haram terrorists stormed a military facility in Metele Village, Borno State, killing over 100 soldiers. This toll is the highest since President Muhammadu Buhari took over as the commander in chief of the armed forces in 2015.

According to a Soldier who spoke to Premium times, the fight did not last up to an hour, and was bloody because the Boko Haram insurgents had more arms and took the them by surprise.

“When we realised the fight would be against us, we decided to retreat from the camp, but it was rather too late. The camp was surrounded with barbed wire, and the enemy fire was coming from the direction of the entrance. We were surrounded.”

One of the drivers of the gun trucks decided to push through the barbed wire so that other vehicles could follow and escape, but the truck got stuck, that was how many of our soldiers in other vehicles and those on foot were massacred.”

“Those that managed to escape with injuries made it on foot through Cross-Kauwa to Monguno where they boarded commercial vehicles, some even sat in the booth of the Golf cars to get to Maiduguri. Boko Haram made away with about seven gun trucks of the Nigerian army,”


There is a video

Boko Haram later released a disturbing video showing how the terrorists attacked the military base on thursday, 22nd November, 2018 killing a large score of Nigerian soldiers. The video is said to have been released by the ISWAP faction of Boko Haram, where the insurgents were seen shooting at the soldiers with bloody corpses scattered about.

The 5 minute and 32 seconds video started with a male voice speaking Arabic, and insurgents gathered around a burning fire while taking instructions from their commander (speaking Arabic) before setting out for the operation. The footage later showed the insurgents walking over the corpses of fallen soldiers, shooting at them at close range and retrieving their rifles while searching their pockets for valuables.


Village attack

The Boko Haram attack did not end with the military base as the insurgents also attacked villages and people.

Residents of the Mammanti Village in Borno State say that the insurgents who armed with machetes and guns killed 9 farmers and abducted 12 others. According to Usman Kaka, “They just opened fire on us and continued to fire as we fled,"

It was also reported that the insurgents stole hundreds of herds of cattle and abducted women who were working in fields near Bama.

Many stakeholders have commented that the attacks mean ISWAP have the upper hand in the ongoing crisis.


Military Protests

Before the recent attack on the village and military base, soldiers have protested being underfunded and lacking sophisticated weapons to face Boko Haram.

On 12 August 2018, a group of Soldiers at the Maiduguri airport protested their redeployment to the frontline without adequate ammunition. They insisted that their transfer would leave them at the mercy of the terrorists as were better equipped.

Interestingly, this protest was not addressed, instead all the soldiers who participated in the protest were court martialed.

Also, in a video obtained on Friday, 23rd November 2018, some Nigerian soldiers accused top commanders in the army of leading them to Boko Haram slaughter armed with obsolete weapons. The soldiers also accused top army officials of enriching themselves with cash meant for purchasing better arms.

The video, clearly taken from a camera phone, featured the soldiers expressing themselves in angry voices.


Buhari meets military chiefs

Following the security developments in the Northeast over the past week, President Muhammadu Buhari is said to have summoned his security chiefs for an emergency meeting.

According to NAN (News Agency of Nigeria), the Presidency was late to comment on the crisis because the families of the latest victims were being identified and contacted.

Meanwhile, the army, on Friday 23rd November confirmed the attack, describing it as “unfortunate”.

While it is unclear what the current administration has planned to curb the crisis, one thing is clear, and it is that the Nigerian army is heavily underfunded and in need of assistance to fight the Boko Haram insurgents.