Military confirms take over of Baga by Bokoharam


The Nigerian military on Tuesday confirmed the take over of Baga in Borno State by members of the Boko Haram Terrorist group.

After an emergency security meeting in Abuja on tuesday, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh, told reporters that Niger and Chad had withdrawn their troops from Baga, a situation that apparently led to the takeover of the town that had been in contention.

The meeting was held to assess the security situation in the country especially in the north-east.

The Air Chief, however, said that the countries had not pulled out of the multinational Joint Task Force contingent fighting the terrorist group in the north-east.

He assured Nigerians that the military would overcome the insurgents at all cost.

“I wish it could be closed. But how do you close such a large border? And it is not for military to close border anyway,” he said, emphasising that more collaboration with the security agencies of the border nations should be explored rather than border closure.

The army chief may have given needed explanations about the border issues, but many Nigerians want to know how safe it is to conduct elections in the north-east.

Talks on the possibility of conducting elections in the north-east states that have witnessed more of the terrorists’ attacks topped discussions at the meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Also addressing reporters after the security meeting, the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, said that the 2015 general elections must hold in the north eastern part of Nigeria despite the security threats on the people.

He said that elections have taken place in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and so many other places where there is terrorism but that the important issue is how to safeguard the lives and property of the people of those areas and recover the lost territories and the abducted Chibok girls.

He cried out that several territories like Bama, were now under the territory of the Boko Haram but that with a robust plan by the military the war against insurgency would be worn.

At the risk of giving publicity to the Boko Haram leader, Shekau, who he described as a lunatic, the Borno State Governor said that the military has been rising to the challenges.

The terrorist group had in April abducted some over 200 schoolgirls from a Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.

They are still in the custody of the Boko haram sect, but Governor Shettima stressed that no matter what the odds were the Chibok girls would be returned.

He had last year decried the poor motivation of the Nigerian military in the fight against Boko Haram, insisting that the military lacked what was required to fight the Boko Haram sect.

Also addressing reporters, Governor Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State, which is another state in the eye of the storm, called for deployment of more troops.

The meeting, which had the participants brainstorm for over two hours, was said to be a fruitful one, with a rich cross-pollination of ideas many Nigerians hope will indeed bring a lasting solution to insurgency bedevilling the nation.

It is barely a month before the commencement of the general elections in Nigeria and with the palpable insecurity in the north east, many Nigerians would want to know what the Federal Government is doing to secure lives and property in the region.

Those also in attendance at the meeting were the Attorney-General of the Federation, Governors of Adamawa, Yobe and Kaduna States.

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