The Defence Headquarters said yesterday that the end of insurgency in Nigeria is in sight and that all known camps of insurgents on Nigerian territory have been dislodged.
The Acting Director, Defence Information, Col. Rabe Abubakar, spoke yesterday in Abuja when he visited Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Mr. Ima Niboro.
Abubakar said the military will continue to dominate the insurgents’ hideouts in the North East so that the Boko Haram menace would end soon.
“We, for the past weeks, have been in the North East to ensure that we do all what we can as military personnel to quell the activities of these insurgents.
“So far so good as I’m speaking with you the major hideouts and the major camps of the militants are no more.
“They are in disarray now, the central command of the terrorists, the center of gravity is no more with them so are scattered all over the place.
“So, what they resort to doing now is one of the characteristics of insurgency where they identify sub-targets to attack it.
“So the issue of suicide bombing here and there is not in any way bravery but is a sign of decline in their activities.
“They are now very weak and we will maintain that level of momentum so that they will not regroup again”.
Abubakar said that information was one of the weapons of the Boko Haram insurgents and that they capitalised on it to instil fear on citizens and to portray their successes even when they have been conquered.
“Insurgency strives on information because it is the oxygen of terrorists, they live by it and survive on it”, he said.
Abubakar identified the media as important partners in the fight against insurgency and sought media partnership to help in moving the nation forward.
“Since I assumed command, I felt that I should go round, meet key stakeholders and talk about how to move this nation forward.
“The essence is to seek the partnership and have a synergy between the military and the civilians.
“So, I am here to seek collaboration on information dissemination and control.
“And we in the military have identified the media as one of the most important components to partner with in the fight against insurgents.
“The military alone cannot do it, there must be joint efforts of military and civilian components. Let them know we are all stakeholders in moving our country forward”.
Responding, Niboro commended the efforts of the military and assured it of the agency’s support in ensuring that the aim of ending Boko Haram soon was achieved.
He also expressed joy that the “initial period of surprise” on the nation was over because the military had taken charge of the situation by destroying the insurgents’ camps.
Niboro, however, urged media blackout on Boko Haram activities, advising that it should wield its powers with a greater sense of responsibility.
He said that as long as the media keeps using sensational headlines, the insurgents would have a reason to continue.
“We are helping Boko Haram with our headlines, if we stop those headlines, Boko Haram will fizzle out because there’s no incentive.
“The Nigerian media must wield its immense power with all so tremendous sense of responsibility because it is the lives of our people that are at stake.
“We must help the government succeed and how can we help the government succeed if we celebrate the wickedness of terrorists on the front pages of our newspapers and on the screens of our television sets”.
Niboro expressed confidence in the ability of the Nigerian Armed Forces to end insurgency, urging for greater public support for the ongoing counter-insurgency operation.
He also advocated the formulation of a national strategy to incorporate the military, police, civil populace and all other stakeholders in the country to help end the menace in Nigeria.