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War against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorism may not end in 20 years, says General Buratai

Former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai (rtd), on Thursday said the Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorism may not end in 20 years time. 

General Buratai told members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs when he came for screening as non-career Ambassadors-designate that the terrorists have, for a long time, indoctrinated the people of the Northeast, making it difficult to defeat them within a short period.

Buratai said although Nigerian troops, in collaboration with their counterparts in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, have been recording successes in anti-Boko Haram/ISWAP war, military onslaught alone cannot end the crisis.

The former Army Chief said there are political and socio-economic factors that need to be addressed, adding that many communities in northern Nigeria lacked basic amenities.

According to him, “our troops are also collaborating with Chadian and Cameroonian troops. We recorded successes. But the terrorists have permeated into the society. My State (Borno) is an epicentre where this indoctrination has penetrated so deep. It is not something you can get right over night.

“Only the military cannot solve this problem. There were socio-economic factors that need to be addressed. There should be basic amenities, but they are missing.

“I can count five local government areas in Borno without good road. The same thing is in Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto. In other Northern States there are so many ungovernable spaces, because of lack of access road and other basic amenities.

“This crisis might not end in 20 years time. We have achieved a lot of successes but we cannot continue to use the same tactics and achieve different results.”

First published in Daily Trust

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