How we crushed Boko Haram – Buhari
President Buhari has ascribed his government’s achievements in the fight against terrorism to a sustained military partnership between Nigeria and her immediate neighbours.
Speaking on the sidelines of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Kenya at the weekend, Buhari said Boko Haram has largely been defeated in northeast Nigeria, attributing this to the support received from immediate neighbours Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin.
“Indeed, their top hierarchy and lower cadre have a problem. We know this because when we came into power, they were holding 14 out of the 774 local governments in Nigeria,” said Buhari.
Buhari implicitly noted that part of the military campaign against the terror group has led to a leadership conflict and division in the terror group. He also confirmed that Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the group, was wounded in an airstrike.
On Wednesday, August 3, the Islamic State (IS) announced the emergence of Abu Musab al-Barnawi, former spokesman of Boko Haram terror group, as the new leader of its dreaded Nigerian affiliate.
But elusive Shekau broke his silence the following day to insist he was still the leader of the group. His reemergence fuelled talk of a split within the jihadist group.
“Some of the information about the division in Boko Haram is already in the press and I have read in the papers about the conflict in their leadership,” Buhari said.
“The person known in Nigeria as their leader, we understand was edged out and the Nigerian members of Boko Haram started turning themselves to the Nigerian military. We learnt that in an air strike by the Nigeria Air Force he was wounded,” Buhari added.