In the United States of America, yesterday, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has defeated Boko Haram.
The minister said four years ago, Boko Haram strolled into Abuja, the country’s capital, at will, during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
Mohammed told newsmen, after a tour of major media houses in the US, that residents of Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, now have a better lease of life compared with what obtained under the former government.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the minister visited offices of CNN, New York Times, Voice of America, Washington Post, Washington Times; Al Jazeera, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic Council and the Foreign Relations Council.
“The important thing is that we made them understand that the unfortunate incident of kidnap of the Dapchi schoolgirls and the recent suicide bombings are not reflective of actually the success of the government in fighting Boko Harm,” he said.
“When the government says Boko Haram is defeated, it is from the context of what it was when it came in and what we are today. People have forgotten that less than three or four years ago, people in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, could not sleep with their two eyes closed.
“That four years ago, the insurgents used to stroll into Abuja at will and no building was sacred to them. I mean they were so bold they attacked the force headquarters.
“They attacked the UN headquarters, they attacked newspapers head office, Nyanya Motor Park, was attacked twice and states and towns like Suleja, Kano, Sokoto, Kogi, Borno, were game for them. So, when we say we have defeated Boko Haram, it is precisely what we mean. Today, night life has returned to Maiduguri, weekly football leagues are being played in Maiduguri, schools have been reopened, roads have been reopened. It was a far cry from when we went in 2015 because between Bama and Maiduguri where we went to, there was no singular vehicle on the road.”
Mohammed also spoke on the economic policies of Buhari, saying the president can beat his chest that he has performed creditably.
He recalled that up till 2015, 20 out of the 27 local governments in Borno State were under the effective occupation of Boko Haram.
“When we entered Bama in 2015, it was as if we were either in Cairo, Algeria or any of these Arab countries because all the road signs were in Arabic. So, when we say we have defeated Boko Haram, it is precisely what we mean. Today, night life has returned to Maiduguri, weekly football leagues are being played in Maiduguri, schools have been reopened, roads have been reopened.
“It was a far cry from when we went in 2015 because between Bama and Maiduguri where we went to, there was no singular vehicle on the road.”