President Muhammadu Buhari has for the third time shifted the goal post for the defeat of the Islamist group, Boko Haram, from December to an interminable date.
Buhari in a message to hospitals, traditional institutions and Government Houses of Adamawa and Borno State said the desperate actions of Boko Haram like detonation of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) will take longer time to eradicate than the anticipated deadline of December.
In the message which was delivered by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, Buhari was also quoted to have said that even when all displaced communities were about to be returned to their town and villages, there would still remain “vital tests and challenges”.
“As I said a few times in the past, desperate actions such as the detonation of IEDs will take a longer time to eradicate even as our optimism continues to grow that Boko Haram as a fighting force will be crushed by the year’s end.
“After that, we hope all displaced communities will be returned to their towns and villages. But even when this is about to happen, there will still remain vital tests and challenges.”
The president solicited the help of the local populace in sharing in the responsibility for security in their surroundings, directed all communities in the country to revert to old practices by which new arrivals in their neighbourhoods were taken note of by local chiefs and security agencies, saying these practices worked well in past in securing neighbourhoods and local communities.
Condoling displaced families, he stressed that “The security situation in the North East remains a great source of concern for me. Although there are clear indications that the military is recording great successes in the theatre of operations, the enemy has been able to carry out his murderous campaign by attacking soft targets using Improvised Explosive Devices. His intention is to create widespread fear amongst the civilian population since he cannot subdue our armed forces.”