If this shocking piece of news had been relayed by an online blogging platform, it could have easily been waved aside as another desperate attempt at sensationalism. But the news was clear and unambiguous: 1,000 Nigerian Soldiers had been buried covertly in secret, unmarked graves at a military cemetery within the enclaves of North eastern Nigeria, according to the Wall Street Journal, one of the most reputable news media in the world.
For all of the face-saving attempts of the information machinery of the Defence Headquarters at rubbishing the reports, the incessant reports of deadly attacks by the Boko Haram marauders on military checkpoints and bases point to this gloomy picture.
The former Minister of Information had wanted us to believe that “We have effectively emasculated the Boko Haram machinery and reduced their ability to annex local government areas.Their intermittent strikes at soft targets and military bases is simply akin to the last gasps of a drowning man.”
This government must be aware and sensitive enough to realize that an anti-insurgency fight cannot be claimed to have attained prodigious success if the bastions of military formations are still being attacked relentlessly. A fight against insurgency can only and should only be claimed to have been won when the men of the armed forces assume full and magisterial control.
President Buhari should assume full responsibility for the welfare of the soldiers within the Northeastern region. A full investigation should be launched into the alleged mass burials of our highly prized soldiers. For in the fight against insurgency, it isnt over until we have moved from ‘almost’ to ‘total’.
Bamigboye Judah, Obafemi Awolowo University
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