Army Boss, Buratai Explains Why Boko Haram Appears Stronger Everyday

Boko Haram terrorist group is appearing to be very strong because it has instilled fear in Nigerians, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Yusuf Tukur Buratai, has said.

He said the group had long been degraded but that the effectiveness of its psychological warfare on the psyche of Nigerians was still powerful.

He attributed recent attacks on troops by Boko Haram in the North-East to their perceived invincibility.

The army chief stated this during a dinner and interactive session with editors and executive members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, weekend.

Buratai said sustained military operations against the sect had achieved a lot in clipping its wings, reducing it to committing criminal activities as against the insurgency it was known for.

With its new status, he said, the group metamorphosed into Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) but maintained the name Boko Haram because of its psychological effect on Nigerians.

Their ability to transform and adopt new tactics was the reason why security forces could not give a timeline within which to “comprehensively” deal with them, he said.

According to Buratai, “Even if you say you give deadline to clear ISWA, it will go and those pulling the string will create another body. The original Boko Haram has long been degraded. We are dealing with another phase of terrorism”.

He appealed to the media not to give the group space that would help it to sustain its psychological warfare on Nigerians.

The army chief, while reacting to a recent report by the Amnesty International (AI), described the group as consistently undermining the reputation of the military and demoralizing its troops “through consistent and unfounded allegation of human rights abuses.”

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