The Presidency has admitted that the war against Boko Haram insurgency has not ended, saying the terrorists have not been completely defeated.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said this during his appearance on Channels Television’s political programme, Sunday Politics.
Despite the series of attack by the insurgents in recent times, the presidential aide maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has recorded a notable progress in the war against the insurgency.
“If the operating word is ‘totally’, the answer is no obviously – but has Boko Haram been degraded? I will say yes, terribly so,” said Adesina.
“You can compare then and now, they have been terribly, terribly degraded but is the war over? No, it is not completely over.”
“Compare how Boko Haram was in 2015 when this administration came, they were virtually running riot everywhere – how many time was Kano bombed, how many time was Abuja bombed, how many time was Kogi bombed; Boko Haram was everywhere,” he added.
The President’s spokesman regretted the abduction of 110 students of the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, in Yobe State, by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
He said: “Truly, it should never have happened. After what the country experienced in the Chibok girls’ saga, this one that just happened in Dapchi should never have happened.”
Adesina, however, assured Nigerians that that President Muhammadu Buhari is doing all that is needful and necessary to ensure the safe return of the students.
He noted that two delegations had visited the community of the incident in the directive of the President, adding: “if the President needs to visit (the state), he will surely visit.”
The presidential aide explained that while Borno State happened to be the epicentre of Boko Haram attacks, Adamawa and Yobe states had been quite calm with the situation under control in recent times.
He was of the view that the terrorists must have found their way back to Yobe after they had been displaced from their stronghold in Borno (Sambisa), which could have led to the abduction of the girls.
He reiterated the commitment of the government to bringing the girls back safely, stressing that the situation is getting adequate response from the military.