West & Central Africa

Young people distrust claims of Nigerian army

The Nigerian Northern Youths Leadership Forum (NYLF) has accused the Nigerian government of insincerity about its fight against Boko Haram and using propaganda to cover its lack of capacity to defeat the deadly terrorist group.

The youth group also accused the Nigerian military of under-reporting the frequent attacks it suffers in Boko Haram attacks.

“There is a big disconnection between what we are told and what is real,” Afiyo Elliot, the National Chairman said.

“If truly the military had cleared Sambisa forest of insurgency, why are insurgents living and organising their operations from the forest?”

The criticism is coming after a 17-year-old suicide bomber killed about 80 people in a mosque in Mubi, Adamawa State of north-eastern Nigeria. Over 60 people were also killed 20 November by a militia on four villages in Numan, about 30 kilometers from Yola, the Adamawa state capital, raising the death toll to about 120 people in two weeks.

The youth forum accused the military of refusing to “take responsibility for the weekly deaths of soldiers and citizens in the fight against the sect in the North-east.”

The group declared that the true situation of the activities of Boko Haram terror group and Islamic Fulani herdsmen attacking farmers and communities, especially in the North-east, has been under reported and sometimes hidden by the military and other security agencies from Nigerians.

Elliot said the army must stop the propaganda and deceit so that Nigerians can offer genuine prayers and seek solace from God.

Elliot said “if they continue to tell lies, God might not answer the prayers of Nigerians.”

Meanwhile Boko Haram has released two videos; one showing one of the fighters declaring its capacity to continue attacks “on Christians and infidels” until they convert and called on Al Bagdadi’s ISIS not to relent and to continue its attacks and insurgency, despite its deafeat in Syria.

The other video showed the terrorist group killing scores of soldiers in Sabon Gari, a village in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State in an attack during a failed military operation on the terror group’s stronghold in Sambisa Forest on 10 November.

The nine-minute video showed underage Boko Haram fighters driving into Sabon Gari before the attack and the subsequent gun battle with the Nigerian Army in which the army suffered defeat.

 

Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.

Image credits: CC/Google image/Boko Haram attack screen grab