Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says Boko Haram insurgents are now demoralised and hungry. Describing recent suicide attacks by the group as acts of desperation, Mohammed said the military had recorded huge success in the fight against insurgency.
He dismissed reports on resurgence of attacks, saying people “conversant with the technicalities of insurgency will not be surprised by the attacks”.
He was speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
“Boko Haram has been dislodged from their occupied territories; thousands of their captives have been set free; their capacity to operate as a troop moving in convoy of vehicles and motor cycles to launch attacks on communities and military formations has been neutralized,” he said.
“In essence, the insurgents have been effectively denied territory or sanctuary and are now in disarray. Scattered, demoralized and hungry, they have resorted to terror tactics available to a degraded and defeated insurgent group.
“The fact that they operate in a few local governments does not equate to holding and controlling territories. We must make that distinction.
“During the immediate period after an insurgency has been degraded, the fact that terrorists are dispersed into the community is often followed by an upsurge of terror attacks in the form of suicide bombing and sabotage of critical facilities.
“Activities during these periods are often carried out within population and against soft targets or vulnerable groups. There is often apprehension in the community that terrorism is getting worse, even though, in reality, insurgency has been weakened as a cohesive terror force. This is the current phase of insurgency in the country.
“Many commentators have latched on to these attacks to infer a resurgence of Boko Haram, while some have even made outrageous statements regarding the territories controlled by Boko Haram.
“Fortunately, no less a personality than the president, strongly backed by the governors of Borno and Yobe, has debunked such unsubstantiated claims. Gentlemen, there is no resurgence of Boko Haram. The terrorists remain massively degraded and largely defeated. The recent string of attacks is not an indication that Boko Haram is bouncing back.”