The Federal Government has restated its position that Nigerian troops have succeeded in decimating the capacity of the Islamist insurgents, Boko Haram.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, said this at a media briefing in Abuja, on Tuesday, noting that it was without prejudice to the fact that the group carried out occasional attacks on soft targets in the North-East.
The minister also described news on social media that the welfare of troops in the frontline was so poor that soldiers were begging for food as “fake news.”
He urged Nigerians to appreciate and understand the nature of the Boko Haram insurgency, which grew from a local terrorist group into an international group attracting funding and support from similar groups across the globe, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Al-Qaeda.
“When the government says it has decapitated Boko Haram, what government means is that a time was, when even this capital city – Abuja – was not immune from attacks by Boko Haram.
“You are all living witnesses to the attack on the United Nations Headquarters, the Nigeria Police headquarters, the ThisDay Newspapers, Nyanya Park twice; but since 2015, all that has become history.
“Today, we can say confidently that not an inch of our territory is under the control of Boko Haram. They have been repelled even from their spiritual headquarters.”
Mohammed further stated that every inch of Nigerian territory was now safe in the sense that unlike before, the sect lacked the capacity to take Nigerian territory and declare it its own.
On the welfare of troops in the frontline, Mohammed said the Federal Government had established that troops were properly taken care of, contrary to speculations to the contrary on social media.
He stressed that President Buhari took the report seriously and ordered an investigation to determine the veracity or otherwise of claims made in the said publication.
“The investigation has since been concluded. The summary of the findings is that there is no case of hunger, starvation or begging among the troops fighting in the North-East and in particular in the Armed Forces Special Forces Battalion that was referenced in the publication.
“There is also no irregular/short payment of allowances, while claims of poor equipment, inadequate kitting and accommodation are found to be ill-conceived and unfounded,” he stated.