The Defence Headquarters has said that the Boko Haram terrorists have been severely weakened and no longer have a stronghold in Borno State and other parts of North-East.
The Coordinator of the Defence Media Operations, John Enenche, who stated this when he featured in a Channels Television programme, Politics Today, on Friday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for encouraging the military to take the fight to the Boko Haram insurgents.
According to him, the insurgents collected levies and taxes from the people of North-East before Buhari came to power in 2015.
The military spokesman claimed that Buhari’s administration recaptured all the hotbeds of Boko Haram insurgency in 2016.
Enenche said: “The Commander-In-Chief is right that we now have a weaker Boko Haram. Why is it so? As at 2015 before he came on board, we had a very terrible situation in the North-East whereby between 17 and 21 local government areas were under the full authority of the Boko Haram insurgents.
“What does that translate to? It translates to the fact that they had constituted authority, local administration, even up to judiciary and they were even collecting levies which we can term taxes. The people were subject to them, they sacked traditional rulers and most of them went into exile.
“So, by 2016, the whole of that place were recaptured and the governments – both the state and federal took authority. In that case, we could say that they had a stronghold and they were in full authority. But the situation is not as it were.
“Now, what we have Boko Haram and ISWAP that are weakened enemies of this country. They are moving from bush to bush, from enclave to enclave, and no longer have authority or sovereignty on any territory in the North-East and by extension, Nigeria. And of course, if there is a strong force to be contended with, why don’t they come out? They cannot come out, they keep hiding.”