Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Boko Haram threat hangs heavy over Nigeria in 2016

01 January 2016, 18:11

Kano - As Nigeria rings in 2016, the ever-present threat of violence by Boko Haram hangs heavy over Africa's most populous country, despite official claims that the battle against the Islamist group has been "technically" won.

After setting a December 31 deadline to rid his country of Boko Haram, President Muhammadu Buhari told the BBC: "I think technically we have won the war because people are going back into their neighbourhoods."

Also read: Buhari signs 2015 budget implementation extension into law

In his New Year message to the nation, Buhari commended the military for "significantly curtailing the insurgency" but acknowledged there was "still a lot of work to be done in the area of security".

"This government will not consider the matter concluded until the terrorists have been completely routed and normality restored to all parts of the country that have been adversely affected by the Boko Haram insurgency," he said.

But despite the official assurances, violence and fear continue to stalk several major cities in Nigeria's troubled northeast.

Late last month, more than 50 people were killed in a 48-hour wave of attacks in the mainly Muslim region that were blamed on the jihadists.

Boko Haram has resorted to suicide bombers, many of them young children, to wage its war for an independent Islamic state in the country.

The extremist group has also spread its bombing campaign to neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

"Boko Haram is still a big threat despite the government's claim that the group has been weakened," said Ibrahim Kulo, 47, a resident of the violence-wracked northeastern city of Maiduguri.

"One cannot venture 10 kilometres (six miles) outside the city without the fear of Boko Haram ambush. We live in real danger of Boko Haram," he told AFP.

Sanusi Ahmad, 33, voiced similar fears.

"Boko Haram remains a threat. I don't believe it when the government says they have defeated Boko Haram," said the resident of the northern city of Kano.

"I agree that the military has made substantial progress in the fight against the group," he told AFP.

"But the fact that Boko Haram can still carry out attacks like the ones... last week is an indication that they are still a serious threat. Although there has been a lull in attacks in Kano, the threat still remains."

"We don't know when and where the next attack will occur."

Change of strategy

The latest attacks "underscore the difficulty of dealing comprehensively with such a group," Nigerian political analyst Chris Ngwodo told AFP.

"The president said some days ago that Boko Haram had been technically defeated. What they meant to say was that the group's ability to stage attacks has been seriously degraded," Ngwodo added.

But despite the deadline passing, Ngwodo said Buhari still enjoys the backing of most Nigerians in the fight against Boko Haram.

"A lot of people felt that the previous administration (of president Goodluck Jonathan) was simply at sea. Indeed, they were incompetent when it came to dealing with security threats," Ngwodo said.

But he said Buhari should seek to change his strategy to end the insurgency, which has claimed more than 17,000 lives since it began in 2009.

In a possible sign of this tactical change, Buhari said on Wednesday his government was "prepared to negotiate" with the Boko Haram leadership "without precondition" over the release of 219 kidnapped schoolgirls from Chibok once "credible" leaders were identified for talks.

He also hinted he could ban the wearing of hijabs or other headwear by Muslim women if insurgents continued to use veiled women to carry out suicide attacks.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...