Against claims by the Amnesty International (AI) that Boko Haram has killed no fewer than 1,600 people since June in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, President Muhammadu Buhari has again restated his confidence that the Nigerian Armed Forces would checkmate the sect’s ability to attack, seize, ravage and hold any Nigerian territory by end of December.
President Buhari who said this at an audience with the Commander of United States Africa Command, Gen David Rodriguez noted that with greater support from his administration in terms of improved training, equipment, logistics and welfare, the Nigerian Armed Forces were now well positioned to meet the December deadline which they have been given to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
General Rodriguez told President Buhari that he was in the country to strengthen Nigeria/United States military relations, and also explore further options for assisting the Multinational Joint Task Force established by Nigeria and her neighbours, to fight Boko Haram.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina in a statement said the President restated his appreciation of the United States’ support for Nigeria’s efforts to overcome terrorism and insurgency.
“We must thank the United States of America for sending training teams and equipment to us. The positive results of our collaboration are evident.
“Structured attacks by the insurgents have reduced and by the end of the year, we should see the final routing of Boko Haram as an organized fighting force, “ the President said.
Buhari appealed, however, for greater cooperation from the United States in securing the Gulf of Guinea through which stolen Nigerian crude oil is shipped abroad.
He decried the severe revenue losses, which Nigeria suffers from crude oil theft, adding that his administration was determined to end this criminal practice and would welcome more support from the international community in this regard.
However, at least five persons were killed and eight others injured on Tuesday night when suicide bombers detonated explosive devices in three locations at Ajilari area, an outskirt of Maiduguri city.
The densely populated Ajilari/Sajeri area is located at the outskirts, southwest of the city centre and believed to have link to Damboa road bushes notorious for harbouring Boko Haram insurgents.
Bukar said the three bombers were seen an hour earlier on a street in the area “wandering aimlessly,” adding that they pretended to be strangers looking for their way out of the area. “One of them even asked for the way to Damboa road and a boy was trying to show him the way. This happened at about 8pm and about 30 minutes later, we heard explosions,” he disclosed.
Acting Director Army Public Relations of the Nigerian Army, Colonel Sani Usman while confirming the blasts said seven people were killed.
Sources at the State Specialists Hospital Maiduguri, however, confirmed that eight bodies including that of the three suicide bombers were brought to the hospital mortuary.
The source also disclosed that 11 injured persons were admitted while seven others were receiving treatment at the Umaru Shehu General Hospital.
When Daily Sun visited the area yesterday afternoon, family and relations of the deceased were preparing to bury their dead even as some expressed concern over the increasing bomb attacks in the area. Tuesday night explosions came barely three weeks after another multiple blasts killed about 54 people and injured 95.
An AFP tally puts the death toll at more than 1,320 in Nigeria alone since Muhammadu Buhari became president on May 29.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for three suicide attacks in the satellite towns of Kuje and Nyanya outside Nigeria’s capital Abuja on October 2, which killed a total of 18 people and injured 41.
Meanwhile, the military said it killed 10 suspected Boko Haram insurgents in an ambush in a remote community in the northern part of Yobe State.
Army spokesman, Col. Usman said the military believed the insurgents killed in the ambush by troops of the 5 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, were responsible for last week’s attack on Geidam.