The federal government on Monday said members of the Boko Haram sect had no sufficient authority to control any part of the country, declaring that the sect was not controlling of any of Nigerian’s territory.
The government also said elections would hold in parts of the troubled North-eastern part of the country, considered safe enough for the exercise.
The Coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC) and Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, made these known at the centre in Abuja.
Also, the centre refuted claims from some quarters suggesting that the Nigerian army had recorded successes in the fight against insurgency to safeguard the area ahead of the forthcoming general election.
Rather, Omeri said the successes were premised on procurement of new equipment and additional military capacity of the Nigerian Army.
“We told you in this centre that the government would ensure additional capacity for the Nigerian Army and we informed you about the government to government facility for procurement of arms, now we are seeing the result, it is not about election,” Omeri stated.
Omeri said although there were presence of Boko Haram members in some parts of the North-east, this according to him does not mean that those areas were under the control of the sect.
He also said many communities hitherto dominated by the sect members had been recaptured and the Nigerian troops were advancing to retake other affected areas.
According to him, the Nigerian forces did not only repel attacks, but are also on the trail of insurgents.
“The brave action by 7 Division of the Nigerian Army stationed in and around Maiduguri, on Sunday, February 1, in addition to the recovery of three Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and 17 pickups trucks, also resulted in heavy casualties on the side of the insurgents. The total figure of which is yet to be ascertained, as well as recapture of the towns of Mafa, Gamboru-Ngala, Mallam Fatori, Abadam and Marte, while troops are advancing to retake other affected areas.”
While explaining the situation in Adamawa and Yobe States, Omeri said: “Boko Haram has no sufficient authority to control any part of Nigeria, the situation in Adamawa State shows that Hong, Mubi north, Mubi south, Maiha, Michika, Shuwa, Wuro Gyambi, Gombi, Vimtim, Uba and Bazza areas have been liberated from Boko Haram presence. While Madagali, Gulak, Wagga Mildo, Shelini/Fapra. Sabongari and Gubla are still under Boko-Haram presence. Other areas such as Kirchiga, Pallam and Mayo-Wandu have remained calm and peaceful.
“Equally in Yobe, the state, government troops have recaptured parts of Gujba and Gulani, which had witnessed Boko Haram presence,” he stated.
When pointedly asked if the North-east was safe to conduct election, Omeri said: “The Nigerian police, Nigerian Army, Directorate of State Security (DSS) and staff of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) are on ground, they are assessing the situation and will determine where elections will or will not hold.”