A member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Adamu Kamale, alleged on Monday that the Nigerian military often fed President Muhammadu Buhari the wrong information on the capacity of Boko Haram to still carry out deadly strikes in the North-East.
Mr. Kamale, a member of the All Progressives Congress, represents Michika/Madagali Federal Constituency of Adamawa State.
The two local governments, particularly Madagali, have had a fair share of attacks and abductions by the dreaded sect.
Communities in the local governments are a stone’s throw away from the boundary of the Sambisa Forest, the insurgents’ safe haven from where they launch attacks on their victims.
Mr. Kamale, who spoke exclusively with The PUNCH, noted that while the military’s position of ‘decimating’ the insurgents sounded laudable, “the truth remains” that the group was still very active.
He disclosed that the situation in Madagali had been “grossly under-reported” in a series of security reports filed by the military to Buhari.
According to the lawmaker, no week passes without “one ugly incident or another” taking place in the border communities.
“I am from this place (Madagali) and I can authoritatively tell you that my people are not safe. The military is always feeding Mr. President the wrong information that things are normalizing; it’s not true,” he added.
“We are happy that Mr. President made a reference to the Boko Haram issue in his broadcast to the nation when he returned from his medical vacation from the United Kingdom. He spoke of stepping up the war against Boko Haram and other forms of insecurity.”
“However, we advise Mr. President to match the broadcast with actions because the insurgents are truly killing more people than he is even aware of, particularly in Michika/Madagali Local Government Areas of Adamawa State.”
“In the past few days, over 10 lives and over 200 houses have been lost again. The security reports he gets on these two local governments are not detailed,” Mr. Kamale lamented.
“The situation here is worse than the reports he gets from the military.”
Mr. Kamale in December 2016, opposed a plan by the military to pull out troops from the North-East this year on the grounds that the insurgents had been weakened.
“The situation today is such that the government should deploy more troops in Madagali; nothing has changed much,” he warned.
“Insurgents are still very active, kidnapping women and children and raping them.”
“If the government contemplates withdrawing troops, it means insurgents will simply take over Madagali as a permanent territory.”
“As we speak, insurgents live and operate just within two kilometers to the Sambisa Forest from Madagali. Thinking of withdrawing troops does not tally with the reality on the ground.”
In December 2016, a twin bombing attack killed at least 60 people in Madagali market and left 77 others injured. The local government was hit twice earlier in December 2015, while a popular motor back was also bombed by the insurgents.
First published: Saharah Reporters, 29.08.17