Nigeria’s national security adviser Sambo Dasuki speaking with BBC said Nigeria does not need the help of UN or African Union troops to take on Boko Haram.Though he acknowledged that Boko Haram is a “real security treat”, he is of the opinion that Nigeria and her neighbours are capable of defeating the insurgents. Mr Dasuki told the BBC’s Newsday Program that the government has deployed close to 50% of Nigeria’s army to the north-east. He believes this shows how serious the government of Nigeria takes the situation.
The complaint of some soldiers that they don’t have enough weapons and equipment to fight the insurgents however, gives one a different view of the seriousness of the government in tackling this security problem in Nigeria. Also, the fact that Boko Haram seems to be gaining ground daily in the north-east of Nigeria and the Nigerian military appears unable to stop them makes one wonder the veracity of his claim. A recent event at Baga where some reports claim that about 2000 persons were killed and the recent video released by Boko Haram showing heaps of weapons taken from the military base at Baga cast doubt in the mind of many people of how prepared, ready and serious the government of Nigeria is in fighting the insurgents.
At the Newsday Program with BBC, Mr Dasuki dismissed the criticism against the government of not providing adequate weapons to soldiers fighting against Boko Haram. He said the problem was that there were “cowards” within the armed forces who hinder the campaign against the insurgents.
When asked if Nigeria needed outside help, he said “No”, and then said that it was an option to involve UN and AU forces, though according to him, regional partners are better placed to deal with the problem.
There is the effort to form a multinational force involving Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon which so far has little or no progress. However, based on the outcome of a meeting held this week, it was agreed that a UN backing would be sought for the multinational force and the headquarters moved from the captured town of Baga to Chad’s capital, N’Djamena.