An offshoot of the jihadi militant group ISWAP, otherwise known as Boko Haram, recently attacked two military establishments in the north of Nigeria. The two forward operating bases (FOBs) where the attacks occurred are located near the border with Cameroon. The assault, perpetrated by jihadis in technicals, injured six soldiers and damaged some military hardware. It was reported that no members of the terrorist group were killed or injured during the attack.
According to AFP News, “’The terrorists attacked around 1:15 a.m. and soldiers engaged them in a 30-minute fight, forcing them to withdraw,’ a military officer said in an account confirmed by another officer. The fighters’ intention was to attack and loot the town after overrunning the base, said the officer who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media.”
It’s worth noting that the attack was conducted by the Abubakar Shekau splinter group of ISWAP, providing further evidence that ISWAP is falling apart. One need only look to Mali to see how the fracturing of such terrorist groups can contribute to wholesale anarchy.
As with most attacks by this group, their intent was undoubtedly to plunder, kidnap, and drive fear into the local community. This is yet another triumph for the jihadis in the region, demonstrating they can attack whoever, whenever they wish.
How could anyone fight Boko Haram with this equipment?
Nigeria has recently experienced a ramp-up in insurgent activity, particularly in the north, with a focus on the country’s security apparatus. Safety and security are significant issues in the forthcoming presidential elections next month. President Muhammadu Buhari, who first took office in 2015, promised he would finish off the Islamist insurgency—something his predecessor failed to do.
Once again, the people are left with empty promises rather than tangible results. Conditions have only deteriorated since 2015. President Buhari will seek reappointment following the country’s February 16 elections. A quick glance at data pertaining to terrorism in the north, would suggest the people of Nigeria would be better off without this man in power.
This latest attack is one of dozens successfully carried out against the Nigerian military, which only emboldens the jihadis and foretells of a grim year ahead.