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Perhaps the extra hundreds of casualties that the sect has added to its gruesome haul in the first weeks of Buhari’s tenure has changed the equation.
Or, more likely, Buhari is confused about how to tackle the menace. This confusion has been noticed in several mistakes the administration has made in its first month.
From dismantling military checkpoints and reinstalling them when governors protested to retaining security and intelligence chiefs who are under investigation, Buhari has failed to live up to the expectations of the over 15 million Nigerians that voted him into power to quell the insurgency.
As his supporters scramble to defend the inertia, Boko Haram continues to cut down lives.
Indeed, as if the dreaded sect was thumbing its nose at the new sheriff in town, it has gone on a bombing spree across five states in the north, killing over 600 people in the few weeks since Buhari was sworn in as president.
And rather than live up to his reputation as a hard-fighting conqueror of insurgency, Buhari has extended an olive branch.
Perhaps, rattled by the criticism that followed this announcement, Mr Adesina tried to clarify: “Most wars, however furious or vicious, often end around the negotiation table. So, if Boko Haram opts for negotiation, the government will not be averse to it”.
“Government will, however, not be negotiating from a position of weakness, but that of strength. The machinery put in place, and which will be set in motion soon, can only devastate and decapitate insurgency.
“It is multinational in nature, and relief is on the way for Nigeria and her neighbors. President Muhammadu Buhari is resolute. He has battled and won insurgency before, he is poised to win again. It is a promise he made to Nigerians, and he is a promise keeper.
“But I say again, if the insurgents want to negotiate, no decent government will be averse to such. Didn’t the Taliban and Americans also negotiate in Afghanistan?”
For Mr Adesina, who has been widely criticized for his many gaffes on social media since he was appointed the government’s spokesperson, the attempt at the clarification was far from reassuring.
What machinery is the government putting in place that has allowed Boko Haram recover from the blows it suffered in the last weeks of the former administration?
How soon will this machinery be set in motion? And if this machinery willdevastate and decapitate insurgency, why for God’s sake is the government keeping the doors open for negotiation?
There will be plenty of excuses as to why Buhari will be unable to fulfil many of his campaign promises; the major one being falling earnings and the unavailability of funds to finance most of the socialist policies. However, crushing Boko Haram is one campaign promise that Buhari cannot afford to fail at.
He can be rest assured that the Nigerians that voted him into power would not flinch if he re-awakened some of his old ways in wiping out Boko Haram. Nothing short of bringing the full might of the Nigerian military down on Boko Haram will do.