Presidency faults Governor Shettima, insists Nigeria winning war against Boko Haram

The presidency replied to Governor Shettima of Borno.

The presidency on Tuesday reacted to comments made by the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, that the outlawed Boko Haram sect is better armed and better motivated that the Nigerian military.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, who addressed a press conference in his office in Abuja, said the governor’s comments were based purely on civilian perception.

Mr. Okupe said it is wrong to assert that Nigeria’s armed forces cannot defeat Boko Haram or to insinuate that the insurgents are better armed.

“It is clear that Governor Shettima does not have the expertise to categorize or classify the effectiveness of any weapon,” he said.

Mr. Okupe also stated that the Nigerian military is one of the best equipped in Africa. He said in 2014, the Federal Government made budgetary provision in excess of N1 trillion for the military and other security agencies; an amount, he said, was about 22 per cent of Nigeria’s entire national budget for the year.

“This definitely belies the suggestion in certain quarters that the Federal Government is not doing the needful in prosecuting this war,” he added.

Military winning the war

Mr. Okupe also said despite the recent upsurge of attacks by the sect, the Nigerian military is winning the war against the insurgents.

“For the avoidance of doubt and with ample evidence on the ground, we state that the Nigerian Armed Forces and security agencies are on top of the situation,” he said.

He said the recent attack on villages by the insurgents is the result of their dislodgment from their strongholds and hideouts in the mountainous forest areas of Borno State. He added that in recent times, these areas have been heavily bombed aerially by the Nigerian Air Force and ‘combed systematically’ by ground troops.

“If the insurgents have not been completely routed, it is due to the fact that our Armed Forces are severely constrained because of the fact that civilian settlements are also co-located in this vicinity making selective engagement tenuous and difficult if heavy civilian casualty is to be avoided,” he said.

The presidential aide added that following serious dislocation of the insurgents from their hideouts, the new trend is for them, after sporadic attacks, which are usually launched at night, to quickly cross over to neigbouring countries for safety.

Mr. Okupe said the Nigerian military is prevented from pursuing them into these foreign territories by law and international conventions which obviously gives continuous respite to the insurgents.

“We must note that as far back as over twelve months ago, the fighting machinery of the insurgents had suffered major decapitation. They have therefore resorted almost exclusively, to attacking soft targets such as schools, women and children and sleeping communities in the early hours of the morning.

“Most of the villages attacked are those like Kawuri, Izghe and Konduga, which are generally situated along the foot of the Gwoza Mountains, which stretches from Nigeria to the Cameroon,” he said.

He also said the location of these villages close to the mountains affords the insurgents opportunity and facility to launch strikes at night and sneak back across the border into neighbouring countries. But the Nigerian military and security agencies, he added, have taken up this challenge and will put an end to these incursions in the shortest possible time.

“We are certainly not involved in conventional warfare but are rather engaged in guerrilla warfare with all its unpredictability. However, it is heart-warming that our military, which has participated in numerous international peace keeping operations where they helped to quell insurgencies, has acquired the sophistication and necessary capacity to adapt to the ever changing modus operandi of the insurgents,” he said.

Critics unfair to government

Mr. Okupe said the statement by Mr. Shettima on low morale and lack of motivation is unfair and misplaced.

Mr. Shettima, had, after meeting President Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, lamented the situation in Borno that has led to the death of over 100 people in the last week alone. The governor said the Boko Haram were better armed and better motivated than Nigerian soldiers, and that more needed to be done by the federal government.

Mr. Okupe, however, refuted the claim. He said the insurgents are usually motivated by ideological fanaticism, while the military are well disciplined and are spurred by patriotic sense of duty, national pride, and strict adherence to professionalism.

“Therefore, the morale of troops engaged in this war is high and ought not to be dampened by unsavoury and certainly untrue comments of low motivation.

“We enjoin all our National leaders and stakeholders across political and religious divides to close ranks with government and our valiant troops defending the territorial integrity and support the Federal Government route out the scourging menace of insurgency rather than speaking at cross purposes.

“We want to reassure Nigerians and members of the international community that though it is in the character of insurgents to create maximum fear, their sporadic attacks on soft targets is being contained and will be halted.

“We state authoritatively without any fear or equivocation whatsoever that Nigeria is already winning the war against terror and the activities of the insurgents will be terminated within the shortest possible time,” he said.


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  • Mohammed Bulama

    Thank you very much “military expert” Doyin Okupe. But all you succeeded in doing is expose your incompetence, your amazing lack of knowledge of your country’s geography and your well-known penchant for “eye service”.
    If it is the position of your masters that the Nigerian military is winning the war with hundreds of innocent Nigerians being slaughtered virtually on a daily basis, in spite of a trillion-Naira war chase, God save us from the day this clueless government will admit defeat, for it will mean that BH will have over ran Aso Rock.
    “Expert Okupe, please take note that Izge is located in the same mountainous area from which you claim the insurgents have been flushed out. In fact, Gwoza LGA which Izge forms part of is arguably one of the most, if not the most, mountainous LGAs in Nigeria and currently (and precisely for that reason) the safest haven of BH.
    Your claim that Konduga and Kawuri are also “generally located at the foot of the Gwoza Mountains is laughable as is purile. That claim exposes the kind of aides Jonathan has, completely ignorant about their country. For your information, Konduga and Kawuri are located at least one hundred kilometers way from the Gwoza Mountains. And Konduga and Kawuri were attacked and sacked in BROAD DAY LIGHT in operations that lasted for hours.
    No matter how amateurish Gov. Kashim Shettima’s postulations may be, he is at least the than on ground and much better informed about the situation than people like Okupe.
    Next time Okupe feels like voicing an opinion on such matters, he should have the decency of carrying out basic, elementary research instead of engaging in such empty propaganda and disservice to Nigeria. All he has done today is insult the very victims of this poorly managed insurgency as well as ridicule himself and his pay masters.

    • Okey

      It is your perfidious propaganda warfare against the Military and the Federal Govt that sustains this wicked killings of Christian minorities of North East by Boko Haram. If the military ups its ante, you will shout “They are killing our youths”. If their efforts are demonised and and reduced, Boko Haram gains murderous advantage and you turn to shout “Govt is incompetent”. Since this one week that Chistian minorities in the North East have been targeted for extirpation, where are El Rufai, Ango Abdullahi, Junaid Mohammed?

      • Mosaku 147

        Okey.You are just senseless.why can’t you just be quiet and allow for reasonable contributions from those who are well informed.

        • Okey

          Yours is the way of BH members in our midst still pretending to be “senseful”. Unless, you repent from your overt and covert support of this murderous movement, you will be caught in your petals.

      • Ide4u

        Are you following the news at all? Majority of those killed by Boko Haram are muslims fyi

        • Okey

          “Majority of those killed by Boko Haram are muslims fyi” ? Sure, you will replace Junaid Mohammed as life attainment.

      • Aliyu Haidar Amin

        God have marcy! See this guy totally confuse him self, innocent people are brutally killed in setellite village in Borno state and you are shouting religious issues, is konguda and kawari the christian settlement?

    • redeem

      This is not about eye service-Nigerians are dying daily in the war front around the Fulani North-that is why we call for an upsurge of troops in that zone–how can boko haram force their way through a well equipped battalion of soldiers camped in almost all the villages in the said zone-Boko haram often hit and run because there are not enough troops in there–added to this are the moles within the armed forces who pass information to boko haram-let us know the number of troops stationed in that state–we are losing the war–there is no two ways about it–and something urgent has to be done or else we shall all be gone one day-bombed out of existence by boko haram–if it means recalling all our reservist let us do it–there are no enough soldiers on ground–while we have many idle soldiers roaming about in the south-How can fulanis slaughter over106 Nigerians without anybody coming to their rescue–let us get outside help if our gallant soldiers of yester years-cannot do it–this was what happened in bakassi–rather than our soldiers prepare for war they went and stayed in hotels in cross river state dancing owanbe music-enough is enough–time to end this boko haram rubbish is now or never-let us talk the talk and walk and walk–enough of this 419 talks about winning wars-or ending it in September and October an so on–the idea by boko haram is to reduce the Christian population in the fulani north for APC period-and we are not going to have any of that-there are hundreds of Nigerians who are prepared to lay down their lives–to enable us defeat these animals in humans form or shape

      • Jika

        Redeem, I share your sentiment of using all means possible to defeat these terrorists.I must however educate you on one fact.This time around,your much maligned and abhorred FULANIS are not in the game.If you had cared to do a little research,you would have found out the HEARTLAND of Boko haram is NOT in the FULANI NORTH and theTOP ECHELON AS WELL AS THE FOOT SOLDIERS of Boko haram are PREDOMINANTLY KANURI.Please UNDERSTAND THAT BORNO AND YOBE ARE KANURI SPEAKING AND NOT FULANI.On a general note,this situation does not call for blame game,but, rather a concerted effort by all well meaning Nigerians to bring these demonic characters to their knees.God bless the motherland.

  • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

    When government said “we are winning the war” I don’t understand. Is it because more of our people are being killed.

    • sticky fingers

      I don’t undertand you peePs, we should appreciate government’s effort. Mr shettima and his party chieftains cause this problem in a desperate move to win election(Ecomog), then killed the leader(Yusuf) to cover uP the story.Now they want the fed gov to repair it quickly.Mr shettima should tell himself,He wants the military 2 start killing people any how so he can cry like he did on aljazeraa about human right abuses and extra judiciary killings.

  • Usman

    That is always the problem with us, we never face our problems, that means they are proud of what is going on, instead of them to re strrategise, they are just beating about the bush, perhaps, because they don’t want their basket on security be exposed

  • Bigtin

    Thank you, Mr Expert. We need people like you at the War front. Kindly volunteer, Sir. God bless

  • Bigtin

    Thank you, Mr Expert. We need people like you at the War front. Kindly volunteer, Sir. God bless

  • grace

    You people are talking rubbish all of you. Okupe has said the right thing whether you like it or not.

    • Mosaku 147

      What do you know about Fat and big for nothing Okupe. Please go to his office in asokoro and see them in what Mohammed Bulama wrote with a open heart and you will realize that Doyin does not know what he is talking period.
      Is it the 1trillion that was budgeted this year that will solve the problem? What about last years own.or have you not read from eye witnesses that when this BH boys show even majors and captains are the first to run.why?because of the sophistication of BH weapons. Please don’t say what you don’t know.

  • Mohammed Gujbawu

    It is very clear from Federal Government lackaisical attitude what is going on in the North is celebrated with relish in some quarters.It is absolutely rediculous and insulting to any discerning mind NA cannot triumph over BH.They should tell that to the marines.Ours is a deliberately forgotten war but with God on the side of justice the bloods of those innocent women and children will definitely not be in vain.

  • Obinna

    Pray, when last did Mr. Okupe visit Borno …for him to sit in Abuja and challenge the sitting Governor of the state?? Ignorance gone on rampage!!!!!

    • Timi

      That is exactly my point. Someone in his comfortable office in Abuja is saying crap while the Governor of the state is saying what is really happening. Even military leaders respect the opinions of their men on ground. This okupe guy and reuben abati, I wonder who has more sense.

  • Okey

    Shettima is a beneficiary of “Ecomog” turned Boko Haram. We know his antics. He now wants Govt to crush BH immediately so that he can launch his campaign back to office. But the miltary will do a surgical operation in order to avoid civilian casualties. So let Shettima be on top of his game, we know his plans which are: Crush BH so that I get my re-election, and if their is civilian casualties APC will use it as a campaign tool against PDP.

    So, Shettima, in fact, has said nothing other politics by other means. But to a drooler, yes, the Son of Ecomog founder has said something.

    • Jika

      You are really pathetic.

      • Okey

        BH, so you can appreciate what “pathetic” means ? Please, you and your like should be pathetic to the Christian minorities of Kawuri, Izghe, Gwoza, Konduga, etc.

        • Jika

          Your low iQ is manifestly on display here as examplified by your response.You don’t even know the ethnic/religious persuasion of the preponderance of victims of the heinous crimes perpetrated by these terrorists in the areas you mentioned above.I suggest that you get more educated before coming to the public fora and start spewing garbage.

          • Okey

            I know your frustrations. You have no hiding place any more. What you have been perpetuating as politics has come to the fore as bare faced criminality and, as you admitted here, “heinous crimes”. Nemesis must exert a comeuppance upon all of you who have given overt and covert support to BH while shifting blames at every point of your heinous madness against man God.

  • goddey

    @ Okey n sticky fingers, better go n get more decent jobs instead of collecting peanuts as paid agents of d presidency. Remember, its d north today, it could b other parts of d country 2moro. D presidency has obviously failed in all sectors. Nothing positive about this administration

  • Sharafa Dauda

    Just imagine! Sitting comfortably within the secured confines of Aso Rock and making reckless conclusions. Does Okupe knows where Konduga is? Does he know the distance between Izge and Konduga? Does he know which of the communities of Doron Baga, Izge or Konduga are border communities to neighbouring countries of Chad or Cameroun? For your information, only Izge and Doron Baga are border communities. Izge is located around the Gwoza mountains bordering Cameroun. But Doron Baga is not. It is located at the shores of Lake Chad and is accessible on both sides of Chad and Cameroun. Konduga is at least over 250 kilometres away from any of the borders; the closest being Banki, which borders Cameroun. Even a day old baby knows the insurgents have more superior fire power than the Nigerian military. If not, how can unprofessionally armed insurgents always over-ride our well-trained military personnel, who even in tougher climes, during peace-keeping missions have excelled in other conflict zones. Of course Does he know the pain and anguish the people of Borno and nightmares that conscientious leaders and people of Borno are saddled with with the senseless blood sheds and the careless and I-don’t-care attitudes of the leadership at the centre? Nonsense, arrant nonsense!

  • Ide4u

    All GEJ and PDP does is to tell lies to Nigerians or blame the opposition for their woes.

  • Bala R

    No wonder the Airforce has to relocate their planes from Yola to Makurdi for safety. Launching attacks from Makurdi with airports in Yola and Maiduguri. Winning indeed.

  • Ak

    Shot ur mouth! Who do u think u are deceiving. All attacks happened in broad day light.

  • Ahmed Al Mukhtari

    I might be standing by governor’s speech. Thus, if Nigerian military are well equipped, why fail to restore peace and order in the country?

  • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

    Okey, the target is not towards Christians rather their target is to wipe out Muslims. BH is nothing but CAN secret plan to wipe out Islam if not who bailed out BH leader in person of Mohammed Yusuf when he was arrested? Please check to find out was that person a Muslim or Christian? As it stand now, please honest to yourself what the percentage of Muslims killed by BH as compared to Christians? Why is our President not even worry about the ongoing killings in the area?

    • sticky fingers

      Mr shettima should go and rest, When they gave muslims arms to kill christian, there sense didn’t tell them to retrieve the tech9.they use the same people to rig election (ecomog),they forgot 2 rehab and integrate them into the society or have u peeps forgotten what made the former governor 2 run 2 china, the same Mr shettima gave him a heroic welcome and made him chairman of the board of their party or have y’all forgotten all the confessions and revelations concerning BH.the same Northerners kicked against military intervention, they didn’t know that time was wasting and on the ground things were getting worse.Now things have fallen apart even the emir is not save.U want the FG to declare war on borno state & start massive killing of civilians.Does Mr shettima know wat it means 2 declare war.He should try and check his history books.

  • Yahuza Sani Sagagi

    “For the avoidance of doubt and with ample evidence on the ground, we state that the Nigerian Armed Forces and security agencies are on top of the situation,”

    With okupe’s statement above, one concludes that all the killings, maimings and arsons are being committed by the Nigerian armed forces and the security agencies.

  • zirem

    Why is the government so defensive? instead of looking in to shettima’s outburst and show some empathy, it is politics to them as usual. Shettima saw what happened first hand not on news paper an was obviously alarmed, for him to accept leadership failure. Maybe if you had been there, we wont be having this kind of response. lets be realistic and quit this denial that has gotten us no where or rather brought us here. Of cos Nigerian military is the best,Nigeria is always the best, but the worst is what is dished out to the common man.We talk too much which takes away the time and energy to make this country better. do you even have any idea how often people die in these areas? both soldiers n civilians.
    Why shouldn’t the government be criticized.its obvious that this administration is preoccupied and unaware of the plight of the common Nigerian. Action speaks louder than words Mr Okupe.

  • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

    Okey, you seems unreasonable. Seems it is so let join you and tell you that there is nothing like Boko Haram but some peoples’ plan (whom you are likely to be one of them) to kill innocent people in the area. If these killings were to be happening in Bayelsa would our president sit downing smiling on NTA receiving award from supporters club or you talking the way you are?