The Defence Headquarters has called on the international community to uncover and block sources of funding for Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province and other terrorist groups in the country.
The Defence Headquarters said this just as residents of Maiduguri, in separate interviews with PUNCH on Monday, raised the alarm that insurgents were encircling the Borno State capital.
Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Monday, insisted that the military had made progress in the war against insurgents.
Nwachukwu was reacting to a statement by the European Union parliament that there had not been progress in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
The EU parliament, in its resolution on January 16, 2020, said the security situation in Nigeria had deteriorated significantly.
It deplored the spate of attacks and killings by the insurgents in the past weeks, and called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfil his campaign promises.
The insurgents had also launched several violent attacks on troops, including an attack on the convoy of the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Olusegun Adeniyi.
On Christmas eve, a faction of Boko Haram affiliated to the Islamic State West Africa Province killed 11 Christians in Borno State.
It said the action was taken to avenge the killing of a leader of an international terrorist group, Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and its spokesman, Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir, in Syria in October.
Reacting to the EU parliament’s statement, the defence headquarters spokesman said the military had been innovative in handling the security challenges in the country “in the face of conspiracies to deny Nigeria requisite military ware that will enhance the fight against terrorism and insurgency.”
Nwachukwu said violence by non-state actors was on the increase globally, noting that Nigeria was not the only one facing the challenge.
He noted that the security situation in the country had improved compared to 2013 and 2014, adding that the military had pushed back the insurgents to the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin.
Nwachukwu said, “The emerging security challenges are mostly novel and are being robustly tackled by the military and other security agencies. The bandits in the North-West have approached the negotiation table to seek peace and abandon their struggle.”
The DHQ spokesman further said the military were able to overcome the conspiracy which sought to deny the nation the military hardware needed to fight the insurgents.
He stated, “The Nigerian military have been very innovative in handling these security challenges in the face of conspiracies to deny Nigeria requisite military ware that will enhance the fight against terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria.
“The international community must do its bit in addressing the sources of funding for known terrorist groups and issues of arms proliferation across the globe.”