Stable Elections in Nigeria Threatened by Boko Haram’s Latest Attacks

As campaign season ramps up ahead of Nigerian general elections on February 14th, President Goodluck Jonathan has sought to downplay an insurgency in the country’s northeast that has been raging almost as long as he has been in power. The rise of Boko Haram, a Nigeria-based militant Islamist group best known for vicious attacks on military targets and its penchant for kidnapping women and girls and conscripting men and boys, has stymied Jonathan’s government since the former vice-president ascended to the presidency in 2010.

The insurgency has killed an estimated 11,000, according to the Council on Foreign Relation’s Nigeria Security Tracker. Unable to defeat it, the Jonathan campaign has chosen to all but ignore it as the president asks his people for an additional four-year term. But that strategy backfired on Saturday night, as militants swept into the strategic northern capital of Maiduguri just hours after Jonathan stumped for support from city residents.

The militants, who reportedly infiltrated the city of two million disguised as travelers on local buses, laid siege to key military installations and battled into Sunday. The Nigerian army eventually beat them back, but the fact that they were able to penetrate the city undetected raises questions about the military’s ability to defeat the movement….

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3 comments on “Stable Elections in Nigeria Threatened by Boko Haram’s Latest Attacks

  1. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Prayers for Nigeria and its neighbors. Things just seem to be getting worse with more abductions, murders and persecution. I hope that whoever is elected has the resolve to tackle the issue.

  2. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Nigeria has one of the most powerful and best trained and equipped military forces in Africa, used in peacekeeping in other parts of Africa. Yet the will seems to have been completely lacking within its own borders. Neighbors are doing what they can to police their own borders, but the situation in Nigeria is endangering them all.

    How can a nation which displayed such organisation and resolve when dealing with an Ebola outbreak be the same country unable to face up to the bigger threat to the lives of its people?

  3. MichaelA says:

    Whatever the reason for the malaise, they will have to deal with it, and quickly. Someone with proven expertise in this area once wrote:
    [blockquote] “A study and comprehension of the political objectives of this war and of the anti-[Japanese] front is particularly important for officers of guerrilla troops. There are some militarists who say: ‘We are not interested in politics but only in the profession of arms.’ It is vital that these simple-minded militarists be made to realize the relationship that exists between politics and military affairs. Military action is a method used to attain a political goal. While military affairs and political affairs are not identical, it is impossible to isolate one from the other.” [Mao Tse-Tung, “On Guerilla Warfare” Chap 6] [/blockquote]