In this photo of Thursaday, Oct.21, 2010,  Al-Shabaab fighters display weopons as they conduct military exercises in northern Mogadishu, Somalia A failed offensive by Somalia's strongest insurgent group has left at least 20 people dead as the Islamist group attempted to recapture a district in southwestern Somalia from government forces, an official and a witness said Friday.   The attempt by al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked Somali militia, to win back a district near Kenya's border left 12 people injured, said local resident Osman Gelle. Gelle said the violence, which started Thursday afternoon, was the worst he had seen in more than a year.   Somali government forces took over the Beled-Hawa district last Sunday in an offensive launched to take back areas held by militants. Al-Shabab militants took control of the area in Jan. 2009 after Ethiopian troops, who had entered to support Somalia's transitional government, withdrew from Somalia. The militia group briefly lost control of the town in Aug. 2009 to Ahlu Sunna Waljamea, a moderate Islamist group allied to the government.
(AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor)
In this photo of Thursaday, Oct.21, 2010, Al-Shabaab fighters display weopons as they conduct military exercises in northern Mogadishu, Somalia A failed offensive by Somalia's strongest insurgent group has left at least 20 people dead as the Islamist group attempted to recapture a district in southwestern Somalia from government forces, an official and a witness said Friday. The attempt by al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked Somali militia, to win back a district near Kenya's border left 12 people injured, said local resident Osman Gelle. Gelle said the violence, which started Thursday afternoon, was the worst he had seen in more than a year. Somali government forces took over the Beled-Hawa district last Sunday in an offensive launched to take back areas held by militants. Al-Shabab militants took control of the area in Jan. 2009 after Ethiopian troops, who had entered to support Somalia's transitional government, withdrew from Somalia. The militia group briefly lost control of the town in Aug. 2009 to Ahlu Sunna Waljamea, a moderate Islamist group allied to the government. (AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor)

Seven Borno Local Councils Are Still Controlled By Boko Haram

It has been revealed that as many as seven local government councils in the troubled State of Borno, are still controlled by Boko Haram.

File photo: Boko Haram
Buba Galadima, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has debunked a claim by the Federal Government that all territories have been reclaimed from Boko Haram, saying that at least seven local governments in Borno State are still under the control of the sect.
In an exclusive interview with The Guardian in Abuja, Galadima, who is a founding member of the APC from Yobe State, said there are 27 local governments in Borno State but not all are functioning because of the activities of Boko Haram.
“As I speak to you, many local government councils operate partially in Borno State. There are supposed to be 27 of them and you find out that not all of them are functional with their secretariats, at least seven of them, still under the control of Boko Haram.
“You will discover that all the emirs are resident in Maiduguri rather than in their domains and, of course, you will also know that feeding of troops in some local government headquarters is done by dropping food for them with helicopters,” Galadima disclosed.
He said: “Even if they cook, there is no access to the troops. They drop ammunition, they drop food for them from the air, so can anyone say that because you are in the local government headquarters and you can’t move one inch from where you are, you have reclaimed everywhere?”
On the claim by government that Boko Haram’s stronghold of Sambisa forest has been liberated, Galadima said: “If they (military) have taken over some parts of Sambisa which is so extensive and over 1000 kilometers stretching from Jigawa through Bauchi, Gombe to Adamawa states and into Cameroun and liberated only the headquarters of the proposed national guard which is about 30 kilometers away from Maiduguri, that is not total liberation.”
According to him, the national guard training camp also known as ‘Ground Zero’ has bunkers which were previously occupied by Boko Haram before the military uprooted them from there. “What about the rest of the place, the remaining vast area of 1000 kilometres?” he asked.
The APC chieftain suggested that the military should be proactive to acquire territory and hold the ground and not to be in one place. “They wait for attack by Boko Haram and then repel, if they had been moving, even if it’s one kilometer per day, they could have finished the job.”
Asked why he thought the military had not been proactive, Galadima who said he was a classmate of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Aruba, replied: “I wouldn’t know, it’s only the military that can tell you why they are not proactive but defensive. So how can the war come to an end if the military is playing a defensive game?”
On the role of the Nigeria Air Force in the war against the insurgents, the respected politician said the Air Force which is leading the battle from the air doesn’t win a war because it doesn’t take territory. “They can bomb and go and the people remain where they are, those that are alive.”
According to Galadima, the military has a long way to go unless it becomes proactive and starts taking territory. “If they are not taking territory and holding it, then the war can never be over.”

About Igwilo Emilia

Igwilo Afoma Emilia, popularly known as Emilo, is a fast rising Nigerian musician, song writer and producer. A gifted writer and social commentator, Emilo is one of the strong believers of Democracy, Freedom and Social liberty. Her passion for running a news blog stemmed from her quest for truth and desire to keep the people adequately informed about the realities around them.

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