John Joseph Campbell, a former U.S ambassador to Nigeria and knowledgeable on the country’s council of foreign relations, says Boko Haram looms large in Nigeria.
Campbell created the assertion during a piece he wrote on the council of foreign relations web site on Thursday, June 11
According to him, “even amid the pandemic, all Boko Haram factions have rejected the notion of a truce with the Nigerian government, which they see as an agency of evil.
“Jihadi rhetoric portrays the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, as God’s punishment of their enemies. “There is no credible information about the presence of the virus among jihadis themselves.”
He went on to write down that Nigerian security services are scuffling with a general breakdown of law and order within the country.
His words: “The pandemic and the economic consequences of fighting it have exacerbated – but did not cause- the nationwide erosion of security.
“The Nigerian army was already overstretched before the arrival of COVID-19, with the country beset by conflict in the northeast, where Boko Haram is active. “The confrontation over land and water has driven intercommunal attacks, and kidnappings and cattle-rustling operations have increased.
“The army is stationed in nearly all of Nigeria’s thirty-six states, in many cases doing the work of police forces, which are poorly trained, overstretched, and under-resourced.”
He noted that as COVID-19 unfold in Nigeria, the military had the intercalary responsibility of imposing lockdowns across the country.
“The fall in oil prices spurred by the global response to COVID-19 has probably had a greater impact on the government’s fight against jihadis.
“More than 60 per cent of government revenue and more than 90 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange come from oil. The catastrophic price drop over the past three months has sharply cut into government revenue.
“This comes at a time when the government faces heavy expenses to acquire medical equipment and set up testing facilities. “With public health demands and the fall in government revenue, chronic underfunding of the security services is likely to get worse, reducing the capacity to fight jihadi groups,” Campbell wrote.