An early evening attack on Jiddari Ward in Maiduguri town Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 turned a fiasco for Boko Haram combatants who were outsmarted by the military and killed in dozens. It is not clear what provoked the attack or what explains the boldness behind it. What is clear is the overwhelming disadvantage they suffered in their routing.
Sporadic gunshots greeted the populace as they tried to breakfast in the ward. But, by 8. 57 pm, according to a critical resident, there had descended a quiet. Although the pictures available to Intervention showed a particular victim in the same dress several times, it is clear the Boko Haram attackers miscalculated into the hands of a no-nonsense detachment of the Nigerian armed forces. Several dead bodies could be counted.
Boko Haram insurgency has reduced life to hell on earth in Maiduguri town in particular, disrupting electricity supply and making every normal activities basically impossible of recent. They have even extended their attacks on the state governor’s convoy repeatedly.
Why the insurgency activated in 2009 has still to be defeated within a decade remains one of the biggest puzzles in Nigerian politics. This is more so when contrasted with the Nigerian Civil War which took place in a more complicated terrain but took just three years. Although it is generally accepted that a conventional war is much easier to fight out than an irregular war, nobody ever says that an insurgent army is more powerful than a conventional military. It is actually an acknowledgment of the mismatch in the firing power between a conventional military and an insurgent force that compel insurgents to adopt cheap practices of war such as improvised applications or the tactic of melting into the people. Boko Haram has availed itself of each and every of such approaches to war, denying the national military a centre of gravity to hit at and overwhelm the insurgents.
Experts, however, doubt if that alone can explain why the insurgency is still going strong in its 12th year, very much beyond Borno State.