Ahead of a planned visit by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, terrorists from the Islamic State-satellite faction within Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked and burned a military base located at Kwamdi village, in the Borno State of Nigeria. Violence in Nigeria has been escalating for the last several months. And Islamist terrorists in the Borno state are carrying out more and more brazen attacks, challenging the legitimacy of the Buhari Government. President Buhari was re-elected in 2019 amidst increasing anti-government and anti-police riots that has left 69 dead in 2020 according to the BBC.
The most recent string of attacks has come after President Buhari and his administration suspended the social media platform Twitter throughout the country.
The national suspension of Twitter came one day after President Buhari made a tweet threatening reprisals against Nigerian insurgent forces that many in the country viewed as highly offensive due to it referring back to the 1967 Nigerian Civil War which according to AfricaNews “saw the massacre and starvation of around 3 million Igbos by the Nigerian government — who refused to let the South-eastern region secede to an independent sovereign state of Biafra.”
President Buhari Tweeted,
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War.
“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
The Terrorists Have Responded, “In The Language They Understand.”
Buhari ran on a promise to defeat the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in the northeast of Nigeria however, six years into his party’s rule the insurgency has only grown closer to another open Civil War.
Sahara Reporters wrote,
“According to Daily Trust, Boko Haram terrorists overran a military formation in the Southern part of the state on Tuesday evening and carted away weapons belonging to the military during a gun duel.
The fighters were said to have stormed the area in 10 utility vehicles, and burnt down one Ammour Personal Carrier (APC) and a gun truck.”
A member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF), Hamidu Abu told the press that the insurgent terrorists seemed to target Nigerian Soldiers only and not civilians. However, the base was burned down and valuable supplies were stolen.
“They came at about 4pm and due to the sand storms, it was difficult for soldiers to repel them. They burnt down the base including APC and four other vehicles.
“I can’t ascertain if there was any causality figure,” Abu said.
Despite calls for Buhari’s resignation VOA reports that the former General enjoys almost universal support from the Nigerian military, President Buhari is up for re-election in 2023 and is clearly running out of time and options.
Calls Mount For A Military Response
The decision to suspend Twitter could represent an escalation in the internal conflict. In May Nigerian lawmakers urged the President to declare a state of emergency and crack down hard on the insurgency.
According to Reuters, “The president should immediately declare a state of emergency on security so as to fast track all measures to ensure the restoration of peace in the country,” said a resolution passed by the lower house.”
“The nation is on fire,” said Smart Adeyemi, a senator in Buhari’s ruling party. “The president must rise to the occasion and bring in people to save this country or else we will be consumed. We cannot keep quiet any longer.”
The Senate upper house called for “massive recruitment” for the military and police and procurement of new equipment for security forces.