There were reports on Monday that at least 30 people had been killed in the town of Auno, 15 miles from Maiduguri in northeastern Borno region. Suspected Boko Haram fighters were reported to have set ablaze several trucks conveying passengers who were stranded on Sunday night along a military checkpoint due to a curfew imposed by the military in Auno town.
Boko Haram is yet to claim responsibility for the attack, but the Boko Haram group and rival Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) group have often carried out attacks in the area. If this attack was perpetrated by Boko Haram as widely believed- it shows that the terrorist organisation still poses a significant threat to national security.
Recently, the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Adamawa chapter, a young trainee priest and the wife of a Kaduna based medical doctor were killed after they were abducted by Boko Haram.
Boko Haram continues to carry out attacks with increasing frequency despite the government’s claim of victory over the group. The frequency of these attacks, suggests the battle against the insurgents is far from over. Granted, the Military’s offensive strategy has made significant headway in crippling Boko Haram’s activities, the insurgent group, however, appears relentless, and has maintained intermittent deadly attacks and kidnappings.
In response to the recent attack, President Buhari was quoted by the media as saying, “As our armed forces continue to receive more hardware and intelligence to counter our current security challenges, the remnants of Boko Haram will ultimately be crushed. The peculiar challenges of asymmetric warfare notwithstanding, our armed forces are ever determined to defeat these enemies of humanity.”
Although President Muhammadu Buhari made a specific electoral commitment to combat terrorism, the recent intensified efforts by Boko Haram suggests the goal of restoring peace to the Northern region is still a far reach. From our standpoint as financial analysts, as opposed to military strategists, we think it is reasonable to conclude that the Nigerian Army, after its initial remarkable successes, now faces chronic problems in dealing with Boko Haram.
Restoring peace to the North East, and by extension to the North generally has far-reaching impacts on the economy particularly in enhancing economic activities. We highlight that Consumer goods companies reckon that the North can absorb about 50% of their products, unfortunately, violence and instability have held back sales since Boko Haram stepped up its offensive attacks in late 2011.
Though many affected companies have seen significant improvements and have begun redistributing to these regions, the seemingly increasing frequency of these attacks and kidnappings may again cut back progress that has been made. Indeed, consumer companies stand to reap the dividends of peace in the north of Nigeria if the military can bring to an end the activities of Boko Haram.
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