Nigeria’s re-energised fight against terror group Boko Haram has received a big boost today as the country’s state governors approved the release of $1bn to help the government win the war against the militant Islamist group, now in its ninth year.
The money will come from what is known as the excess crude account, which is a reserve of money earned from selling oil.
Although President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the war against Boko Haram had been won, the group continues to mount attacks and carry out suicide bombings in northeastern Nigeria and in neighbouring countries.
Just a few hours before the governors approved the funding, militants from Boko Haram had stormed a Nigerian military base in North Eastern Borno state.
According to the AFP news agency, fourteen of the militants were killed as the army repelled the attack with the help of reinforcements.
Last week, Nigeria’s military commander in the fight against Boko Haram was replaced in a shakeup designed to restore Nigeria’s gains against the group.
Ibrahim Attahiru, under whose watch Boko Haram had executed ‘embarassing’ attacks against members of an oil prospecting team and attacks on the towns of Magumeri, Biu and Madagali, was replaced by Major General Rogers Nicholas.
While President Buhari’s government has repeatedly asserted that Boko Haram has been defeated and is on its last legs, the latest developments indicate a renewed effort by the government to derail and hopefully exterminate a deadly and stubborn enemy.