The Presidency has insisted that Boko Haram insurgents have been ”technically defeated” especially in the northeast region, according to a report by Channels Television.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina said this on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, in reaction to the killing of several soldiers in the Metele area of Borno State.
Although he described the situation as sad and unfortunate, he believes it is not enough to conclude that the insurgents now have control over the region.
Also in reaction to the conflicting number of casualties recorded in the recent attacks, Adesina said the Presidency is yet to know the actual figures.
According to him, it is the place of the military to give an authoritative figure of the casualties.
He said, “The Presidency did not mention any figure. Its not for the presidency to mention a figure, its for the military because it is purely military thing.
“It is the military who can give you an authoritative figure in terms of casualties, not the presidency.”
When asked if the President had been briefed on the number of casualties, he said, “I am not in the knowledge of that. Unless the President tells me, I don’t know, we have not discussed it.
“He is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, so he should be briefed by the hour, if not by the minute.
“For some time, you know that things had eased, the Nigerian Army had the upper hand and the insurgents had been technically defeated but then, there is this sudden upsurge and there is that casualty figure which I do not know, but which people say is on the high side.
“The military is the one that can tell us what actually happened”.
“That was maybe a breach in security but it doesn’t not mean that Boko Haram is having the upper hand and like the President said in the statement we released yesterday( Saturday), we will still get to the end of this Boko Haram insurgency.
“I agree with you that this is a breach, it is sad, it is unfortunate but then, it does not mean that Boko Haram is now in charge, they are not,” Adesina stressed.
Speaking further, the President’s aide also addressed some of the claims made by former President Goodluck Jonathan over an alleged increase in corruption under the present administration, despite its promise to curb the menace.
He said, “Don’t you think the reason adduced for that is rather simplistic.
“It says, under the Jonathan administration, this is the amount that was recovered, now under Buhari, this is the amount that has been recovered which is like four, five, six fold of what was recovered under Jonathan… is that then enough reason to say corruption has increased, or rather there is more efficiency in tackling corruption now.
“It could mean that corruption was just accepted as a way of life, that was why the recovery was so minimal and now the recovery is so huge now because corruption is being tackled.”