Letter from Africa: Nigeria’s Boko Haram Wounds Army’s Pride

In this photo taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, Monday May 12, 2014 shows their leader Abubakar Shekau speaking to the camera. The new video purports to show dozens of abducted schoolgirls, covered in jihab and praying in Arabic. It is the first public sight of the girls since more than 300 were kidnapped from a northeastern school the night of April 14, 2014. (AP Photo)
In this photo taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, Monday May 12, 2014 shows their  leader Abubakar Shekau speaking to the camera. The new video purports to show dozens of abducted schoolgirls, covered in jihab and praying in Arabic. It is the first public sight of the girls since more than 300 were kidnapped from a northeastern school the night of April 14, 2014. (AP Photo)
In this photo taken from video by Nigeria’s Boko Haram terrorist network, Monday May 12, 2014 shows their leader Abubakar Shekau speaking to the camera. (AP Photo)

 

(BBC) – The main cities in northern Nigeria have been bombed on many occasions.

In our series of letters from African journalists, Mannir Dan Ali considers Nigeria’s inability to prevent the Boko Haram militant group from gaining ground in the north-east.

Just when you imagine that it cannot get worse for the Nigerian military and its pride as a fighting force, it takes a further dive.

With the abduction of the more than 200 teenage schoolgirls from Chibok in north-eastern Nigeria well past the three-month mark and no news yet about their rescue, the number of towns and villages being taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents is steadily growing.

For nearly a year – coinciding with the state of emergency in the north-east – there have been constant reports quoting foot soldiers saying they lack the equipment to match the firepower of the insurgents.

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