It is now one year of fierce, intense and aggressive battle, by the Nigerian military, with Boko Haram insurgents, since the inauguration of the administration of Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari, retd.
True to his promise during his electioneering campaigns and indeed in his inauguration speech, the president has fought gallantly, through the military, the insurgency in the North East, for which the president deserves due commendation and encouragement.
It is said by the military that as of today, there is no territory of Nigeria that is under the exclusive control or domain of Boko Haram, save some pockets of resistance in Sambisa forest.
Gradually, peace is returning to the North East region, thanks to the rugged courage, determination of the president and the gallantry of the military and indeed the prayers of many Nigerians. The sporadic attacks that used to characterize that region have gradually subsided.
Many schools are being rebuilt, roads are being opened, to grant access to the indigenes and many of the displaced persons are being resettled in their various communities.
True to his character, experience and vocation, the president has tackled the Boko Haram insurgency, with determination, with focus and purposeful leadership, although with manifest casualties on both sides. Indeed on July 23, 2016, it was reported that about 20 officers and soldiers were missing, whilst some others were shot or wounded, due to an ambush by the Boko Haram fighters.
Our hearts and prayers go to the president, the military and indeed the families of these very gallant soldiers, believing firmly that in due course, they will all be rescued alive, by the power and grace of God.
However, one year after the president declared total war on Boko Haram, it is now clear that this monstrous organization may not be totally defeated, abruptly. It would seem, from all indications, that it will require a long drawn out war, for which we trust that our president and the military are well equipped and prepared.
It is in the light of this that I am urging the president to seize the momentum of the victory being recorded against the insurgents, to extend an olive branch, to their accredited and authentic representatives, for some reprieve, by way of amnesty.
After all, Boko Haram once named the president himself as their chief negotiator, in the last dispensation. So, in the same way that the president is engaging the Niger Delta militants, he should extend same to the insurgents, to achieve sustained peace, which will in turn put an end to the deplorable crises being experienced in the various IDP camps and indeed usher in development in the North East region.
I join other Nigerians to commend the president, for the victories so far recorded against the terrorists, even though this would have been better celebrated with the rescue of the Chibok girls.
This has indeed reinforced the view in many quarters, that the president would have been better placed as a minister of defence, in a true democratic environment.