Borno is Boko Haram’s strong hold in its over eight years of insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

Counter-terrorism operations have continued in the region and there are some signs that the government identified in Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno, to show that normalcy had returned.

Two of those signs are outstanding for the government and the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, identified them.

1. He says scheduled flights by three airlines to Maiduguri are signs that normalcy has returned to the northeast state that has recorded many Boko Haram attacks and suicide bombings.


At a Special Town Hall Meeting for the military and security agencies organised by his ministry, the Minister said ‘‘no airline was flying this route at the height of the insurgency. In any case, the airport was not even open for such flights due to safety and security concerns.

"The mere fact that we are gathered here for this meeting is a testimony to the success that has been recorded in fighting the insurgency.

Borno Airport and flight schedule
Borno Airport

"In the heat of the insurgency, this would have been impossible".

2. Bubbling nightlife and other events that now hold in Maiduguri were other signs of normalcy the minister identified.

Mr Mohammed said the facts that Maiduguri, which used to be the epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency, could host football leagues as well as the town hall meeting, were clear indications of successes recorded in fighting insurgency.

The Minister further stated that his Special Assistants, who flew into Maiduguri on Saturday, told him of how they were pleasantly surprised to see a city that sharp contrast to what was being painted out there. ‘‘Busy roads, people going about their daily chores as you would have in any normal city, and even a bubbling nightlife,’’ are evidences of restoration of peace.

He said the feat was not achieved by accident but insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari charted the path while the military made all the sacrifices, including losing their lives.

‘‘Our political and military leaders have shown leadership in getting us here, unlike in the past when, in the words of Mr President, official bungling, negligence, complacency or collusion made Boko Haram a terrifying force. 

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‘‘The ordinary folks have also shown great resilience and support to bring us here. We are eternally grateful to all,’’ he said.

Mohammed assured Nigerians that isolated attacks by the remnants of the insurgents were act of cowardice and government was prosecuting the last phase of the war on Boko Haram

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