Nigeria’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari, is once again proving his salt, as yesterday the new president fired the entire military top brass as he moves to finally end the Boko Haram insurgency. He relieved the service chiefs, including the heads of the army, air force and the Nigerian navy. Of particular importance were the dismissals of Alex Badeh, chief of the defense staff and Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah, head of the army who were both cited by Amnesty International reports as being responsible for war crimes committed under their commands.
This finally comes after the world has condemned the Nigerian military in the last six years with their handling of the Boko Haram uprising. Not only did the military fail to stop the murderous rampages and violence of Boko Haram, but they were also renowned for making the situation worse and spreading human rights violations of their own.
This purge of guilty officials comes the week before President Buhari’s scheduled visit to Washington to meet with President Barack Obama to work on a strategy against Boko Haram. Prior to Buhari’s reign, the American military refused to help Goodluck Jonathan and his military due to the well-documented human rights violations that were occurring. It is hoped that the American government will agree to assist in the battle against Boko Haram with this new Nigerian government.
Despite Buhari’s promise to stomp out Boko Haram, since the voting ended, Boko Haram has been on a rampage against, with Nigerians being the victims of this. Fortunately, with the elevation of Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, currently the head of the multinational anti-Boko Haram force based in N’Djamena, Chad, to be the new army chief of staff, things are beginning to look up. With his assistance, Buhari is hoping that the coordination of the armies in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria will be much stronger under General Buratai who already has skills working with numerous armies.
In the meantime, Boko Haram continues to terrorize civilians since the May 29th win of President Buhari. At least 550 people have been killed since his inauguration, with a suicide bomber only yesterday having hit a military checkpoint on the outskirts of the Nigerian city of Maiduguri. For now, the world waits to see how President Barack Obama and President Muhammadu Buhari plan to attack Boko Haram head on, and hopefully end their reign of terror.