Boko Haram is now in control of 70% of Borno State, a lawmaker, Maina Maaji Lawan, has told the BBC. Lawan spoke as the terrorist group seized no fewer than 17 towns in Borno and killed upwards of 1, 600 people in its latest attacks on north-eastern Nigeria.
Hard-hit Baga is now a ghost town as all of its inhabitants estimated at 10, 000 have fled. A military base was last week overran. The soldiers fled, leaving innocent villagers at the mercy of the insurgents.
Eyewitnesses spoke of dead bodies littered in several towns because there was no one to bury them.
Over 20, 000 people have died since Boko Haram began its offensive five years ago. The United Nations estimates that over 1.5million people have been displaced. Several towns and villages have been razed by the advancing Boko Haram fighters.
While the terrorists advance, Nigerian politicians are busy with campaigns for elections expected next month. On campaign grounds, President Goodluck Jonathan and other PDP chiefs dance to the music provided by their supporters. Muhammadu Buhari of the APC and his henchmen are not left out. Several Nigerian leaders have issued statements condemning attacks in Paris and elsewhere but no longer remember to say anything about the crisis in their home country.
The politicians have been making promises and listing their achievements in a bid to woo voters. But the elections may not take place unless insurgency in the north-east is tackled first. If they take place, millions will be disenfranchised. The dead won’t vote anyway.