Nigeria’s army chief told his soldiers they needed to be in « war mood » to fight the Islamist sect of Boko Haram, suggesting that peace talks with a sect that has killed hundreds of people this year were not on the government’s agenda.
Nigeria’s attempts at mediated dialogue with the group have repeatedly failed. The latest talks broke off last month after details of negotiations were leaked to the media.
In Boko Haram’s home town of Maiduguri in the remote northeast, five sect members and one policeman were killed on Wednesday in an attack on a police station, authorities said.
« It is high time for you and your men to be in war mood to be able to deal with the current challenges, » Azubuike Ihejirika, Chief of Army Staff, told soldiers at an army workshop in the northern city of Kaduna.
He said more resources would be given to the army to help it combat what he described as terrorism. He expected the army to have « a better deal within this budget year », which would mean « a lot more equipment being put back into service ».
On Easter Sunday, a car bomb near a church in Kaduna killed at least 36 people and another large undetonated bomb was found in Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city and scene of Boko Haram’s most deadly attack that killed over 180 people in January.