Boko Haram: Where is the Nigerian Army?

By Ayo Shonaiya

I have been hearing this question often, especially in the wake of the recent (and ongoing) attacks by Boko Haram in Borno State, and it looks like there’s nothing that can be done to stop them.


Operation FLINTLOCK 07Let’s look at things from a perspective that I just discovered:

The state of Borno in Nigeria is just over 70,000 km2, the whole of Ireland (Republic and Northern, 2 separate countries) is just over 84,000 km2. If you were to drive from Cork (south of Ireland) to Londonderry (north of Ireland), on a well tarred and clear road with street lights, it would take you close to 7 hours! Now take the same trip in Borno, from south to north, over mostly un-tarred roads, bushes and forests with no street lights, your guess is as good as mine.

Most importantly, Wikipedia says the Nigerian Army has 130,000 “personnel”. When I started this research last week, the same Wikipedia said it had 100,000 personnel (hmm….), but just about a month ago I heard one war analyst say the Nigerian Army only has roughly 70,000 soldiers! So check this out. If EVERY soldier in the Nigerian Army were to face Borno State right now, to cover and protect the whole state, it would mean ONLY ONE SOLDIER PER KILOMETRE!!! Can you picture it? That means each soldier cannot even sight the next soldier 1km away!

And do you know what can happen if every soldier in the Nigerian Army is sent to Borno State to fight Boko Haram? The rest of the country is “soldier-less”, which means our backside is wide open to be taken over in a Coup. So, for all of you blaming and looking to Government to do something, you see the conundrum facing GEJ?

So now, when you hear Boko Haram are running amok in Borno State, know that it is because they know they can, and pretty much nothing can happen. This is where and why our people now turn to God (and hopefully help from foreign military) to solve this problem. In fact, the next thing we hear nowadays after there’s a bomb blast or another Boko Haram killing spree is “God Help Us”, God this and God that, as if God will physically go to Borno State armed with an AK-47.


Lastly, we’ve also been hearing from some foreign military analysts that apparently (some) Nigerian soldiers don’t want to go to Borno (and die), why am I not surprised, because another Interesting fact I just found out as well, the motto of the Nigerian Army is “Victory Is From God Alone.”

Shonaiya is a filmmaker