This has raised a lot of debates across public spaces as to the authenticity of the video vis-a-vis the army’s claims. Our reporters directly engaged victims of the terror group to collect their reactions and opinions on the new video. In the overall, most of those who our reporters engaged expressed their confidence in the Nigerian Army and the president.
They told our correspondents that it didn’t matter to them whether the video was authentic or not; ‘what we know and what matters is that bombs are no more exploding, communities are not attacked, people are not killed or kidnapped’ they said.
Malama Aishatu who trekked from Bama to Maiduguri, told us that ‘I am confident that what I had seen will not happen again, whether the video is true or not and whether he is alive or not’. A mother of two, Bilkisu Ali, an idp from Gwoza said ‘even if the video is authentic, I pray that he never succeeds’.
A long observer of Boko Haram activities and historian, Musa Ali Warabe added that ‘much as we have confidence in our military, a video such as this should not be taken for granted, as it is typical of them to keep silent for some time but only for them to strike back. I am not hoping for that though, but it is not wrong to be proactive.’
A 14year old idp from Damboa, Kaumi Ali, stated that, ‘I am still afraid to go back home, with or without the video’. Abdullahi Mamman Suara, a Political Science student and resident of Maiduguri added that, ‘the Boko Haram insurgency should not be underestimated at all, just as insurgency in different countries have shown some measure of resistance for a long time against their government forces, therefore the government, as well as the public should not declare the war over yet especially with the recent video’