Muhammadu Buhari sworn in as Nigeria’s new president



Former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari has formally been sworn in as Nigeria’s next president after he defeated President Goodluck Jonathan in March 28 elections.

Buhari, who was sworn-in in the captial city of Abuja on Friday, is the first Nigerian to oust a sitting president through the ballot box.

Dressed in traditional Muslim attire, Buhari stood on the stage clutching a Koran in his right hand, as he pledged to uphold the constitution and laws of Africa’s most populous nation.

The 72-year-old, takes over as head of Africa’s most populous nation, top economy and leading oil producer as it limps back to normality after fuel shortages that brought the country to a near standstill.

A sandal-wearing ascetic from Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north, Buhari has already pledged to get tough on the corruption that pervades every aspect of life the country.

Buhari has vowed to spare no effort to defeat the Boko Haram armed group which has killed thousands and displaced more than a million people in a six-year campaign to establish a caliphate in the northeast region abutting Lake Chad.

About 30 countries have sent high-level representatives for the ceremony, many from the rest of the African continent, which stands to gain if Buhari is able to breathe new life into the economy and restore Abuja’s diplomatic credibility and clout.

South African President Jacob Zuma attended the ceremony – a sign of Pretoria’s desire to improve relations with Abuja after a series of diplomatic spats under Jonathan, including the deaths of 84 South Africans in a Lagos church building collapse in September, and a wave of attacks on foreigners in South Africa this year.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, British foreign secretary Philip Hammond and French foreign minister Laurent Fabius were also at the event.

Roads were closed around the Eagle Square inauguration venue, where dozens of international flags have been hoisted alongside the Nigerian green and white triband and soldiers patrolled.

The venue was surrounded by barbed wire and giant posters of Buhari had been hung, alongside vice-president-elect Osinbajo, as workers rolled out red carpets and arranged flowers.

On the streets, traders were gearing up for Friday’s event, selling watches, badges, hats and green and white polo shirts emblazoned with his campaign slogan “Sai Buhari” (Only Buhari).

“The hope is that once the ceremony is over, the hard work of governance and putting hope in Nigeria will begin.”

Nigerian Akinwumi Adesina wins African Development Bank top job

Nigerian Akinwumi Adesina won an election on Thursday to become African Development Bank (AfDB) President (Reuters)

Nigeria’s long quest to take charge of the African Development bank was finally rewarded on Thursday when Akinwumi Adesina, agriculture minister in the outgoing government of Goodluck Jonathan, was elected as the bank’s new president.

The result provides Africa’s leading economy with an additional boost on the eve of the inauguration as Nigerian president of Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler who became the first opposition candidate in the country’s history to unseat an incumbent at the polls.

Mr Adesina is a technocrat credited with having driven a new commercial approach to agriculture, boosting domestic production of rice and helping to reduce corruption in the allocation of fertiliser subsidies. He takes the reins of the AfDB from Donald Kaberuka, who steps down at the end of August, having served the maximum of two five-year terms.

Mr Adesina fought off competition from seven other candidates including the finance ministers of Cape Verde, Chad and Ethiopia. It is the first time a Nigerian has been elected by the board, which includes representatives from African member states as well as foreign donor governments.

Mr Kaberuka, a former finance minister in Rwanda who rose through the bank’s highly unpredictable and democratic selection process, has presided over a dramatic expansion in the bank’s capital and influence over the past decade. At one point — in the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2007 — he led the bank to become the top development lender to the continent ahead of the World Bank.


He also took over at a time that many African economies were turning a corner. The terms on which the continent trades were improving as global demand for African resources rose, particularly from China. Consumer spending in Africa was also rising and foreign investment was flooding in.

Mr Kaberuka shifted the bank’s lending priorities on to infrastructure projects. The challenge for his successor would be to ensure the bank’s lending supported more inclusive growth.

He described the events in Tunisia in 2010, at the outset of the Arab Spring which he witnessed at first hand, as sounding a warning across the continent about the dangers of income inequality.

I do think that the next leadership of the bank, and other institutions, must put this — economic transformation, inclusion and sustainability — at the centre of what they do– Donald Kaberuka, leaving AfDB helm in August

“I do think that the next leadership of the bank, and other institutions, must put this — economic transformation, inclusion and sustainability — at the centre of what they do,” he said.

“Economic growth is only a means, but the end is economic transformation, and along the way, there has to be economic inclusion: it’s about expanding market power. It’s about expanding market diversity. It’s about creating a stakeholder economy,” he said, adding that the bank had adopted a 10-year strategy with this thinking at its heart.

The AfDB’s annual report, released this week at the bank’s 50th anniversary meetings in Abidjan, forecasts gross domestic product growth for the continent at 4.5 per cent in 2015. But Mr Adesina’s job will be complicated by the growing debt profile of some client states, and the fall in commodity prices which has affected the big exporters of oil and mineral products.

“I am humbled by this remarkable vote of confidence in me by @AfDB_Group. I will not let Africa down,” Mr Adesina tweeted on Thursday evening.

It’s Nigeria Children’s Day!

AS Nigerian children celebrate Children’s Day today, the harsh economic realities in the country, worsened by the recent fuel scarcity, may be taking the shine off the always-cherished celebration.

Although the idea to set aside a special day for children around the world was originally mooted by Rubab Mansoor, a child in the eight grade, it was first proclaimed by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in 1925 and then given global prominence in 1954.

However, Nigeria chose May 27 as the official date to mark Children’s Day in response to a call from the United Nations to member states to set aside a day to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children, initiate action to benefit, and promote world’s children and celebrate childhood.

But the celebration, which usually witnessed march-pasts by primary and secondary school pupils in both local council headquarters and state capitals, has begun to lose the glamour that accompanied it in the 70s and 80s.

According to Mrs Juliana Orji, a mother of three, the economic situation in the country has already taken its toll on the celebration as many schools in Lagos and other neighbouring states, especially the private schools, have already directed parents to take their wards out to mark the day, as they could not organise any programme for them.

Apart from these many pupils are still out of school because their parents cannot afford to pay their school fees.

An Economics teacher at a public school in Isolo, who simply gave his name as Kunle, said the fuel scarcity, which has grounded businesses in the country, has taken the shine off the 2015 Children’s Day celebration, as they could not afford to take the kids out.

Another teacher at a private school in Mowe said many of children have not been in school since Monday because the school buses could not get the petrol to transport them.

In some cases the children were found hawking on the streets despite the dangers associated with such act.

Also in Abuja, public schools in the Federal Capital Territory were shut down on Monday as the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) embarked on a strike.

The union, it was learnt, decided to go on strike “due to the non-payment of some allowances by government and non- implementation of the 2013 and 2014 promotion backlogs.

A Senior Secondary School pupil, Iyanu Oladipo said there could be no celebration when majority of children are not in school because their parents could not afford to send them to school.

The SSS 1 pupil of Senator Ville Academy Ijere in Owode-Obafemi Local Council of Ogun State, said it was because of the important role of children in the society that the UN General Assembly set aside the day to celebrate and honour children throughout the world.

She, therefore, called on the incoming government of Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that every child in Nigeria is in school by declaring a free and functional education for Nigerian children.

According to her, the welfare of teachers should also be taken seriously because it is only when they are well remunerated that children could feel loved and celebrated.

However, it is not all gloomy news as some churches, schools, broadcast stations and other organizations have planned elaborate programmes for children to mark today’s event.

While some plan to take them to picnics and amusement parks, others have decided to teach them those morals they would imbibe to become responsible adults in the future.

Nigerians have also set agenda for the in-coming administration concerning children as it mounts the saddle in two day’s time.

A civil servant and a mother, Mrs Esther Bakare, who lives along Mile 2-Oshodi axis, said that children are the future expectations of our great country.

Bakare noted: “What I would like to say is that the nation is expecting much from the incoming administration concerning children, especially in the area of protecting the rights of these innocent ones.”

“The case of rape is incessant in the country today. There is child abuse, child trafficking and also early child marriage.”

“We can remember the instance of a senator marrying a 14-year-old child and the case just died down like that. There are cases of children carrying children, that is, children impregnating children. All these should be considered by the incoming administration.

“There also cases of elderly people raping children of two years and those cases would just die down like that. These children should be given adequate protection under the law and capital punishment should not be withheld from the perpetrators of these sordid acts.”

She added: “We still have fresh in our memory the case of Chibok girls. Some of the girls that have been rescued from Boko Haram have been impregnated. Children should be protected because they are the future generation who have the right to life. It is what happens to them now that would determine their future and future of this country.”

“The incoming administration should have a proper plan for their protection and survival so that we can leave a good legacy for them.”

“Let us build a new image so that these children would not grow up and meet the rot in the society. All these crises that abound like ethno-religious crisis and so on should be taken off their mind so that peace would be built into them.”

Mrs. Wemimo Afisunlu said while children are being celebrated, their tomorrow must be given a clear consideration.

“Parents should have time for their children. Many parents are pre-occupied with jobs that they do not mind or get involved in the daily activities of their children, let alone monitoring their growth. This is bad for the future of these children. Parents should rise up to the challenge of taking care of their children, not only schooling, but in every other areas where they need to be moulded to be good citizens of the nation in future,” she advised.

Deal reached to end Nigeria’s crippling fuel crisis

Fuel 1
People queue with jerrycans to buy fuel at a Mobil filling station in Lagos on May 21, 2015

Abuja (AFP) – Agreement was reached on Monday to end a crippling fuel crisis in Nigeria that had left the country at a virtual standstill just days before a new government is installed.

Banks had begun to close early and telecoms firms warned their mobile phone networks could be shut down because of fuel shortages, which left domestic airlines grounded and saw petrol stations run dry, hitting businesses and homes.

But an end to the crisis was reached after the main unions and industrial groups responsible for supplying and distributing the majority of petrol and diesel in Nigeria met the government for talks.

Afterwards, the executive secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Babafemi Olawore, said: “We have agreed… (to) commence lifting of products from all available depots within the next six hours.”

Kassim Bataiya, of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), said his body “fully endorsed” the statement.

It was not immediately clear what, if any, deal was offered to help end the stalemate.

Fuel 2
A man sits behind containers containing petroleum near the Area 10 shopping centre in Abuja, Nigeria May 25, 2015.

Black market

Despite being Africa’s biggest oil producer, pumping out some two million barrels of crude per day, Nigeria has to import most of its fuel because of a lack of functioning refineries.

The government keeps prices at the pump below market prices and pays the difference in subsidies to importers.

These importers claimed they were owed $2 billion and shut depots until the arrears were paid.

Petrol tanker drivers also walked out and oil and gas workers took industrial action over the disputed sale of two oil blocks.

In the resulting chaos it was nearly impossible to buy petrol from licensed filling stations across Nigeria, which is Africa’s leading economy and most populous nation.

Black market sellers sold jerry cans of fuel by the roadside at inflated prices, sometimes offering a tainted or diluted product that destroys engines.

Most companies rely on a steady supply of diesel to power generators given the massive shortage of public electricity in Nigeria. Last week, the government said production was just 1,327 megawatts — a record low.

Fuel 3
Motorists gather at the NNPC mega petrol station in Abuja, Nigeria May 25, 2015.

Businesses hit

GT Bank, Union Bank of Nigeria and Sterling Bank closed early on Monday because of diesel shortages, while telecommunication companies such as MTN, Airtel and Etisalat warned of disruptions to their networks.

Domestic airlines Arik Air, Aero Contractors and Dana Air were hit by a lack of aviation fuel while international carriers diverted to other West African nations to pick up stocks.

President Goodluck Jonathan and his outgoing administration have had sporadic battles with fuel importers over the last five years. His government claimed the importers had been fully paid.

Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the situation had been manufactured to hold the country to ransom by demanding compensation for the fall in value of the naira currency caused by the global drop in oil prices.

Nigeria’s economy is almost totally reliant on crude revenue but has seen income dwindle since the middle of last year as world oil prices halved.

Fuel 4
A motorist reacts outside the NNPC mega petrol station Abuja, Nigeria May 25, 2015.

‘Virtually grounded’

Jonathan’s successor Muhammadu Buhari — who secured the first ever opposition victory in Nigeria’s history in March polls — will take office on Friday and has not yet indicated how he plans to handle the subsidy issue.

Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) party accused Jonathan’s administration of deliberately orchestrating the crisis and said the country was in its worst-ever state.

“No electricity, no fuel, workers are on strike, billions are owed to state and federal workers, $60 billion owed in national debt and the economy is virtually grounded,” APC spokesman Lai Mohammed said on Sunday.

Buhari was elected on a platform of tackling endemic corruption in Nigeria, which he believes has made the country a global laughing stock.

The notoriously opaque oil sector is seen as riddled with graft and last year Jonathan sacked the governor of the central bank after he claimed that $20 billion in revenue from the state-run oil firm had not been remitted.

BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award: Asisat Oshoala wins

Nigeria and Liverpool forward Asisat Oshoala has been named as the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year.

The 20-year-old forward is the first player to win the new award from the BBC World Service, voted for by football fans around the world.

She beat Spain’s Veronica Boquete, German Nadine Kessler, Scot Kim Little and Brazilian Marta to the honour.

“I would like to say thank you to the BBC, to my fans around the world and to everyone who voted,” she said.

The award is the first of its kind hosted by a global broadcaster.

Asisat Oshoala
Oshoala signed for Liverpool Ladies in January 2015

Oshoala, who was the youngest player to be shortlisted, was the leading scorer at the Under-20s World Cup in Canada last summer and was voted the tournament’s best player.

Her performances led Nigeria to the final, where they were narrowly beaten by Germany, and she was also a major influence in the senior Nigeria team who won the African Women’s Championship in October.

That ensured their qualification for this summer’s World Cup in Canada, which begins on 6 June.

Oshoala said the honour was a big lift for Nigeria before the World Cup and would help inspire young players in her homeland.

“It’s a really good thing for us as a team because we now know that we have something great and now we want to go at the trophy,” she said. “We can do it, we did it in 2014 we can also do it this year as well.

“There is going to be a lot of motivation for women’s football in Nigeria now because of this award because there are a lot of fans out there.

“Support for women’s football in Nigeria is now growing very high.

Asisat was the leading scorer at the Under-20s World Cup in Canada last summer and was voted the tournament’s best player.

“I know my Liverpool Ladies coach is going to be happy right now. Before I left the UK he called me and said to me ‘don’t worry I hope you win the award and we’re going to celebrate it when you come back’.”

Oshoala signed for Liverpool Ladies in January 2015, becoming the first African to feature in the Women’s Super League, with manager Matt Beard calling her “one of the world’s top young footballers”.

Mary Hockaday, controller of BBC World Service English, paid tribute to Oshoala.

“At still only 20, she’s proved herself a formidable talent on the pitch,” she said. “I’m proud BBC World Service is supporting the women’s game and thrilled with the interest in the award.”

Shortlist for award

Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Liverpool; Veronica Boquete (Spain & FFC Frankfurt); Nadine Kessler (Germany & VFL Wolfsburg); Kim Little (Scotland & Seattle Reign FC) and Marta (Brazil & FC Rosengard)

Culled from the BBC

Nigeria the youngest, Germany the oldest – the average age of every squad at U20 World Cup 2015


The Flying Eagles have their youngest-ever assembly at the New Zealand Fifa U20 World Cup, while Frank Wormuth’s lads are at the opposite end of the spectrum

The stage is set for the twentieth edition of the Fifa U20 World Cup with all the participating teams submitting their final list for the championship.

With an average age of just 18.9 years, Nigeria are, for the first time ever, taking the youngest panel of players to the championship in which they have twice contested the final.

Owing to their exploits at the African Youth Championship, where they emerged as champions, coach Manu Garba has kept faith in majority of the players who won the World U17 championship in UAE – with Kelechi Iheanacho, Musa Muhammed and goal machine Taiwo Awoniyi leading the pack.

Enyimba’s Kingsley Sokari is their oldest player at 20 years and one day, while Zaharaddeen Bello is Nigeria’s youngest representative, at 17 years five months.

Germany, on the other hand, have the oldest squad, with an average age of 19.9 years, just ahead of Portugal, Ukraine and Korea DPR.

Bayern Leverkusen’s 19-year old forward Julian Brandt is the European’s youngest player in a group containing a total of 19 players who are 20 or over.

Senegal’s Moussa Wague, 16 years seven months, is the youngest of all 504 players at the competition. Having been born in October 1998, he is just a month older than Ghana’s Kingsley Fobi. At the other end of the scale, Argentina’s 20 years five months forward Alejandro Romero is the oldest player in the competition.

Average age of each 2015 U20 World Cup squad
Youngest player
Oldest player
Average age
Argentina  Emiliano Buendia (18) Alejandro Romero  (20) 19.6
Austria Konrad Laimer (17) Jakob Kreuzer (20) 19.8
Brazil Gabriel Jesus  (18) Alef Dos Santos  (20) 19.3
Colombia Andres Tello (18) Daniel Londono (20) 19.7
Fiji Mataiasi Toma  (19) Praneel Naidu  (20) 19.7
Germany Julian Brandt  (19) Grischa Proemel  (20) 19.9
Ghana Kingsley Fobi (16) Barnes Osei (20) 19.04
Honduras Dabirson Castillo  (18) Bryan Rochez (20) 19.5
Hungary Patrik Demjen  (17) Bence Mervo  (20) 19.3
Korea DPR RI In Hak  (18) Kim Yu Song  (20) 19.80
Mali Lassine Konate  (18) Ichaka Diarra  (20) 19.4
Mexico Erick Aguirre  (18) Victor Guzman  (20) 19.5
Myanmar Than Paing (18) Htike Htike Aung  (20) 19.4
New Zealand Noah Billingsley  (17)  Joel Stevens  (20) 19.1
Nigeria Zaharaddeen Bello (17) Kingsley Sokari (20) 18.9
Panama A’berto Carrasquilla (17) Fidel Escobar (20) 19.1
Portugal Goncalo Guedes  (18) Tiago Sa   (20) 19.9
Qatar Tarek Salman   (18) Serigne Abdou   (20) 19.05
Senegal Moussa Wague  (16) Elimane Cisse  (20) 19.2
Serbia Ivan Saponjic   (17) Filip Jankovic (20) 19.4
Ukraine Artem Biesiedin   (19) Artem Habelok  (20) 19.8
Uruguay Marcelo Saracchi (17) Facundo Castro  (20) 19.3
USA Cameron Carter (17) Paul Arriola  (20) 19.3
Uzbeskitan Sarvar Karimov (18) Javokhir Sokhibov (20) 19.5

Hosts New Zealand have gone for a mix of young and old as coach Darren Bazeley has included seven players who are 20 or older, while Clayton Lewis and Moses Dyer (both 18) bring the average down to 19.1.

The award for tallest player at the 2015 Fifa U20 World Cup goes to Serbia’s 18-year-old goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, with a staggering height of 202 cm. Should the FK Vojvodina man be at his best in New Zealand, chances are that he might just stop all the attacking forays of opposing strikers.

Ghana’s defender Patrick Asmah is the shortest player in the competition at 152 cm.

Heading into prestigious competition, some teams have adopted a more youthful approach than others while most have gone for a blend of ages. After the final on July 20 at the North Harbour Stadium in Auckland, we will see which approach works best.

Culled from

How Nigeria turned a corner against Boko Haram

After five years of insurgency, the military has made significant gains on the battlefield. But now the battle for peace must begin, says Max Siollun

In this photo taken Wednesday, April 8, 2015, civilians walk past  a  check point manned by Nigerian soldiers in Gwoza, Nigeria, a town newly liberated from Boko Haram.   Each day brings new reports of atrocities, with mass graves being discovered in towns seized back from the militants who had set up a so-called “Islamic caliphate” across a great swath of northeast Nigeria. Boko Haram's nearly 6-year-old Islamic uprising in northeast Nigeria that has killed thousands — a reported 10,000 just last year — and forced more than 1.5 million from their homes.  (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)
In this photo taken Wednesday, April 8, 2015, civilians walk past a check point manned by Nigerian soldiers in Gwoza, Nigeria, a town newly liberated from Boko Haram. Each day brings new reports of atrocities, with mass graves being discovered in towns seized back from the militants who had set up a so-called “Islamic caliphate” across a great swath of northeast Nigeria. Boko Haram’s nearly 6-year-old Islamic uprising in northeast Nigeria that has killed thousands — a reported 10,000 just last year — and forced more than 1.5 million from their homes. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

The Nigerian army has recaptured all of the major towns occupied by Boko Haram in recent months, and rescued nearly 1,000 kidnapped women and children. It claims to have destroyed several of the militants’ camps, pursued the group into the Sambisa forest and arrested those suspected of supplying them with food and fuel.

Isolated attacks have continued, but after more than five years of torment, the insurgents seem to have been transformed from the hunters to the hunted. It is now Boko Haram fighters who are fleeing, with the army in pursuit. Recently released footage shows militants running away in disarray over aerial bombardments by the Nigerian air force.

Only five months ago Boko Haram was wreaking havoc in the north east, seemingly able to launch attacks at will after having captured an area about the same size as Belgium.

A failure to stop militants played a part in the political downfall of Goodluck Jonathan, the first Nigerian president to lose an election, amid promises by his challenger Muhammadu Buhari to “crush” the insurgency.

Yet even before Buhari’s inauguration, the military seems to have turned a corner in its fight against Boko Haram.

The recent rescue of hundreds of women and children was a watershed. Although hostages have escaped from Boko Haram captivity before, they did so of their own volition. This was the first time that the army had rescued hostages in significant numbers. Some of the women claimed that their former captors had complained of battle fatigue and of being under-equipped  – complaints formerly heard from soldiers.

Also it seems Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau has been uncharacteristically quiet of late – not having released any of his customary propaganda videos since March.

After failing for so long, how has the army managed this turnaround? Although many factors played a part, perhaps the most obvious has been a ruthless crackdown on dissent within the military itself.

After being stung by reports that some soldiers had refused to fight Boko Haram or had “tactically retreated” from battle, chief of army staff Lt-General Kenneth Minimah ordered that deserters be court-martialled. More than 60 were sentenced to death. He rejected complaints about being poorly equipped, arguing that “It is the soldier that fights, not the equipment”.

His tough tactics appear to have worked. Soldiers now say they would rather fight Boko Haram, that confront “that mad man (Minimah)”.

A change of command also helped. Since taking charge of the division in charge of combatting Boko Haram less than five months ago, Major-General Lamidi Adeosun has provided charismatic leadership and is respected by his men – unlike his predecessors.

Relations between the former commander and his men were so poor that enraged troops opened fire on him last May, blaming him for a botched night-time operation that led to several of their colleagues being killed.

In contrast, Adeosun personally led his men into battle in a recent operation. The new commander has quietly got on with the job with little fanfare, implementing more aggressive tactics to take the fight to the enemy.

But the army’s gains on the battlefield have inadvertently exposed the magnitude of the task still ahead. The fact that the military rescued nearly 1,000 women and children and yet not one of the nearly 300 kidnapped Chibok tenagers was among them demonstrates just how many people are being held.

An intermediary who entered Boko Haram’s camp last year to negotiate the Chibok girls’ release was shocked to find dwarfed by other captives. The teenagers may represent less than 10% of the total number of hostages held by the militants, amid estimates that more than 3,000 other teenagers have been kidnapped.

Boko Haram kidnaps, rapes, and impregnates female abductees not just to sow terror but also to replenish its ranks. More than 200 of the women recently rescued are pregnant, and several of the rescued children were born and raised in Boko Haram’s stonghold in the Sambisa forest.

It is clear that the Islamic militants will not just disappear, no matter how successful the army is militarily. There is no magic bullet that will end the insurgency and nothing short of a comprehensive armistice deal will neutralise its ability to give the army a bloody nose from time to time.

Military force is the means, but not the end. All it can do is buy enough breathing room for the government to devise comprehensive solutions. For that, eyes will turn to Buhari’s new government taking office on 29 May.

The last time the army inflicted heavy losses on Boko Haram, in 2009, the government relaxed and thought the conflict was over. The militants laid low, re-armed, regrouped, and returned more deadly than before. The government must learn from this missed opportunity.

The conflict is entering a phase where it needs to be fought not just with bombs and guns, but also by addressing the consequences of the insurgency. Those raped or rendered refugees or orphans by Boko Haram need rehabilitation and support. The rescued hostages, including children fathered by insurgents, may not be accepted back in their communities. The group’s indoctrination was so effective that some of the women captives opened fire on the soldiers who came to free them. Some who escaped captivity in the past were sent away by their families in order to escape stigmatisation.

Also, even if Boko Haram agrees to lay down its weapons, the level of hostility towards the group means that security forces may have to protect former insurgents from score-settling attacks by their victims.

Nigeria may win the war, but could find that winning the peace will require different tactics.

Max Siollun is a Nigerian historian, writer, and author of the books Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture 1966-1976 and Soldiers of Fortune: a History of Nigeria (1983-1993). Follow him on Twitter @maxsiollun