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Have the Nigerian security forces gone too far?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 12:14 UK time, Tuesday, 12 July 2011


As the University of Maiduguri shut its doors this morning, in response to the violence rocking the northern Nigerian city, another blast went off in the Baga Motor park area.

Residents have locked themselves in their houses in fear of reprisal raids from the military. Eyewitnesses told the BBC on Monday that the army had shot civilians and burned down their houses in response to a previous attack. The army has denied that they have been targeting civilians.  

Legislators from Borno state held a press conference today criticising the strategy being employed by the military and calling for an amicable solution. 

Are the army's tactics acceptable?  Are these tactics effective in tackling the threat that Boko Haram poses to security in the region?  What would you like the army to do to solve the problem?  What should the state government be doing?  

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 12 July at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published. 


  • Comment number 1.

    how i wish state of emergency is declare to give security a strong ground to smoke boko haram out of their holes/houses.And i hope due diligence exercise is done by security men when searching for boko haram instead of reckless shooting at innocent citizens.if extra care is not taken right now it will spread to another state. the earlier the better.

  • Comment number 2.

    The use of force will not achieve any success except it is directed at pin point targets confirmed to be members of the sect (Boko Haram). This sect has gone way too far and if the sect is not crushed the sovereignty of Nigeria will be at stake amongst other things.

  • Comment number 3.

    The military is playing catchup and unfortunately in cases like this, such strategies dont work. Where proper records are not kept, information/intelligence will be lacking. Without proper intelligence, the real culprits cannot be weeded out. Its rather unfortunate but i dont thing the Nigerian security agencies have the intelligence or cability to handle Boko Haram.

  • Comment number 4.

    The military should do more to root out this domestic terrorist group. It should adopt a zero tolerance on terrorism. It is the federal government that is stepping up to the plate while governments in states where this group operate seem to turn a blind eye until the terrorists strike.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    What the military is doing is very good. If the people don't like it they should co-operate with the military and completely eradicate the criminals ASAP.

  • Comment number 7.

    Wrong question. If in doubt about the level of local support enjoyed by this odious group, just listen to the local politicians. Thus, the right question should be why northern Nigeria can't be allowed, peacefully, to adopt a pre-medieval, supposedly theocratic dystopia if they so wish, while the rest of us begin to take economic development a bit mo seriously.

  • Comment number 8.

    We should not let Nigeria become another Afganistan/Parkistan/Iran, where no western education is allowed. These islamist terrorists should be wiped out for good.

  • Comment number 9.

    The Nigerian police act most of the time lawlessly whenever they deal with civil disturbance or even petty crimes. It is like gangsters fighting gangsters.No body
    is above the Police are law enforcement individuals not judges. Otherwise things get
    worse and never better.

  • Comment number 10.

    I think goverment of Nigeria should do something concerning this sect.they're human i'm sure.

  • Comment number 11.

    The Nigerian army can't defeat the rebels, they can't fight them because the rebels are invisible and they definitely will not negotiate with them. The army need a new military exercise; possibly from the West.


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