As we prepared to go to press last Friday, news filtered in that Adamawa State, northeast Nigeria had recorded yet another tragedy. The dreaded Boko Haram sect had engineered a twin-blast that left a number of people dead. It was hard to put the casualty figure together immediately, because the assault was at a market in a town called Madagali, though agency reports put it at between 50 and 60. There is apprehension in the land, even as attacks like this come in the midst of fears that the sect appears to have found another comfort zone in Kano State. The federal government, however, insists that it is in control of the situation. Earlier in the week military authorities celebrated its victory over the sect while announcing plans to launch a final onslaught on the Sambisa forest, a hideout that has become the metaphor for insurgent activity in Nigeria.
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The sad news from Adamawa at the close of last week form a part in the regular assault on Nigerians by a sect that is said to have been dissipated by the military, which confronted with complications of the war on its corridor has not been able to meet the deadline set for it by President Muhammadu Buhari. The sect, perhaps in desperate anger that it has taken too much bashing from the military, has more than ever before turned the heat on the valiant officers who had done the country proud in the campaign against insurgents.
Last Friday event happened just as Anayochukwu Agbo, general editor and head of Abuja bureau was about turning in a story on the sect. The editorial board had asked him to dig into reasons responsible for the resurgence of the ‘dead’ Boko Haram. He went round, speaking with those who should know. What he came back with form the kernels of the cover story, Boko Haram: The Unending Nightmare.
Two great interviews are in this edition. The first speaks