Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said that the country's military has "technically won the war" against Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group that has killed thousands of people mostly in northeastern Nigeria since 2009.
"I think, technically, we have won the war," Buhari told BBC. He added that by the end of December they will completely defeat the extremist group. The president had given a 31 December deadline to the Nigerian military to win its war against Boko Haram militants.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, also said that the Nigerian military has met the deadline of defeating the Boko Haram in December. "Today, I can report that the war against Boko Haram is largely won," Mohammed said.
"I can confidently say this because just recently, I led a group of 33 journalists from both the local and international media to the hotbed of the insurgency, that is, Maiduguri, Kondugua, Kaoure and Bama...The entire 70 plus kilometres stretch from Maiduguri to Bama and all the way to Banki which leads to Cameroun and the Central African Republic are in the hands of our gallant troops," he added.
However, BBC's Bashir Sa'ad Abdullahi told the channel that Nigeria may extend the deadline as incidents of suicide bombings in the region are no more under their control.
Commenting on the incidents of bomb attacks in some parts of the country, Mohammed said, "Unlike a war between two armies, an insurgency never ends with arms victory", according to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
"Even in countries like Colombia where insurgency was supposed to have ended decades ago, attacks like this still happen," he added.
The Boko Haram militants have killed at least 17,000 people and rendered over two million people homeless in the last six years.