FILE: Each time army claims victory over Boko Haram, the militants inflict more terror

On Saturday, Rogers Nicholas, theatre commander of operation Lafiya Dole, announced that the Nigerian army had completely defeated Boko Haram insurgents.

On Sunday, the insurgents — in what now appears to be routine attacks any time army makes such a statement — struck at Kala, a village in Borno state.

Nicholas is not the first army officer to make the controversial statement in the years of the Boko Haram insurgency.

The insurgents, on the other hand, are always quick to dismiss the army’s claims, with more attacks.

In this piece, we take a look at how events have unfolded in the Boko Haram war.

August 2013: Army says Abubakar Shekau, leader of the insurgents, may have been killed after an attack the military carried out on June 30, 2013. Momodu Baba, Shekau’s second-in-command, the authorities say, has been killed, too.

September 19, 2013: Benisheik, a village close to Maiduguri, is attacked and over 100 people are killed. Shekau appears in a video, claiming responsibility for the attack, and dismissing the military’s claim that he has been killed.

September 13, 2014: Military says Shekau has been killed in a battle with the insurgents in Konduga. Chris Olukolade, the defence spokesperson says they had since killed Shekau, but the one recently killed was an impersonator who assumed Shekau’s character.

October 17, 2014: Government says it has reached a ceasefire agreement with the insurgents, and about 200 schoolgirls abducted April in Chibok would be released.

November 1, 2014: Shekau, in a video, denies any ceasefire deal with the government, and that the schoolgirls in his custody have been married off.

April 30, 2015: Jonathan says he will crush Boko Haram before his tenure expires.

May 29, 2015: Newly-elected President Buhari orders the relocation of the military’s central command to Maiduguri, hotbed of the insurgency.

December 24, 2015: Buhari says Boko Haram has been technically defeated.

January 27, 2016: Boko Haram attacks Maiduguri, and about 60 people are killed.

February 24, 2016: As at today, Boko Haram has been defeated, Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, says.

August 19, 2016: Usman Kukasheka says some Boko Haram commanders have been killed, and Shekau is believed to be fatally wounded on his shoulders.

September 25, 2016: Shekau releases a video, saying he has neither been killed nor fatally wounded.

December 24, 2016: Army says it has captured Camp Zairo, the last enclave of Boko Haram in Sambisa forest.

December 26, 2016: Shekau refutes army’s claim in a video, saying they are fine and have not been flushed out.

March 30, 2017:  The military admits that it has not apprehended the real Shekau, despite capturing Camp Zairo.

June 20, 2017: Boko Haram attacks a joint police and military convoy along Damboa road, and female police officers are abducted.

July 4, 2017: Boko Haram has been defeated, but not completely eliminated, Buratai, says.

July 21, 2017: Buratai gives a 40-day ultimatum to capture Shekau, dead or alive.

January 1, 2018: We have beaten Boko Haram, Buhari says in the new year broadcast.

January 2, 2018: Shekau releases a video threatening to carry out more attacks.

January 3, 2018: At least 31 loggers were abducted by insurgents in Borno.

January 7, 2018: Boko Haram has been defeated, Tukur Buratai, the army chief restates, maintaining that all needed in the northeast now is how to restore peace.

January 8, 2018: Four soldiers die in Lake Chad while Usman says 107 Boko Haram fighters were killed.

February 03, 2018: Rogers Nicholas, theatre commander of operation Lafiya Dole, says Boko Haram has been completely defeated.

February 04, 2018: Boko Haram attacks Kala village, killing two, with many houses burnt.