A four-country joint offensive against Boko Haram will succeed in making the Nigerian terrorist group "a thing of the past," Nigeria's minister of national planning, Dr. Abubakar Olanrewaju Sulaiman,
told Newsmax on Friday.
"I assure you that the phenomenon of Boko Haram … will be a thing of the past," said Sulaiman.
"We have what it takes," he added. "We have the political will. We have the leadership drive, we have the determination — and we have the military."
The multinational force — led by soldiers from neighboring Chad, Niger, and Cameroon — has battled Boko Haram's terror spree of mass killings and other violence over the past six years.
The group's insurgency to impose shariah law in Nigeria has killed more than 13,000 people. Another 1.5 million have been displaced, and churches and mosques have been destroyed.
Boko Haram — whose name roughly translates as "Western education is sinful" — slaughtered an estimated 10,000 people last year, and is blamed for last April's abduction of more than 275 schoolgirls. Thousands of Nigerians have since fled into Chad.
Earlier this month, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for suicide bombings
on Friday that killed at least 137 people and injured nearly 350 at two mosques in Yemen. ISIS has since accepted the group's pledge.
Sulaiman told Newsmax that the international force is working to restore stability to Nigeria in time for the March 28 elections.
President Goodluck Jonathan of the People's Democratic Party, which strongly opposes Boko Haram, faces a tough challenge
from Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress.
Nigeria has 73 million registered voters.
Jonathan, who has been in office for 16 years, predicted to BBC News
on Friday that all of the territories seized by Boko Haram would be recaptured by international fighters within a month.
"They are getting weaker and weaker by the day," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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