".... the president has made the somewhat embarrassing admission that the state no longer controls the entire territory of Nigeria. "
-Will Ross (BBC)
The escalating crisis in Nigeria has grown worse. This week President Goodluck Jonathan declared a 'state of emergency' in three northern states with huge Muslim populations. In making the declaration, the President, in essence, is admitting that he has lost control of the region including the support of many government officials in the area.
The President announced that he is sending more troops into the three states to battle with the insurgent Boko Haram. In the last two and a half years, over 2,000 people have been killed in battles in the region. The BBC reports that on Tuesday 53 people were killed and 13 villages were burnt to the ground
The government troops have committed a number of atrocities creating more sympathy for the rebels.
Attacks have largely been hit-and-run or even suicide missions, but by saying areas have been "taken over by groups whose allegiance was to different flags and ideologies", the president has made the somewhat embarrassing admission that the state no longer controls the entire territory of Nigeria.
Mr Jonathan also urged politicians in the affected states to co-operate with the armed forces and the police. This raises the question of what they have been doing. After all, some northern politicians have been accused of backing Boko Haram.
The BBC describes the Islamic insurgent group Boko Haram:
Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram - which has caused havoc in Africa's most populous country through a wave of bombings - is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.
Its followers are said to be influenced by the Koranic phrase which says: "Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors".
Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it "haram", or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society.
This includes voting in elections, wearing shirts and trousers or receiving a secular education.
Boko Haram regards the Nigerian state as being run by non-believers, even when the country had a Muslim president.
The group's official name is Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad".
But residents in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, where the group had its headquarters, dubbed it Boko Haram.
Loosely translated from the local Hausa language, this means "Western education is forbidden".