- Demands DHQ to publish detailed briefing on Boko Haram insurgency
*Says terrorists can’t be defeated until sponsors are exposed, apprehended
Consequent upon incessant terrorist attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State and other locations in the North-Eastern Nigeria, a group of concerned citizens under the umbrella of Concerned Citizens of Borno Forum has called on the National Security Adviser and Service Chiefs to as a matter of necessity and urgency avail Nigerians a true situation report on spate of insurgent attacks in the area.
The forum accused the military of lying about the true situation of things in the North East, especially at the Boko Haram terrorists’ epicentre of Borno State.
In a public memo on Monday to the service chiefs in reaction to a chronicle of attacks by Boko Haram in the months of March, April, May and June which was recently made available in the social media, the group demanded a full, thorough and honest briefing of the actual terror threat posed by Boko Haram.
The forum stressed that Nigerians deserve to know how large the terrorist group currently is, what parts of the northeast it occupies and its leadership structure, capacity and internal and external relations.
As was provided during the previous Jonathan administration, the requested the Defence Headquarters to give an up to date press releases of territories captured and terrorists killed in military operations in the northeast to absolve the military of accusations ranging from permissiveness to collaborations with terrorists.
“We demand a thorough appraisal of the Nigerian military’s counter-insurgency capacity. Over two years in, we suggest a review of the Buhari strategy against Boko Haram towards developing an effective new approach employing all resources including community and citizens –Civilian-JTF, hunters, ex-officers, etc. – towards putting a real lid on the Boko Haram threat.
“It is no shame when evil terrorists are successful in killing civilians and soldiers. The shame is only when the Nigerian army attempts to hide the figures. We hereby demand the Nigerian military reconsider its strategy of silence and dishonest information propagation and institutes a new attitude of respect for the sanctity of life by releasing lists of names of brave Nigerians and martyrs killed in all Boko Haram attacks, whether civilian or military. Our lives are more than numbers, worse still when the numbers are deflated in an only-seen-in-Nigeria fake news military disinformation campaign.
“Due to the great risk to our soldiers and civilians, we demand Nigeria stop negotiating with terrorists and in the future desists from ever funding terrorists or freeing terror masterminds with blood or rape on their hands. Only wives and children and members who have never killed or raped can be released in exchanges
“In view of a recent report we released on our findings of the takeover of trade in Borno by members of the Nigerian army, we demand investigation and immediate dismantling of such bestial and unconstitutional operation that represents an abdication of responsibility and oppression of hosts and victims.” demanded the body.
The Concerned Citizens of Borno Forum observed that Boko Haram is getting stronger, acquiring more military vehicles, equipment and ammunition and staging more daring attacks on civilians and the military and that there are worrying reports of the Nigerian military being alerted ahead of attacks and turning its back on the communities, thus facilitating the unhindered assault by the terrorists.” This adds to a scary public narrative that the Nigerian Army suspended its assault on Sambisa forest for two weeks, allowing the terrorists escape and relocate…”
It said recent reported inadvertent funding of the terror organisation including in the undisclosed October 2016 negotiations that freed some 21 abducted girls and the May 2017 funding to the tune of 2 million Euros and release of 5 terror masterminds by the Buhari administration in negotiations to free abducted Chibok girls, can be accessed to have substantially increased the organizing capacity and deadly strength of the terror organisation.
The group added that all three leaders of the three arms of Boko Haram appear to be alive and in active duty in spite of military claims of success in bombing campaigns against the terrorists.
“Abubakar Shekau” has made numerous press releases and claimed deadly attacks, including the latest on the state capital. Ansaru leader Mamman Nur is still well in capacity and Abu Musab al-Barnawi, son of late Mohammed Yusuf, still runs his show. It is not known whether Khalid Barnawi, the other section leader recently captured by the Nigerian army has been released in recent controversial negotiations.
“The submission many of us have made, that Boko Haram cannot be fully defeated until and unless its sponsors, local and foreign are known and addressed is greatly reinforced by the intractable apparent nature of the Boko Haram terror menace. Neither the Jonathan nor Buhari government has exposed or apprehended a single top-level political sponsor of Boko Haram.
The Forum asserted that contrary to public statements of the DHQ and President Muhammadu Buhari, Boko Haram still controls large swaths of Nigeria’s territory where it operates from and “hides” captured artillery and numerous seized military vehicles and tanks. Regular Army press releases of hundreds of abductees being liberated also prove the terrorists still control enough land it inhabits along with its captives.