Senator Iroegbu 

The Council for African Security Affairs (CASA) has called on the Nigerian government to allow for independent investigation of the abduction of schoolgirls by the Boko Haram terrorist group in Yobe State.

This is coming as the two-week deadline given the Presidential  Investigative Committee inaugurated by the National Security (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) will elapse on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

Read also: Dapchi: Buhari Vows To Punish Guilty Agencies, Gazette Probe Panel Report

CASA in a statement made available  by its Secretary, Mr. Oludare Ogunlana, also called on President Muhammadu Buhari for the immediate release of the missing girls.

The group also appealed to Boko Haram to release the affected children immediately without any condition for humanitarian sake.

But Ogunlana said “the Nigerian government must use all instruments of power in her possession, including diplomatic, law enforcement and military to secure the release of the kidnapped schoolgirls.

“One of the campaign promises of President Buhari is to defend the nation against an external and internal adversary like Boko Haram. Hence, the deeds must be equal to words because if a leader says he will act against a terrorist threat, then he must act. Failure to act against a credible terrorist threat does considerable damage to a nation’s credibility and its international reputation.”

He said the attack in the North East zone of Nigeria requires an independent investigation to establish the cause of the incident and clear the suspicion of Internal collaboration threats and conspiracy between some bad eggs within the government circles, the military and Boko Haram.

Ogunlana said it was embarrassing that the kidnapping occurred despite credible and actionable intelligence provided to the Federal government, Army and other security agencies by its own Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

To this end, he called on the International Community, especially the United Nations, to investigate the cause of the incident.

He further stated: “Nigerians are fast losing confidence in their leaders for not being able to deliver good governance and protect the innocent citizens from incessant terrorists’ attacks. As a responsible government, someone must be held responsible and accountable for the recent incident because the evidence was overwhelming to support the fact that Boko Haram group was about to kidnap the girls, but the government failed to act on that credible intelligence. Terrorists will always strike, it is not a surprise but how our leaders handle the situation is of primary concern to everybody and the international community.

“While the government is yet to secure the entire release of the Chibok girls despite large ransom being paid to the terrorist group by the President Buhari-led administration, the recent abduction of 110 girls in Dapchi shows that Nigerian government never learned from the past. The recent occurrence shows the level of gross negligence, incompetence and apparent example of leadership failure at all levels, including both the political class and top military hierarchy who failed to act when it was necessary. Nigeria should wake up and learn from the past mistakes.

“Today, the Boko Haram terrorist group and other militias like Fulani Herdsmen are emboldened due to lack of coherence in government approach to national security, including lack of commitment and comprehensive security policy to prevent, deter and respond to common crimes and incident of terrorism

“Furthermore, there is an apparent lack of coordination and cooperation between, military, police and the state government. The refusal of the Buhari-led administration to release the fund to security and military agencies to perform their operational, and strategic responsibility such as training, intelligence gathering, acquisition of military hardware and payment of necessary risk allowances to men and officers risking their lives to defend the nation is worrisome.

“This kind of lack of commitment on the part of the federal government to fund the Military and law enforcement agencies has galvanised the level of incompetence and low morale among the security personnel.”

CASA said Nigerian government must realise that the war against terrorism cannot be won through lies and propaganda; and that the government must unite Nigerians behind its efforts.

The war on terror, he said, remains a generational struggle, and the entire nation must be engaged and prepared to participate in this effort.

Credits| Thisday