Stemming the terror in the Northeast

SIR: The Northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Taraba and others have come under  terrorists’ attacks in the last 10 years notably from the notorious Boko Haram and its splinter group, Islamic States West Africa Province (ISWAP).

The two terror groups have carried out hundreds of terror attacks and have killed tens of thousands, displaced over two million people from their homes, destroyed schools, burnt down churches, mosques, markets, police buildings and military formations.

Since the crises started, over 100 schools have either been destroyed or burnt with thousands of teachers killed and thousands of children sent out of schools. Many children have turned to orphans and women widows.

Earlier this month, over 130 people comprising civilians, vigilantes, soldiers and aid workers of a United Nation’s agency were massacred in different terror attacks by Boko Haram and Islamic States West Africa Province. The attack on Tuesday, June 9 left at least 81 people dead with a village Faduma Kolomaiya, in Gubio District of Borno State razed. In separate attacks on Saturday, June 13, terrorists gunned down 38 people and 15 people including nine soldiers in Goni Usmanti village and Monguno, a key army base and garrison town where United Nations and other aid workers are based, all in Borno State.

While the people of Northeast Nigeria are grieving as a result of the terror attacks, the president, instead of announcing their sacks for non-performance, merely warned the security chiefs that “Government would no longer condone the worsening security situation in the country “.

It is laughable that Senate President, Ahmad Lawan would on Sunday, June 21, insinuate that the “security situation might have worsened because security agencies did not have enough equipment to confront criminals”, when only in April, the Nigeria Army reportedly acquired 17 military vehicles consisting of VT-4 main battle tanks and two types of self-propelled howitzer to fight the insurgents.

It was also reported that the army procured and commissioned Buffalo 4-wheel vehicles numbering about 55.

Only last year, the federal government claimed that the Buhari administration paid $496,374,470 for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft for the Nigerian Air Force in a direct, government -to- government transaction and other various military equipment amounting to $380, 513,950,71 for Navy Lynx Helicopter making the total funds spent on procurements for the military to be $876,888,428,7.

The question is, if truly all the procurements said to have been purchased for the military were made, why is it difficult for the Nigerian military to put an end to terrorists’ attacks in the region?

The failure of the Nigerian government to change the service chiefs for their inability to stem the tide of terrorism in the Northeast is an indication that something is wrong somewhere; or is it that some people in government or the military are benefiting from the worsening security situation?

It is about time the governors of the affected states come together to find a lasting solution to the incessant terror attacks in the region. Time to put all hands on deck to ensure that these killings are stopped

 

  • Agunloye Adewunmi Bashiru, Lagos.

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