Group celebrates victory against Boko Haram, Army says it’s distractive

A group, North East Coalition Against Terrorism (NECAT) has staged a solidarity march in support of what they describe as victory of the Nigerian Military against the Boko Haram terror sect.
The march, which started from the Federal Secretariat Abuja on Thursday was meant to proceed to the presidential villa where they intended to present a thank you letter to the President Muhammadu Buhari. They were however denied entry into the villa by security agencies. They were asked to go back until proper notification is given to the President.
A statement by the leader of the group, Alhaji Babangida Halilu, disclosed that the group wants to lead Nigerians from that part of the country to express profound thanks and appreciation for the efforts in eradicating insurgency in northeast Nigeria and every other part of Nigeria.
He said normal life had been restored to the region with the coming of President Buhari, who has shown leadership and the political will to quash the terrorist group and have ended the reign of terror by the insurgents. “Mr President’s commitment found expression in his appointment of new Service Chiefs that have demonstrated the Armed Forces of Nigeria are to be reckoned with. Mr President, we are proud of you. We completely identify with your government.”
Halilu added that the period Boko Haram overran towns and villages in the northeast were times of utter despair completely devoid of hope.
The statement read in part: “They were days that we reckon our life expectancy in minutes and hours as we were never certain we will see the following day. The next bomb blast, the next gun massacre and the next killing spree by the terrorists was a matter of could occur in a matter of hours or a matter of a couple of meters from where one would be standing to the extent that all of us in the region were dead men walking. This sense of helplessness was compounded in no small way by the diversion of the funds meant for equipping the military.
“Those we are not familiar with the reign of terror we endured may find it difficult to relate with what we are talking about. We have heard people making comments like there is no need to specially acknowledge soldiers and their commanders because they are only doing what they signed up for but for us we know this is not the right spirit and approach towards people that risked their own life and comfort to free our homelands from Boko Haram occupation.
“When Your Excellency promised economic rebirth, because of the extent of depravity to which we had been subjected without hope of Federal Government intervention, we never thought that peace would be restored to the extent that we can start working on reviving our businesses and industries. It is with joy that we inform you that the Army’s achievement in the region has allowed state and local governments to be back to functioning while citizens are going about rebuilding their businesses.
“We profoundly thank officers and men of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies, who risked their lives to liberate the northeast. There is nothing we can do or say to adequately compensate for the sweat and blood they gave to free our homelands. We can only say thank you. To the families of the valiant heroes who died in the course of liberating our towns and villages from Boko Haram, we pray for God to strengthen them. Their sacrifices are not in vain; new generations that would be born into freedom for the sake of their heroic actions is proof of their great and valiant deeds.
“Our thanks also go to the Chief of Defence Staff General AG Olonisakin, the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Buratai, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibot-Eke Ekwe Ibas. They could have followed what had become precedence and enrich themselves like those before them instead of fighting the terrorists. These military chiefs touched our lives with their commitment to duty that saw the terrorists being routed.
“We say thank you to the media organizations that boosted the morale of our troops with reporting that acknowledged their gallantry. We appreciate those who refused to be the unwitting propaganda arm of Boko Haram and thereby returned the initiative to the military.”
The group however urged that the momentum be sustained until the last of Boko Haram is heard through the provision of arms, equipment, funds and leadership.
“The political support that emboldened the Army to charge into battles should be intensified.
“We further appeal that the promised intervention for rebuilding the northeast should be fast tracked. It will be a great joy to us if private businesses get some consideration in addition to the public sector that has been targeted for rebuilding.”
However in a twist, the Nigerian Army has dissociated itself from the solidarity rally describing such rallies as distractive.
A statement issued by its spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, while appreciating the effort of the groups says lauding the success of winning the war against terrorism could distract their plans.
The Nigeria Army therefore advised that such groups should be cautious with such actions.
The statement read:
“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a number of groups and individuals celebrating the routing out and decimation of Boko Haram terrorists on our soil. So much as we thank them for that, it is imperative to state that we do not begrudge such persons their desire to identify and associate themselves with this success.
“However, the Nigerian Army wishes to disassociate itself from such celebrations and solidarity rallies. We also would like to advice that they should tread with caution as this could be distractive to us. The public are please informed that the terrorists are surreptitiously fanning out of their last enclaves in Sambisa to cause havoc or seek refuge elsewhere.
“Therefore, there is need for all to be more vigilant and security conscious to enable us clear the remnants of these terrorists wherever they might flee.
We would like to reassure the public that we will remain professional and focused in clearing the remnants of these criminals on the Nigerian soil.


One Comment;

  1. Anonymous said:

    Thank God, the military, the civilian jtf and the solidarity group.

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