146 views | TNC Reporter | February 26, 2021
The rampaging Boko Haram terrorist network has struck again, killing 10 and injuring scores of citizens in Borno State as President Muhammadu Buhari rules out amnesty for bandits and insurgents troubling the peace of Nigeria.
While Boko Haram Leader, Abubakar Shekau, was claiming responsibility for the Tuesday bombing of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, Northern leaders were in Kaduna pushing for amnesty for bloodletting bandits and insurgents.
At least ten persons were killed during the attack which was carried out with rocket launchers, according to witnesses.
Governors of the 19 Northern states, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Director General of the Department of State Service, Yusuf Bichi, Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, and Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar III led Northern traditional rulers to the meeting at Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna.
Also in attendance were Northern federal legislators represented by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmad Idris Wase, who stood in for the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, leaderships of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Elders’ Forum among others.
Governors of Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Yobe, Plateau, Sokoto and Kebbi States were present while others were represented by their deputies.
They were discussing the troubling security challenges worsened by herdsmen, banditry and other related crimes as well as the Almajirin menace in their region.
Through his Chief of Staff, President Buhari turned pleas for a negotiation with bandits, vowing that his administration will continue to deal decisively with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers who are making life hellish for Nigerians.
He also asked Nigerians to stop the ethnic profiling of criminals, adding that criminals should be treated as criminals, insisting that his administration will continue to deal decisively with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, and other criminals who constitute a threat to innocent citizens across the country.
Adding, President Buhari said he has tasked the new service chiefs to device new strategies that will end the ugly situation where the lives of Nigerians were being threatened by hoodlums and criminals.
According to him, the Kaduna meeting came at a time when Nigeria ‘’is making steady progress in addressing the many challenges impeding development and progress. We are providing critical infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports among which are critical to economic prosperity of our people as well as opening up economic opportunities for our citizens to pursue legitimate aspirations that grow the economy.
“At the same time, we are confronting the various dimensions of security challenges that continue to slow down the emancipation of our people from poverty and economic deprivation. The government shall continue to deal with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and other criminals constitute innocent threat citizens across the country.
“Criminals are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly without resorting to ethnic profiling. I have already tasked the new service chiefs to devise new strategies that will end this ugly situation where the lives of our people continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals.
“I expect that at this meeting, your Forum will also discuss and devise ways of building stronger collaboration with the security architecture and the people in defeating criminality across the region and the nation at last.
“It is pertinent to note that the increased realisation of our security, democracy, and development indices are inextricably linked. Democracy and the rule of law promote stability and in turn, reinforce the power to assert freedom and economic progress of our people.
“This thread of interconnection needs the support of the Northern State Governors Forum and the entire citizenry of the country as any amount of positive sacrifice would be beneficial in bringing about National development and security out nation.”
Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State in his opening remarks said statistics are showing that the region has a long way to go in terms of “education, healthcare delivery, infrastructural development, food security, industrialization and human capital development among others.”
While lamenting that the issue of insecurity has gravely affected the economy and food security jeopardised, he adds, ‘’that is why we have remained resolute in supporting and advising the Federal Government, collaborating with relevant security agencies and also using opportunities at our disposal to work for a more secured nation.”
On behalf of northern federal lawmakers, Senate President represented by House of Reps Deputy Speaker, Ahmad Wase said the National Assembly will collaborate with the North to see to the problem bedeviling the region and by extension the country.
The host, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State while addressing the gathering, stressed the need for peace for the development of the region and the country. “we need enduring peace and security to ensure that our people can prosper and that our states can develop.
“Amidst the fears and despairs of the moment, we have a chance to offer hope and buoy up the spirit of our people. Our people are looking up to us for solutions. We need peace and security in the north and Nigeria.
“We must discharge our duty as leaders to them by collaborating across all divides to solve the challenges that confront our region and Nigeria”, he said.
Speaking on behalf of Northern Traditional Council, the Sultan of Sokoto, urged northerners to be patient with the regional governors, noting that the governors were trying to rebuild what had been destroyed in the north over a decade ago.
While decrying the menace of the Almajirin in the North which he claimed was poverty-driven, he also said the traditional council in the region will continue to defend the action of the governors.
In the mean time, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno says another 50 persons sustained injuries in the Boko Haram bombing in the state capital.
In a video, Shekau said, “I am truly elated with this milestone achievement by our fighters.’’ He also denied that his farm was taken over and boasted that he had successfully established an Islamic caliphate.
“Don’t count yourself a Muslim simply because you pray the salat and give in charity”, he said, adding, “no! So long as you embrace Western values you are not one of us. We will not be on the same page until you truly submit to Allah.”
Local sources however, say after the explosions, the military immediately deployed gun trucks to the area and commenced air surveillance.
The terrorists have not launched an attack in Maiduguri for some time and the latest bombing seems not be unconnected with the military’s sustained onslaught in the Sambisa forest and other strongholds of the terrorists.
The recovery of New Marte in Borno on Tuesday from the grip of the terrorists by the military was a recent example of their successes in the insurgency war. Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, on Sunday gave the fighting troops a 48-hour ultimatum to recover the town.