Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
THE Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to see Nigeria as being in a war situation and recall retired intelligent officers to assist the serving ones in the trenches.
The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Comrade Jare Ajayi, in a press release on behalf of the group, said time was running out to salvage the country if nothing urgent was done.
“There is no more time to be wasted in being more honest, decisive and comprehensive in confronting the security situation if the country is to be prevented from going under.
“Apart from the bomb blast that happened in Maiduguri on the day President Buhari visited that city on Thursday, the Nigerian Immigration Services also revealed in a letter to its border posts dated December 23, 2021, that terrorists from Mali plan to attack Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.
“The above are aside kidnapping, killing, arson and burning of vehicles conveying people from one place to another as happened on Kaduna highway and in Borno and Katsina states etc recently,” the statement read in part.
According to Afenifere, “the President must come out openly to give an ultimatum of two weeks to those carrying arms illegally to lay down their arms.
“Within the period, retired intelligent officers be encouraged to report at the military formations nearest to them with a view to reintegrating them back into the system.
“Needed weapons and incentives must be provided just as the intelligence units within the security organs be rejigged to weed out the fifth columnists in the army.
“Overtures be made to certain powers that have control over our neighbouring countries from where terrorists infiltrate our country.
“Among such super powers that need to be consulted are France, United Kingdom, China, Russia, Germany, Israel and the United States of America.
“The rationale behind this is to seek for direct assistance in terms of logistics as well as for some of them, particularly France, to work on French-speaking neighbouring countries to help curtail insurgents using their territories to infiltrate Nigeria.
“Ajayi quickly added that beyond seeking foreign help however, the federal government must be ready to be more genuinely committed to removing insurgency and related criminality from our land.
“This, it can do successfully, by stopping to treat bandits and terrorists with kid gloves, by genuinely providing needed equipment to the army and other security agencies, by truly engaging the youths into ventures that would earn them a livelihood, by no longer treating some bandits and terrorists as sacred cows and by liberalizing the economy in such a way that the cost of commodities and services in the country would come down considerably.
“Above all, states and local governments that are willing should be allowed to have their own policing system up to the level of investigation and prosecution without let or hindrance.
“Afenifere spokesman asserted that it is disheartening that terrorists had the temerity to launch attacks near Maiduguri on Thursday, December 23, 2021 around the time the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, was visiting Maiduguri and parts of Borno State.
“Reports also have it that the Nigeria Immigration Service has put its officers at various border posts on red alert of a looming terrorist attack on the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“According to the Immigration Service, the step was based on the intelligence report it received from the Presidency that some terrorists from West African neighbour, Mali, want to move through the Nigeria-Niger Republic border to launch an attack in Abuja.
“The letter dated December 23, 2021, was titled ‘Terrorists Plan Attacks In Abuja’ and signed by the Land Border Patrol Commander, Edirin Okoto, on behalf of the Acting Comptroller General Of Immigration Service, Idris Jere’ according to Punch newspaper of the same day.”
Ajayi added that if steps suggested above were taken, the vow made by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru last week Thursday would be easy to fulfill.
Stonix News recalls that the COAS had, during his visit to the 7th Division, Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri last week, asserted that the Nigerian Army is “committed to ending the (Boko Haram) war and other security challenges such as banditry and kidnapping and other crimes bedeviling the country.”
He continued: “To Afenifere, it was not the first time such declaration would be made either by President Buhari or the security chiefs.
“But rather than the insecurity being checkmated, the situation has been going from bad to worse.
“It is high time President Buhari heeded the pieces of advice being given from various quarters including the ones by the eminent Nigerians led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the one that emanated from the Inclusive Security Dialogue Retreat which held in Abuja a few weeks ago and attended by the same Chief Obasanjo, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, Reverend Samson Supo Ayokunle, CAN President, Chief Edwin Clark and many other leaders from ethnic nationalities.
“They had called on the president to urgently convey a national conciliatory conference to address the underlying issues of our challenges that successive governments have ignored.”