The pan Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has challenged the federal government to take prompt action against the alleged sponsors of terrorism rather than just periodically announcing the efforts it is making in combating the menace of terrorism.
The body threw the challenge while reacting to the announcement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that the federal government has identified 96 sponsors of terror groups in Nigeria. Afenifere’s reaction was from the national publicity secretary of the body, Comrade Jare Ajayi.
According to the organization, various officials of the federal government have, at different times, talked about the government’s efforts at curtailing the menace of terrorism that is gradually enveloping the country. “But other than occasional reports of bombardments of terrorists’ camps by the military, no concrete steps are seen to be taken by the government to tackle the roots of the problem. Indeed, the failure of the government to act decisively in this respect has emboldened the terrorists to be more daring – leading to the death of thousands of people and capturing of many communities particularly in the northern part of the country by the terror groups”.
Ajayi stated further that the disclosure by Borno State Governor Babangana Zulum that the Islamic West African Province (ISWAP) is about taking over Nigeria not only attests to the above claim, it should be a serious reason for concern warranting decisive actions on the part of the government and its agencies.
It would be recalled that the Minister on Thursday informed the public that 123 companies and 33 Bureau de change were linked to terrorists in addition to 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and seven co-conspirators have been identified. He added that 45 suspects of the identified 96 sponsors of the terror groups will soon face prosecution. While the Minister was making this announcement, Borno State Governor was warning the Ministerial Committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja that ISWAP was about taking over the country. And that the invading terrorist organization is deadlier than Boko Haram that we had been taming unsuccessfully for years.
Afenifere spokesman added that disclosures by the government no longer impress majority of Nigerians as many of the claims and promises made in the past by the government were not followed up with necessary actions. For instance, he recalled that the United Arab Emirate announced, last year, that six Nigerians were among the 39 terrorists on its wanted list. The six were actually tried and convicted in that country for setting up a Boko Haram cell in the UAE to raise funds and material assistance for insurgents in Nigeria. The Nigerians were said to have transferred up to $800,000 in favour of Boko Haram between 2015 and 2016.
Nigeria was supposed to follow up on this but has not. Meaning that foreign countries appear to be more concerned about insecurity and terrorism acts going on in Nigeria even more than our own government seems to be.
Also commenting on the N700 billion recovered through the whistleblowing policy of the government as disclosed by Alhaji Mohammed, Afenifere said that it was disturbed that government was still borrowing heavily from abroad when it could harness recovered looted funds along with funds obtained from traditional sources.
It concluded by asking the government to stop external borrowing, provide jobs for the youths, boost the morale of security agencies and allow state and local government police.