A northern group has urged the Nigerian Army to rejig its whistleblowing policy in the fight against insurgency in the northern parts of the country.
The Northern Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations [NIFPRO], has commended the leadership of the Nigerian military for the improved welfare package provided for troops fighting Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast, as well as their families, just as it said the days of self-acclaimed Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau are numbered
The clerics said the knowledge by the soldiers that their families are being properly taken care of but the military authorities have been a morale booster.
“Soldiers in the battlefront hearing that their families are being looked after and loved by the military authorities, has helped to bring the war to this successful point on the side of the military and our country and must be appreciated,”
General Superintendent/ Founder NIFROP, Bishop Edward Chanmi, said while briefing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Bishop said the clerics along with others Nigerians will be leading a 40-days fasting and prayer for success the military as they close in on Shekau.
He said they are optimistic that before the end of the 40 days prayer, the Boko Haram leader would have been captured.
While also commending the cash reward policy introduced by the Nigerian Army on valid information provided by citizens which could lead to the arrest of Boko Haram terrorists, Chanmi urged citizens to volunteer useful information to the security agencies that will lead to the arrest of the terrorists.
He said the successes in thwarting Boko Haram attacks before they occur are the products of painstaking intelligence gathering.
According to the clergyman, it is logical to assume that greater success would be recorded when citizens volunteer information about Boko Haram terrorists as their own contribution towards making the country safe for all peace-loving citizens.
“It is for this reason that we are revisiting the Whistleblowers Policy of the Military in the counter-terrorism war. We recall that the Nigerian Army, not long ago, offered N500,000 to some whistleblowers as the reward for providing information about suicide bombers.
This practice has been in place for some time but it appears Nigerians are not tapping into it as a way helping to make their own communities secured and safer.
We must re-commit ourselves to the service of humanity by stopping and encouraging actions that will prevent any form of bloodshed as God Almighty hates the spilling of blood.
The introduction of whistleblowing in the counter insurgency operations in the northeast is no doubt a follow up to the order by the Acting President redeploying the entire military architecture of the country to the north east to confront the new wave of terrorism.
We count it as a plus that whistleblowing would be the equivalent of the improved welfare implemented by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai for troops fighting the terrorists.
Our appeal, however, is that the military should consider varying the rewards for whistleblowing. Fear of retribution from the terrorists could be holding back some citizens that have vital information.
To this end, we suggest that the reward for a certain level of whistleblowing should include an offer of relocation and provision of new identities under a whistleblower protection program.
This would not only instill confidence in volunteering information but will encourage those that are in doubt to step forward.
In the same vein, we appeal to citizens to step forward and do their bit. Terrorism is an evil that afflicts us all collectively and we must not hide behind ethnic and religious sentiments to allow it space to grow.”
In the recent past, some groups in the northern parts of the country have been coming out in their numbers to roundly condemn the incessant attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents which seems to be gaining greater momentum.
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