A civil society group has given thumbs up to Nigerian governors for approving money meant to take the fight to the Boko Haram sect.
he Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism [CATRE], a civil society group, has described the approval of $1 billion out of the savings from the nation’s Excess Crude Account to fight insurgency and terrorism as a right step in the right direction.
The decision was taken by the 36 state governors after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where the governors approved the withdrawal of the sum for the ongoing fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East.
Reacting to the development, the National President of CATRE, Comrade Gabriel Onoja observed that although much success has been recorded in the fight against insurgency by the current administration which saw to the sacking of Boko Haram fighters in many communities in the North-eastern part of the country, the battle is not over yet.
Comrade Onoja who spoke at a press conference held in Abuja, noted that 'terrorism, just like an epidemic, cannot be termed as subdued if remnants of its causative agents and malignant germs are left to foster, no matter how insignificant their number.'
The statement continued:
“It is true that the sect has been degraded and technically defeated but the recent attack on soft targets has indicated that there are remnants of the sect not only fighting for survival but seeking ways to relaunch their deadly attacks on the citizenry.
This informs the need to approach the matter holistically and with military precision so that total success would be achieved.
This has necessitated the request by the FG and the subsequent approval of the funds by the state governors.
Unlike the past where such funds were seen as slush funds that were arbitrarily disbursed to cronies of those in government in the most shameful and brazen manners, we have absolute confidence in the current administration that the funds would be used for the purpose it is meant for and every single Kobo would be accounted for.
This is because President Muhammadu Buhari and his service chiefs have shown capacity to appreciate the depth of the problem and not toy with the lives and destinies of people as was the practice in the past
This step should be seen as a commitment by the Nigerian state to take care of a cancerous problem and this involves the purchase of more military hard and soft wares, communication gadgets, fighter jets and helicopter gunships, drones and other surveillance equipment to achieve success.
All these require huge amounts but the need would be appreciated against the backdrop of the enormous problem it is set to solve.
Life would revert to normal for millions that have been sacked from their communities; institutions built with public funds would be preserved and utilized; millions of children would return to schools and a substantial part of Nigeria would be given the opportunity to restart. All these are not what money can quantify.
The Coalition hereby endorses the approval of $1 billion to support the mop-up operations in the ongoing war against terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria and urges all Nigerians to do same.”
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