…say Diaspora should rescue nation’s cracking foundation
The Nigerian Christian Elders Forum (NCEF), the organisation of senior citizens in Christianity, has called on Nigerians in the Diaspora to come together and rescue their fatherland which is currently suffering because of a cracking foundation.
The organisation warned that in Northern Nigeria, the prevailing mindset had been “to turn the country into a caliphate.”
The forum premised its argument on the fact that their policies were “responsible for, promoted or established directly or indirectly, Boko Haram as an insurgency and Fulani herdsmen”, all in a bid to justify the theocratic agenda they have for Nigeria.
The chairman of NCEF and renowned legal practitioner, Solomon Asemota (SAN), said these in Washington, D.C, United States in a paper entitled: “A Quest for peaceful resolution of conflict of ideology, democracy and Islamism in today’s Nigeria”, which he presented at the just-conclude Africa Peace, Security and Synergy Summit.
The paper was obtained by journalists in Jos on Thursday.
Apart from Asemota, other key members of NCEF include Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro (rtd); Prof. Joseph Otubu, Gen. Zamani Lekwot (rtd), Dr. (Mrs) Kate Okpareke, Dr. Ayo Abifarin, Bishop Joseph Bagobiri, Archbishop Magnus Atilade, Elder Moses Ihonde, Elder Nat Okoro and Prof. Vincent Anigbogu.
Others are Gen. Ishaku Dikko (rtd), Justice Kalajine Anigbogu (rtd), Elder Shyngle Wigwe, DIG P. L. Dabup, Sir John W. Bagu, Dr. Saleh Hussaini, Elder Mike Orobator, Chief Olaniwun Ajayi, Justice M. Ogebe (rtd), Mrs. Priscilla Kuye, Chief Debo Omotosho, Dr. Musa Asake, Joseph Daramola, Pastor Olatunbosun Emmanuel (Secretary).
Asemota said, “The prevailing mindset in the North is to turn Nigeria into a caliphate. In the circumstance it may not be far-fetched to suggest that their policies were responsible for, promoted or established directly or indirectly, Boko Haram as an insurgency and Fulani herdsmen all in a bid to justify the theocratic agenda they have for Nigeria.
“One may ask why it was necessary that the leadership of the Armed Forces, Army, Navy and Air Force, the Police, Intelligence Services and most of the para-military – the NDLEA, Custom etc are headed by only Muslims.
“Now that the Nigerian foundation is cracking, it is the view of the NCEF that indigenous natives of Nigerians in the Diaspora must come together to liberate their fatherland from 21st century colonialism or Jihad. The above facts are indictments on all Nigerians including members of the NCEF.
“It is time we, as Nigerians, join hands to tell the colonialists and Jihadists to back off. What 21st century Nigeria needs is the reconciliation of all Nigerians and this can be achieved through the South African model of Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Some say that such a commission might divide us further. This we reject because we know that Taqiyya (deceit) has played a very important part in governance in Nigeria. We are convinced that knowledge of the truth will unite Nigerians.”
The organisation called on President Muhammed Buhari and (acting President Yemi Osinbajo to set up TRC, saying it would identify the points of agreement and disagreement as to what constitute “facts”, “ideology” and “human persona” and how they were exhibited in the past and present to guide the future of Nigeria.
“The commission will strengthen our institutions against future onslaught by strong men, whether Christian or Muslims”, NCEF said.
Asemota described as unfortunate claims which suggest that the menace of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen were mere miscreants engendered by poverty when Islamist teaching provided that all lands over which Muslims have passed through or settled upon throughout the world are sacred space for which Muslims must conduct a jihad and, if necessary reclaim.
He said, “Cattle grazing routes in Nigeria that were established by the Sardauna in the years before independence in the Middle Belt, have since been declared sacred space which the herdsmen are required to reclaim. If this is incorrect why are the Herdsmen so violent in complete disregard of the sanctity of lives?
“A prevailing narrative that conflicts between Fulani herdsmen and their Christian victims are merely ‘clashes between nomads and farmers over land’ due to global warming is perpetuated by western governments and academics who are afraid to recognize what is happening as a “clash of civilizations.”
Asemota charged Muslims to stop the adulteration of their faith because it will be wrong to blame other Nigerians for Islamism.
“Even now, Nigerians woke up to learn the country had joined a coalition of Islamic countries against terrorism led by Saudi Arabia when Nigeria is not a Muslim country and we were not consulted.
“Colonialism provides an unjust system of rule which condemns the indigenous natives to servitude under the arbitrary domination of strangers first by Fulani, then by the British and now by Fulani/Hausa”, NCEF stated.
Boko Haram: 50 CSOs visit N’ East, say peace has returned
Over 50 civil society organisations in Nigeria on Thursday gave an assessment of the security situation in the North East and concluded that all is now well.
They, however, advised that the Nigerian military should maintain vigilance in the North East over the Boko Haram terrorists to ensure their total extermination.
The CSOs under the aegis of Coalition for Change and Good Governance (CCGG), said Boko Haram has been defeated adding that while the political wing of the Islamic sect had refused to yield to efforts by the Federal Government to declare Nigeria a terrorist free nation, the militant wing had continued to flee.
The CCGG made its position known in a communique issued in Jos, after a one-week tour of Maiduguri and some parts of the North East.
The resolution was signed by the National Co-ordinator and Convener of CCGGG, Okpokwu Ogenyi; Executive Director, Save Humanity Advocacy Centre, Ibrahim Abubakar; Executive Director, New Initiative for Credible Leadership, Rev Steven Onwu; Founder, Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency, Joyce Adamu and Coordinator, New Nigeria Youth for Progress, John Okoro.
Others are Founder, Friends of Humanity, Dr. Tunde Ogunmola; Secretary General, National Coalition Against Terrorism, Alhaji Garuba Shehu; National Co-ordinator, Northern Inter-Faith and Religious Organization for Peace, Musa Fomson and National President, National Association of Northern Students, Bagudu Kudu.
The Coalition simultaneously deployed its assets, which comprised researchers from its member-CSOs to the north east states comprising Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe. While Boko Haram terror activities initially spanned the entire six states, the terror group heinous acts were later concentrated on Borno state, which was incidentally the birthplace of the insurgency, as it witnessed the most brutal of terror attacks. The higher number of researchers was therefore deployed to Borno as the requirement was higher there.
The researchers adopted the appropriate approaches for collecting information, facts and evidence.
The situation in the areas visited were directly observed to give indication of prevalent atmosphere including how much of natural daily socio-economic activities have resumed and at what intensity. The observed trends were compared with documentary accounts of what obtained in the areas prior to the birth of Boko Haram.
Researchers were able to interview respondents from among the local population, who were able to give accounts of their experiences before the start of the Boko Haram insurgency, at the height of the terrorists’ activities and in the wake of the Federal Government’s intervention. This mode of information gathering was to bridge the gap created by the level of education in the area and the need to be able to monitor non-verbal cues of respondents.
CONTENT ANALYSIS OF MEDIA
The researchers analyzed media reports of the Federal Government anti-terror efforts in the two years preceding May 29, 2015 and the two years after, covering a four year period. This layer of research offered insight into the diligence with which the war was prosecuted.
The Coalition’s research found that:
Life is returning to communities that were earlier dislocated by Boko Haram terrorists with residents beginning to resume the economic activities that were disrupted by the these killers. This conflict significantly with stories making the rounds that the northeast is a wasteland.
The efforts of the Federal Government vis a viz the military operation against the insurgency particularly is yielding results. Incidents of successful attacks by the terrorists has become more of the exception more than the rule.
The war against insurgency has clearly been won courtesy the military and all the sister organizations including traditional and religious groups that made the victory possible. Gallant troops are not relenting in their efforts particularly the Army, which is championing the fight to secure the country for Nigerians.
Coalition members visited the defeat of Sambisa Forest, driving on roads that were earlier closed but have now been re-opened while the return of normalcy to the towns bordering Nigeria’s neighbors was verifiable.
In the course of interaction with the local population, people testified as to how they have been able to return to their communities that the terrorists once overran but have now been returned to the original inhabitants who are now back to rebuilding their lives.
The local population expressed concerns that mischief makers are exploiting the mood of the nation to scale up propaganda in the media to create the wrong impression to Nigerians therefore casting aspersions on Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and the sterling performance of the Service Chiefs.
In the war against terrorism, the Federal Government under the able supervision of the Acting President has performed very well to an extent that the President will be very happy when he returns from his medical leave being a man that hates the shedding of blood of any Nigerian.
Based on the above findings it is safe to conclude that the war has been won. Reported attacks by so called Boko Haram for most part of 2017 were attempts by those that want to resurrect the defeated terror group to create Boko Haram 2.0, in pursuit of a sick agenda to keep the population terrified.
There has to be more decisiveness in going after those that continue to sponsor activities to revive terrorism in northeast Nigeria or any other part of the country.
It is recommended that the CSOs hold a mega victory rally in Abuja to celebrate the achievements of the Federal Government in its victory over Boko Haram.
The CSOs should institute research and intellectual discourse to dissect the best possible ways to sustain the victory that has been won by the Federal Government through the various approaches adopted by the military to curtail the menace of terrorism in Nigeria.
There should be a discourse on ways to accelerate and improve on the deradicalization of former Boko Haram members that have yielded to superior fighting powers the state as the military have been able to force many to surrender.
Nigerians, particularly leader of thought should be invited to condemn in totality attempts by agents of darkness to revive Boko Haram using a section of the media that propagate sponsored reports without any visit to the north east or any part of the country once oppressed by Boko Haram.
The CSOs commend the Federal Government and the Acting President for sustaining the level of victory in the north east in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari who is on a medical leave. The loyalty of the Service Chiefs to the democratic authority that made victory possible is noted and must be commended.
There should be a toning down of the unnecessary focus on complicating issues with ethno-religious sentiments. The practice has only worsen issues that could have been more easily addressed if everyone involved take nationalistic view of them.
Signed… Comrade Okpokwu Ogenyi , National Co-ordinator /Convener
Ibrahim Abubakar ,Executive Director, Save Humanity Advocacy Centre
Rev Steven Onwu, Executive Director, New Intitiative for Credible Leadership
Joyce Adamu, Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency
Comrade John Okorro, Coordinator ,New Nigeria Youth for Progress
Dr. Tunde Ogunmola , Founder, Friends of Humanity
Alhaji Garuba Shehu , Secretary General, National Coalition Against Terrorism
Musa Fomson , National Co-ordinator ,Northern Inter-Faith and Religious Organization for Peace [NIFROP]
Comrade Bagudu Kudu, National President, National Association of Northern Students
…say Diaspora should rescue nation’s cracking foundation