‘No chop­per sup­plies weapons to Boko Haram’

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Isi­aka Wak­ili

The Federal Govern­ment says it is not true that Boko Haram in­sur­gents are fer­ried in by he­li­copters along with their weapons from for­eign lands to launch their at­tacks.

Min­is­ter of State for De­fence Se­na­tor Musiliu Obanikoro said this yes­ter­day while fea­tur­ing on Chan­nels Tele­vi­sion Sun­rise Daily Pro­gramme mon­i­tored by our cor­re­spon­dent.

Obanikoro ex­plained that the ser­vice chiefs ruled out such a pos­si­bil­ity when they were re­cently asked over the mat­ter.

“We shouldn’t re­duce this (se­cu­rity mat­ter) to beer par­lour talk. Dur­ing a meet­ing with the ser­vice chiefs, I asked whether that is pos­si­ble and they said it is not. So, I want to be­lieve it is not pos­si­ble”, the min­is­ter said.

A se­na­tor from Katsina State, Abu Ibrahim, had on March 20 told the Se­nate that at­tack­ers of some of the af­fected places were not lo­cals but were air-dropped from some­where else along with their sup­plies.

The law­maker had also said there were re­ports from lo­cals that the ban­dits get sup­plies from he­li­copters which they claimed to have seen land­ing in thick forests.

Speak­ing fur­ther yes­ter­day, Obanikoro de­clared that Nigeria can­not go into war with Cameroon over ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

He was an­swer­ing a ques­tion on what the Federal Govern­ment would do if it does not get the nec­es­sary sup­port from Cameroon to com­bat ter­ror­ism and cross-bor­der crim­i­nal­ity.

“We can­not go into war with Cameroon. We have to con­tin­u­ally en­gage them and in­ter­nalise with them to put pres­sure on them,” he said.

At the re­cent global se­cu­rity sum­mit in Abuja, Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan had, in a veiled ref­er­ence to Cameroon, said, “We must not al­low our coun­tries to be­come safe havens for ter­ror­ists; we must co­op­er­ate max­i­mally be­yond po­lit­i­cal bound­aries and adopt pro­to­cols that al­low other coun­tries to pur­sue ter­ror­ists to their safe havens in other na­tions. While we can’t re­de­fine our borders, we can re­de­fine our col­lec­tive ap­proach in fight­ing trans­bound­ary in­sur­gen­cies.

The de­fense min­is­ter said Nigeria has what it takes to end ter­ror­ism, adding that “I’m sure we’ll end it be­cause there is nowhere in the world evil pre­vails over good”.

He charged Nige­ri­ans, es­pe­cially the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, to give the se­cu­rity agencies the nec­es­sary sup­port “be­cause se­cu­rity is not about se­cu­rity agencies alone”.

He also de­scribed the al­le­ga­tion of mis­man­age­ment of se­cu­rity funds as the hand­i­work of the op­po­si­tion whom he ac­cused of play­ing pol­i­tics with the lives of Nige­ri­ans.

He ac­knowl­edged the enor­mity of the money spent an­nu­ally on se­cu­rity, claim­ing how­ever that its ac­count­abil­ity was ev­i­dent in the level of se­cu­rity al­ready achieved in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try.

The min­is­ter, who ex­pressed con­cern over the sources of fund­ing and lo­gis­tics of in­sur­gents in Nigeria, added: “See what Amer­ica, as a su­per­power, is go­ing through in Afghanistan. Ours can’t be in isolation. It’s the as­pect of fund­ing and lo­gis­tics (for ter­ror­ists) that is hurt­ing now.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.