‘No chopper supplies weapons to Boko Haram’
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.”