Nigeria: Federal executive council calls renewed bombings "senseless"

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – The Nigerian Federal Executive Council (FEC), a meeting of ministers at the national level, Wednesday deliberated on the security situation in the country, especially the current bombing in Kano, Jos and Borno States by suspected Boko Haram insurgents, describing them as "senseless."

Also, the Nigerian federal government spokesman and Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, said the “non-challant approach” to governance by Governors of the 19 Northern States was the major factor encouraging the escalation of terrorist acts in the region.

Mr. Maku told journalists at the end of the weekly ministers' meeting, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, that the Governors must do more than criticizing the federal government decision to extend the current State of Emergency in the zone and focus on re- organizing its social structure, including grassroot mobilization and information gathering mechanism to halt further destruction of innocent citizens.

Stating that the Council expressed its “unalloyed support” support for President Jonathan's  initiatives in tackling terror, it urged "the President to continue with his current efforts to win the terror war. It is not a war of one religion against the other. It a war against all Nigerians and we believe that evil will never prevail over this country.

"We condemn the bombing of innocent people who had no disagreement with them."

Maku's criticism of the Northern Governors was in reaction to the renewed bombing campaign and growing insecurity in the region..

The Minister, who defended the Nigerian military against allegations of ineffectiveness in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency, noted that rather than blame the soldiers, the Governors, as Chief Executives of their States, should be held responsible as they are not doing enough to win the war against terror.

Maku who noted that terrorism was purely a psychological war which thrives on wrong ideology, noted that since its guerrilla tactics approach is not conventional, the Governors must use mass mobilization method to track down their movement and pass relevant information to security agencies for a more effective military operation.

According to him, “it is not the weaknesses of the Nigerian Armed Forces. It is the same way the Americans are getting frustrated in Afghanistan. If the terrorists were to stand against the Nigerian Armed Forces, they will not last 30 minutes and will be completely destroyed. Every Governor of the 19 northern states must monitor people at the grassroots or local level.

"Until we have every state government determined to organize its people in terms of information gathering, we may not be able to defeat terror."

He noted that President Jonathan left the political structures intact to assist the security agencies mobilize people at the grassroots to create the necessary support to defeat the terrorists.

Maku, however, regretted that such a synergy has not been witnessed despite the persistent attacks going on in their territories.

He maintained that “we have not seen this preparation going on. If we had done this, Chibok would not have occurred. If we are organizing our people, I believe we would have defeated terror by now. You need the cooperation of every little unit to expose these people who are terrorizing the people.

"The entire north must prepare its traditional rulers, village heads, religious leaders and the people to create the necessary synergy and mobilize the people against Boko Haram. We need to speak with one voice against terrorism. But the right political mobilization must be put in place and I think that this is what the media should support.

"When people tell you that because we have send troops we can win the war, it is not true. It is a war between a few ideologically programmed individuals. You need the right networking. We do not have to wait a long time if we do what we are supposed to do and without this cooperation, these people may continue to waste more blood."

The federal government spokesman also cautioned the media against sensationalizing reports on the activities of Boko Haram as "terrorists currently cherish such publicity more than the politician standing for election in 2015. If we destroy our armed forces, we do not have alternatives.

"These are the people being killed daily and they are doing a lot for this country. These are people whose children are being turned into orphans. This is a guerrilla warfare and we believe that Nigerians can help to win it if we prepare ourselves and organize ourselves to defeat terrorism by mobilizing our people to give information about the terrorists."

Maku condemned “grand standing by politicians who are trying to make cheap political gains by airing opinions that does not help the war against terror. The objective of terror group is to divide the opinion of Nigerians, put fears into the people and get them disunited and we need to understand that politic aside, we must unit to fight this terror.

"It is the Nigerian efforts that can bring this terror to an end. We need every religious leader to be able to speak to their people."
-0- PANA MON/VAO 21May2014

21 may 2014 18:33:40




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