Killing of Soldiers: Gov Shetima Hosts Stakeholders Meeting In Maiduguri

..Ezekwesili laments killing of soldiers, wants independent verification
…Group Want IGP, Idris Sacked for Deploying Police To B/Haram enclave

By Ayo Kehinde

Gov Shettima

As part of wider consultations to re-examine strategies and deal with the renewed attacks by the Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State, Governor Kashim Shettima would has hosted a stakeholders meeting in Maiduguri, the state capital.

Security personnel from the police, army, air force and civil defense corps attended the meeting.

The governor who had earlier held a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, following the recent deadly attacks in the state directed at hard targets, leading to the death of soldiers, especially in the town of Baga, said the stakeholders drew up resolutions and implementation steps to address the ugly development. Trending report by an international security organization say about 700 soldiers have recent been killed by the terrorists with another hundreds missing. The Federal Government has denied the report.

In a related development, soldiers of the Lafia Doyle operations in the state have arrested three suicide bombers attempting to detonate bombs in the town of Magumeru local government of the state.

Colonel Onyeama Wanchukwu, spokesman said eagle-eyed soldiers intercepted and arrested the bombers.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Army has described as fake the video in circulation showing a soldier alleging that lack of arms in locations of conflict in the state was undermining the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.

Director of Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, said the video trending in the social media was photoshoped by its purveyors and should be ignored.

In her reaction, the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria  (ACPN), Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has expressed concern over reports that  700 Nigerian soldiers were killed in Baga by Boko Haram terrorists. The news reports also alleged that over 2,000 of the country’s soldiers are
missing.

She said that although the military and the Presidency have denied the reports, “the serial credibility challenges of the Buhari administration and the security team he leads as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces have created public distrust of any rebuttal by government. And that is
gravely worrisome.”

In a statement on Monday, she said, “The only way to ensure accuracy of the casualty that Nigeria  is suffering as a result of counter-terrorism at this stage is to  inaugurate a citizens-led independent investigation panel. Such an  initiative would go a long way to eliminate the opaqueness of the
counter-terrorism war and restore public confidence, as the case may be,  in how the Buhari administration is prosecuting it.”

The ACPN presidential candidate also frowned at the consistent killings  in Zamfara State recently, saying that the once most peaceful state of  the North West region had been turned into a theatre of terrorism.

According to her, the security situation in the country shows a lack of effective leadership by President Muhammadu Buhari. “This is  demonstrated in the very troubling inertia to decisively confront and
end the frequent killings of our citizens; especially our soldiers on the frontline of battle.”

She added, “The killings have tragically earned Nigeria the designation  of the 16th most dangerous country in the world, according to the Global  Peace Index. Nigeria is also the 15th most fragile country in the 2018 Fragile States Index by the United States Fund for Peace.”

Ezekwesili stated that the constitutional mandate of the government to  ensure the security of life and property of all Nigerians had been  poorly handled, especially within the last decade.

“Tackling this will require commencing a security discourse and planning  away from a narrow focus on military responses, to a more collective and participative conversation of the structure of the Nigerian state and  our security architecture. Our ACPN administration would without fail
prioritise this.”

Meanwhile, an NGO, the Coalition of Ethnic Nationalities for the Atiku Agenda (CENTAA) has condemned the invitation of the police to battle Boko Haram insurgence, and demanded the removal of the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Kpotum Idris.

CENTAA said that drafting policemen against insurgents in the North East was not only unconstitutional, it amounted to sending them on a suicide mission for which they lacked the training, equipment and capacity.

The National President of the group, Mr. Adeoye Jolaosho, noted that police all over the world were trained to tackle civil matters and maintain law and order of their respective countries

Reports said 121 of 167 officers who absconded from the assignment had been sacked by the police, an action that CENTAA condemned and called for its immediate reversal.

“We are calling on the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, to order the IGP to reinstate the affected personnel that he unlawfully sacked,” Jolaosho said. “In fact, the shoe should be on the other foot. The police authorities acted illegally and unconstitutionally and have no case against these sacked officers.”

CENTAA said that Idris had outlived his days in the police force and only a hidden agenda would make Mr. President retain him as IGP.

Jolaosho said: “We advise the President to put the country first and forget about whatever dirty role he might have designated for the IGP to play in the manipulation of the 2019 general elections. He must be allowed to go on January 3 when his time will be up for retirement.”