The Nigerian Army, on Wednesday released 983 suspects cleared of links with Boko Haram insurgents.
Maj.-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, the theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD), made the disclosure in Maiduguri at the formal handing over of the suspects to the Borno Government.
Adeniyi disclosed that the suspects comprised of 978 males and five females.He said that the affected persons were detained at a military facility over suspected links with the insurgents.
Adeniyi explained that the suspects were cleared by the Joint Investigative Panel set up by the authorities.
The commander added that the suspects were cleared of any links with insurgents and certified fit for reintegration with their families and society.“The release of the suspects marked a milestone in the Operation Lafiya Dole to defeat insurgency and restore peace to the region.The Federal Government implemented the Operation Safe Corridor to encourage insurgents to surrender for rehabilitation and integration into the society.
“I call on the insurgents to surrender to enable them benefit from opportunities of the programme.Their aim for a caliphate will not be actualised, I call on the insurgents to surrender.
“Let Shekau and Albarnawi to die alone, they are defeated and you should not die with them,” Adeniyi said.
Adeniyi who commended the Borno Government for its support to the military, advocated for skill training programme to enable them to learn trades and engage in productive activities.
Gov. BabaganaZulum of Borno commended the gesture, adding that the event was significant in paving the way to end insurgency and the beginning of peace in the state.
Zulum called on the people to accept the released suspects, stressing that they were proved to be free and innocent following investigations conducted by the investigative committee.
He called on the military to adopt proactive measures to release innocent persons in its facilities in accordance with the laws.
Zulum said that the suspects would be transferred to the Borno Rehabilitation Center, Bulumkutu, before reintegration with their families and society.
The governor added that the state government would provide skill training and empowerment support to enable them to engage in productive activities.
Zulum commended the military and other security agencies for their sacrifices and contributions to the counter insurgency campaign and peace building process in the state.
Also speaking, Ahmed Jidda, one of the released suspects, thanked God for regaining his freedom.
Jidda, who hails from Adamawa, said he was detained for about three years at the military facility.He noted that the military authority had adopted proactive measures to take care of their need and improvement of the wellbeing of the inmates.“We are fed; sheltered and clothed. Nobody abused or maltreated us at the centre,” he said.
Jidda commended the committee which established their innocence, adding that he was happy to be reunited with his family.
Nigerian Army Warns Foreign Agencies Against Meddling In Fight Against Boko Haram
The Nigerian army has warned foreign agencies and countries against interfering in the fight against Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP).
In a statement released on Monday January 20 by the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, the largest component of the Nigerian Armed Forces insisted that its fight against insurgency has recorded significant success.
Though no name was mentioned in the statement, foreign agencies, countries and individuals were warned against actions and utterances which will not restore peace in the country.
The statement read:
“The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has reassured Nigerians that the Counter Insurgency operations in the North East and indeed other ongoing operations against our common enemies across the country are still on course with current indicators revealing tremendous successes across the various theatres of operation.
“After a careful review of the Nigerian Army operations in the North East, it is pertinent to state that Headquarters Nigerian Army has gladly observed the renewed zeal and determination by troops to take the counter-insurgency operations to its logical conclusion with outcomes favourable to Nigeria and Nigerians as evident in the recent decimation of many Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province criminals, including some of their top commanders amidst several arrests of the insurgents’ logistic suppliers and collaborators, numerous capture of the criminals’ arms and ammunition as well as rescue of many captives from the bondage of the insurgents.
“To this end, all local and foreign interests are advised to exhibit more commitment and restraint on issues of our national security and avoid taking sides. Furthermore, all actions and utterances must be tailored towards supporting the national cause with a view to restoring peace and tranquillity to our beloved country.
“Additionally, the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai unequivocally assures troops that their sacrifices and that of our fallen colleagues will never be in vain as he reiterates the unreserved commitment of the Nigerian Army to defend our country and her citizens no matter the prize or odds. The recent moribund activity of Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province insurgents is synonymous with the kicks of a dying horse gasping for the last breath.
“The Chief of Army Staff also warned all enemies of Nigeria and Nigerians who take delight in the sufferings of our innocent citizens that the day of reckoning is at their door steps. All well-meaning Nigerians especially those in the North East and friends of Nigeria elsewhere are enjoined to fully support the counter insurgency operations as well as the fight against all forms of criminality across the nation”
Atiku Throws His Weight Behind Establishment Of Amotekun
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has backed the establishment of Amotekun, the South-West security outfit which in the last few days has ignited controversy.
According to the former Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the “current policing administration in our dear country had been stretched to its limits and it is obvious that the reality of our domestic security upheaval will demand of us to recalibrate our police systems.”
Atiku Abubakar further stated that a centrally controlled police architecture cannot exclusively deal with the security challenges witnessed across Nigeria, hence the need for state police, zonal police and community policing to complement the efforts of the current federal police.
His statement reads in full:
As enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, the primary responsibility of government, at any level, is the protection of lives and property of the citizen.
In carrying out this function, the state employs different layers of measures to ensure effective and efficient policing.
It is without doubt that in the past decade particularly, the current policing administration in our dear country had been stretched to its limits and it is obvious that the reality of our domestic security upheaval will demand of us to recalibrate our police systems.
In the First Republic, before we gravitated too much to the center, policing was done federally with each native authority and region having some mechanisms to deal with little upsets that were the security concerns of those times.
In the present day Nigeria, there is hardly any state of the federation that does not contend with some type of security challenges.
Because our security challenges are diverse in forms and impacts, it is thus incumbent that centrally controlled police architecture cannot exclusively deal with those challenges.
Consequently, there is need for the creation of additional policing structures in the country to address the rapidly growing challenges of insecurity and crime.
The time is ripe to seriously confront the reality of insecurity in the country by addressing the urgency of introducing state police, zonal police and community policing to complement the efforts of the current federal police.
It is obvious that current levels of insecurity in the country are giving rise to major initiatives such as Amotekun and the issue need not be controversial in the first place.
The police are likely to be more effective if they constantly operate in the same local community or local government because such closeness might create a bond with the local people, thereby enabling community cooperation and participation that would engender proactive outcomes in crime prevention.
Nigeria is a vast country facing enormous security challenges and, therefore, there is the urgent need to create more security structures at the local levels to reduce the burden on the federal police.
The issue of security shouldn’t be politicised and monopolised in the face of our current alarming security challenges characterised by the fear of even travelling on our highways by the citizens who might be intercepted by kidnappers and taken hostage for ransom.
Local policing shouldn’t be mistaken for an effort to hijack the role of the federal police or a competition with the federal government.
The obvious inadequacies of the federal police to effectively deal with these rapidly growing security challenges make local policing not only desirable, but also necessary.
The police are more likely to be effective in areas where they are well known and trusted by the local communities who in turn are willing to share information about known criminals and criminal activities, thereby foiling those crimes before they are even carried out.
It is a given perception that when people have a role in their own security, they are going to help to defeat the criminal in their tracks and that the more they are involved, the more likely they would perceive the police as their friends.
In the envisage new order, states and local governments shouldn’t be reduced to peripheral players in policing and security matters. When local police structures are closest to the grassroots, emergency response will be more effective than the current unwieldy chain of command that renders local government chairmen ineffective when their people are under attacks.
As a matter of fact, it is refusing to adopt new ways of doing things that poses a threat to the unity of the country.
Therefore, Atiku Abubakar supports Community, State and Zonal Police to complement Federal Police to deal with insecurity in the country. It has never been this bad to the extent of threatening the unity of the country.
Buhari Govt Has Made No Progress In Fight Against Boko Haram — EU
European parliament, the legislative branch of the European Union has stated that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has made no progress in the fight against Boko Haram.
In its resolution on January 16, 2020, the group of 28 countries that operates as a cohesive economic and political block lamented over the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria.
The group which decried an alleged ill-treatment of children detained in military facilities, reminded the Nigerian government of its obligation to protect the rights of children and to ensure protection and provide care to those affected by terrorism or conflict.
It also asked the Nigerian government to allow UN’s access to its military detention facilities and to also sign a formal handover protocol to ensure that children detained by the military are quickly transferred to appropriate child protection authorities.
The parliament said it: “Deplores the terrorist attacks which have taken place in the country; reiterates its concern about the protracted crisis in Nigeria and the volatile security situation in the north-east, and strongly condemns the repeated violations of human rights, international and humanitarian law, whether based on religion or ethnicity.
“Condemns in particular the recent increase in violence against ethnic and religious communities, including the targeting of religious institutions and worshippers.
“Deplores that progress has stalled in the fight against Boko Haram, ISWAP and the increased occurrence and severity of suicide attacks and direct attacks against military positions; recalls that Nigeria’s President Buhari was re-elected in 2019 on the promise of defeating the violent extremism promoted by Boko Haram and other terror groups, and urges the President to implement his campaign promises.
“Urges the Nigerian authorities to guarantee respect for human rights in the country, and to protect the civilian population from terrorism and violence; insists that such efforts must be conducted in full accordance with respect for human rights and the rule of law, in line with the country’s international obligations.
“Considers any form of extermination of human beings or ethnic cleansing barbaric and a crime against humanity; urges the Nigerian Government to address the root causes of violence by ensuring equal rights for all citizens and non-discrimination legislation; insists, in this regard, on the need to further promote inter-religious dialogue and the peaceful coexistence of citizens irrespective of their religion, engaging with all relevant stakeholders, including the Nigerian Inter-religious Council.”