IBB Seeks New Approach To Tackling Boko Haram | Independent Newspapers Limited
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IBB Seeks New Approach To Tackling Boko Haram

Posted: Jul 16, 2015 at 2:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

• Buhari Pleads Calls For Help Against Sect  IGP Orders Security Of Worship Places During Sallah

By Chesa Chesa and Hassan Zaggi –  Abuja


Former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, on Wednesday lamented the renewed spate of killings in Nigeria’s north east by members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.

Praying that God touches the hearts of the insurgents so that they permanently cease the bloodletting, he decried the “renewed hostilities and mindless bombings predominantly by suicide bombers who have decidedly chosen the option of death to life.”

Ibrahim Babangida

Ibrahim Babangida

In his eid-el-fitri message, Babangida decried “the worst of human follies in the conduct of these avoidable carnage and bloodletting by unscrupulous persons under the guise of religion, doing havoc to our sense of nationality.”

He called for new ways and means of confronting insurgency, without making such initiatives public knowledge, just as he urged the media to help in the management of information, rather than celebrating the dastardly acts of the sect on front pages of newspapers.

He also called for strategic efforts and initiatives of the military to curtail the spread of Boko Haram, adding that this should remain most often top secret within military hierarchy and the presidency. Collaborative efforts should also follow similar pattern so that little or limited information is let loose for the consumption of members of the sect, he added.

Babangida who called for new thinking in the anti-insurgency battle, expressed confidence that President Muhammadu Buhari “will put the final nail on the coffin of Boko Haram so that Nigeria can truly assume her greatness in the comity of nations.”

Buhari, being military officer, he continued, “understands the import of these altruistic suggestions and I trust that he will take steps to apply some of them that fit into the mainstream strategies already in place. The approach has to be a holistic one, well coordinated with full onslaught launched by the day and night to route these insurgents to surrender.

“Coordinated efforts by the security agencies should be strengthened and refocused to gain new dimensions towards combating the unwholesome activities of this sect, and when such dimensions are sought and cultivated, they should remain the exclusive preserve of top military brass. Information management is very key to confronting an unconventional warfare such as the one under reference, which is further complicated by the unfashionable method of suicide bombings. It is a strange dimension to this whole exercise of insurgency and has further compounded our earlier strategies in helping to nip this monster in the bud.”

The former President also challenged all to motivate the military personnel to “serve as incentive to others who are still in the trenches battling to keep us safe.”

Meanwhile, President Buhari, on Wednesday night, urged members of the diplomatic corps in Nigeria to impress upon their respective government’s the need to cooperate with him in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists.

He spoke at the Presidential Villa when he broke the Ramadan fast with the diplomats, stressing that a wider multilateral cooperation is more needed now that the sect has aligned itself with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists.

Such alliance, he posited could rapidly expand the capacity of terrorists to extend their scourge beyond the immediate territories that Boko Haram operates within.

The President declared that Nigeria was ready to play any leadership role expected of her as it strives to end the menace of the terrorists.

He recalled the steps taken since he came on board, including relocating the military centre closer to the theatre of war a rejig of the military architecture and high command.

Noting that it was his first meeting with the diplomatic corps since assuming office, Buhari thanked the countries that supported his election and all others that were represented at his inauguration.

In his remarks, Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Oubi Bachir of Saharawi Republic condemned the criminal acts of Boko Haram, saying they have nothing to do with Islam.

He therefore commended Buhari for making far-reaching efforts to find solution to the Boko Haram challenge at multilateral levels.

Bachir pledged the individual and collective support of the diplomats and their countries in Nigeria’s fight against terrorism, as well as in other areas of human and national development.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, also on Wednesday, mandated Commissioners of Police nationwide to ensure water-tight security during and after Sallah Celebrations.

A statement by the Force Spokesman, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said the IGP specifically directed that special attention should be directed to all places of worships, critical public places and other vulnerable points prone to criminal attack.

“The Police High Command is hopeful that the operational strategies adopted by the Force and renewed collaboration with the public will yield positive results,” the statement noted.