Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, on Friday challenged the Federal Government to take prompt action against the already identified 96 alleged sponsors of terrorism in the country rather than just periodically announcing the efforts it is making in combating the menace.
The body threw the challenge in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, in reaction to the announcement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that the Federal Government had identified 96 sponsors of terror groups in Nigeria.
This was just as Afenifere equally said the disclosure by Borno State governor, Babangana Zulum, that the Islamic West African Province (ISWAP) was about taking over Nigeria should be a serious reason for concern warranting decisive actions on the part of the government and its agencies.
It would be recalled that Alhaji Mohammed on Thursday informed the public that 123 companies and 33 Bureau de change were linked to terrorists in addition to 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and that seven co-conspirators had been identified, adding that 45 suspects of the identified 96 sponsors of the terror groups would soon face prosecution.
Also, Borno State governor, Zulum, at the same time, was warning the Ministerial Committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja that ISWAP was about taking over the country, asserting that the invading terrorist organization was deadlier than Boko Haram that “we had been taming unsuccessfully for years.”
Afenifere, while recalling that various officials of the Federal Government had, at different times, talked about the government’s efforts at curtailing the menace of terrorism that is gradually enveloping the country, said no concrete steps were seen to be taken by the government to tackle the roots of the problem other than occasional reports of bombardments of terrorists’ camps by the military.
The pan- Yoruba group sadly noted that the failure of the government to act decisively in this respect had emboldened the terrorists to be more daring – leading to the death of thousands of people and capturing of many communities particularly in the northern part of the country by the terror groups.
“But other than occasional reports of bombardments of terrorists’ camps by the military, no concrete steps are seen to be taken by the government to tackle the roots of the problem.
“Indeed, the failure of the government to act decisively in this respect has emboldened the terrorists to be more daring – leading to the death of thousands of people and capturing of many communities particularly in the northern part of the country by the terror groups,” Afenifere said.
Speaking further, Afenifere insisted that disclosures by the government no longer impressed majority of Nigerians as many of the claims and promises made in the past by the government were not followed up with necessary actions.
The pan- Yoruba group recalled that six Nigerians listed last year by the United Arab Emirate to be among the 39 terrorists on its wanted list were actually tried and convicted in that country “for setting up a Boko Haram cell in the UAE to raise funds and material assistance for insurgents in Nigeria.”
According to Afenifere, the UAE found the affected Nigerians to have transferred up to $800,000 in favour of Boko Haram between 2015 and 2016, saying that the Federal Government was supposed to follow up on this but had not.
“Nigeria was supposed to follow up on this but has not. Meaning that foreign countries appear to be more concerned about insecurity and terrorism acts going on in Nigeria even more than our own government seems to be,” the group said.
Afenifere expressed deep worries over the N700 billion said to have been recovered through the whistleblowing policy of the government as disclosed by the minister, Alhaji Mohammed, saying it was disturbed that government was still borrowing heavily from abroad when it could harness recovered looted funds along with funds obtained from traditional sources.
It, therefore, called on the Federal Government to stop external borrowing, provide jobs for the youths, boost the morale of security agencies and allow the establishment of State and Local Government Police.
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