A civil society organisation, Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ) has called for an urgent probe into the alleged attack on the convoy of Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
The CSO, in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Barrister Charles Timothy, on Monday, said it is paramount to ascertain the real event in Baga to avoid falling for another propaganda that could be ultimately aimed to underme the military’s efforts.
Mr Zulum’s convoy was reportedly attacked last week by gunmen while on a trip to Monguno and Baga towns to distribute food to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
And the Coalition for Truth and Justice believes there could be more to the drama owing to conflicting reports, ranging from sabotage to propaganda, urging the military to fortwith step in to put issues in proper perspectives.
Accodding to the CSO, such bogus claims by any individual to demoralize the fighting troops is a great disservice to the war against insurgency and must be properly probed with those found culpable made to face severe consequences.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice warned these “individuals and groups to desist from heating the polity as putting an end to the insecurity in North-East Nigeria requires collective efforts and not the task of the Nigerian Military alone”.
It, however, called on political authorities and other relevant stakeholders in the northeast to support the military in its final clearance operation rather than make moves to undermine their sacrifices.
Read full statememt below:
The Coalition for Truth and Justice calls for an urgent inquiry on the alleged attack on the convoy of the Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Zullum in Baga, Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State by suspected Boko Haram members.
This is necessary due to conflicting reports on the incident wherein some have alleged sabotage. At the same time, some have also claimed a stunt by the political authorities to undermine further the efforts of the Nigerian Military in operation in North-East Nigeria.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice wishes to state that should this incident be left uninvestigated, there is a tendency for the general public to fall victim to the propaganda of the Boko Haram terrorist group in the light of the fact that there have been conflicting preliminary reports on the incident.
We firmly hold the opinion that the hierarchy of the Nigerian Military must as a matter of necessity and urgency commences a detailed investigation into the incident to put issues in proper perspectives, else at the risk of rumour merchants capitalizing on the already fragile situation to twist the narrative.
We also state that aside from the fact that there is a likelihood of sabotage in the incident, it is, however, imperative for the military authorities to ensure that a detailed investigation is carried out. If any individual or groups are found culpable, there must be severe consequences to serve as a deterrent in the future.
This is on the heels that some highly placed Nigerians have been attempting to blame the resurgence of insecurity in Borno state on the federal government, as well as the Nigerian Military despite the presence of overwhelming evidence that these stakeholders and highly placed individuals have not been forthcoming in supporting the federal government efforts towards addressing the security challenges in the North East region.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice wishes to use this medium to warn these sets of individuals and groups to desist from heating the polity as putting an end to the insecurity in North-East Nigeria requires collective efforts and not the task of the Nigerian Military alone.
The political authorities in North-East Nigeria must also wake up to their responsibilities to understand that there is a role expected of them in terms of curtailing the further spread of the Boko Haram ideology amongst the populace, as well as its recruitment of locals into the Boko Haram fold.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice wishes to state that should the needed support from critical stakeholders availed the Nigerian Military, the war against terrorism in Nigeria would have been long won and ended.
It is therefore imperative for all and sundry to join hands with the federal government and the Nigerian Military in the efforts to rid North-East Nigeria of the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice also commends the efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari led administration in the war against terrorism in Nigeria. It also appreciates the efforts of the Nigerian Military that have continued to push for the final decimation of the Boko Haram group despite the avalanche of conspiracies against it from several quarters.
We are consequently calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to continue to extend their support to the government and the Nigerian Military in our quest to rid North East and Nigeria at large of criminal elements threatening our peace and progress.