Ahead of Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary, the APC National Youth Solidarity Vanguard has saluted President Muhammadu Buhari and the military for putting an end to Boko Haram activities.
The APC youths, in a statement through its Publicity Secretary, Comrade Abdulmuminu Kabir, on Wednesday said President Buhari has kept his promise of securing the country and defeating the terrorist group.
As a nation, the group reckoned that Nigeria has faced several setbacks but none was as “disruptive and destructive like the security challenge of the Boko Haram sect”.
The APC National Youth Solidarity Vanguard, however, noted that the tale is different now.
While acknowledging the return of peace to the North-East and across the country, the group said the President and military chiefs deserve commendation for the successes recorded thus far, especially with the nation’s diamond jubilee on the horizon.
Read the full statement below:
In a few weeks from now, our great country will be celebrating 60 years of independence from colonial rule. This is quite a milestone considering that several countries could not attain this landmark year in unity. Despite our diversity and several many challenges, the Nigerian spirit has always triumphed.
In the 60 years of self-rule, we have had our challenges and problems, which largely we have been able to surmount. A civil war, assassination of the head of state, coups and counter-coups, failed elections as well as successful ones. There have been civilian transition programs and very successful transition ones.
In all of these challenges, however, none could be as disruptive and destructive like the security challenge of the Boko Haram menace. It was indeed a challenge that tested the fabric of our unity to the thinnest shred. The Boko Haram crisis is/was indeed a massive challenge for the nation. The mismanagement in the early stages of the insurgency by the government in power then would later become costly for all of us.
At the early stages when the nation still had the opportunity to nip the activities of the terrorist group in the bud, this opportunity was missed by the previous government. Rather than envisage the awaiting disaster if the issue wasn’t promptly and carefully handled, they resorted to blaming games. They accused each other as sponsors of the terrorist group.
We won’t forget in a hurry how a top government official in the past PDP government accused the PDP of being behind the Boko Haram attacks. That was how disunited and disoriented the party was in its management of the Boko Haram crisis. It squandered all the opportunities to curb the spread of the terrorist in the early days before they became a fully-grown dragon.
We all here know the history, how that by the time the PDP government was chased out of power in 2015 through a very popular election. Several local government areas were already under the full control of Boko Haram terrorist. Never in the history of the country since independence had anything like that happened. It was really a sore point in our history.
Tens of thousands of lives were lost. Several millions of people were displaced from their homes. School children were kidnapped from their dormitories, young boys slaughtered in their school dormitories. Barrack was attacked and Abuja the federal capital was not even spared. Police headquarters, UN building, shopping malls, bus terminals etc were attacked even in the federal capital territory Abuja. It was simply a disaster on that day.
It is important sometimes to refresh our memories in order to appreciate where we are now as a nation. Today, there is no local government under Boko Haram control as we speak. President Buhari has kept his promise of securing the country and defeating the Boko Haram terrorist group. The president in his campaign promises had always been clear that without securing the country we can not talk of any progress which was why he took the issue of security as paramount.
One of his first foreign trips, when he became president, was to firm up discussions and support for the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force MNJTF to help tackle cross border activities of the terror group. Next was the appointment of very sound professionals as service chiefs of the Armed forces. The careful selection of this great men to head the military was a great plus in the battle against insurgency as we will later see in the character and style of leadership of these men.
Within weeks of their appointment, we had started seeing changes in the security situation. The President ordered the relocation of the command and control of the theatre of operations to Borno state. With this arrangement, the newly appointed chiefs complied immediately. The chief of army staff specifically was on the ground with the troops for several weeks, working with them, strategizing and finding solutions with them. This brought about the great motivation for many of the soldiers who had been demoralized and were losing interest in the profession due to the several mismanagements of the security crisis by the previous government.
Within a few months of the APC administration coming to power, the story of the North East region began to change. The hitherto demotivated soldiers became super inspired, change in leadership within the army also help boost morale and gradually the army started fighting back taking back territories from the terrorist.
Life gradually started returning to normal in the northeast region of the country and people in the displaced communities were able to return back to their homes after several months and in some case years of fleeing the same place. The military cleared off the terrorist group from almost all the states in the North East. Of course, they still carry out some cowardly attacks like suicide bombings in some parts of Borno State once in a while but there is no doubt that Boko Haram has been badly decimated.
We commend the President for the successes recorded in tackling the security challenges of the Nort East Region. For those who may want to take this lightly, they should remember that there was a government that faced the same challenge but could not manage it but rather made the matter worse of than it was initially. We must therefore appreciate the effort put in by the APC led government that yielded this positive outcome.
The successes recorded has not just been in the North-East Region alone. The security challenges in the north-west region are gradually abating, especially since the army launched the operation Sahel Sanity, which has witnessed a lot of success stories in the short while the operation was launched. Several bandits have been neutralized, many more arrested. Bandits camps in Zamfara, Sokoto and Kastina states have been raided and cleared of the rampaging bandits. Normalcy is also gradually returning to the north-west states. States like Zamfara that were hotbeds for bandits activities are largely very peaceful now. We hardly hear of such bandit activities now.
The Niger Delta, despite initial crisis in the early months of the APC government, has now witnessed calm for about the longest period ever since the return to democratic rule. The adequate funding for interventions such as NDDC, Amnesty fund and other intervention programs have helped greatly to restore calm in the region. Also, the military operations such as operation Pulo Shield and later Operation Delta Safe have also helped to keep a good check on criminality in the Niger Delta area. We must also commend the men and women of the Nigeria Navy for the work they are doing protecting our marine resources.
The soul south-east region is not left out in the security arrangements. The initial violent agitations by vicious secessionist have been quelled by the operation Python Dance. Of course, without peace, there can be no talk of development. We thank you Mr president for quickly quelling the quest by some misguided element s to destabilize the south-east region. Our people in the south-estate is quite resourceful and enterprising. Definitely, their many businesses would be badly affected by any disruption of the peace there. We commend your prompt intervention to forestall break down of law and order in that region.
Security in the North Central region has greatly improved we have not forgotten the days of the several attacks in Plateau State, Barkin ladi, Bokkos etc. The many attacks in Benue State as well. The aforementioned places are now peaceful and normal life returned to the areas. All of these were not achieved by mere puffing around but by hard work and dedication to the course of restoring peace to these areas.
Mr President, one of the reasons why we campaigned for you in 2015 was because we believed in your ability to tackle the issue of insecurity headlong and we are glad and proud today that you have not disappointed. Though it was challenging and sometimes difficult be are glad you did not lose focus we are indeed happy that your efforts are now yielding positive results.
The Operation crocodile Smile has also helped the south-west region greatly, the bandits terrorising Ikorodu axis and some areas of Ogun State have also been tackled. The issue of kidnappers in some forest in the south-west has been greatly reduced.
We commend Mr President and the service chiefs for their dedication and commitment to the restoration of security across the country. W e encourage you not to relent at this time when normalcy is gradually returning. We hope the current efforts will be sustained so that the enemies of the country will not get the opportunity to return back to business.
We want to let you know that we and indeed many Nigerians are really behind you and we will remain so.