The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) on Tuesday appealed to Nigerian Army troops in the North East not to abandon Maiduguri – Damaturu road.
MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola said in a statement that there were fears that soldiers had abandoned the road after Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno cautioned them against extorting motorists.
“It will be recalled that Zulum had earlier cautioned soldiers against extorting motorists on the Maiduguri– Damaturu road.
“Reports reaching us from our members in Borno lend credence to the fear of Boko Haram returning to the road to make life unbearable for road users.
“This is because soldiers have allegedly abandoned the check-points along the road. This is unethical, dangerous and counter-productive.
“While we appreciate the sacrifices being made by soldiers, we find it necessary to affirm the need for soldiers to be professional in carrying out their duties,” Akintola said.
He said that under no circumstance should civilians be exposed to danger, adding that the people were responsible for soldiers’ salaries through payment of taxes.
“The civilians are the tax payers and revenue generators who make it possible for soldiers’ salaries to be paid and for military hardware to be purchased.
“We sincerely hope that Borno is not one of the zones from where the military were asked to withdraw recently.
“We appeal to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai to ensure that the Maiduguri–Damaturu road is not abandoned,” he said.
He said though, Boko Haram insurgents have been technically defeated; their guerrilla tactics necessitated maintenance of military presence particularly on the state’s highways. (NAN)