Leaders of Borno and Yobe states – two states battling, along with Adamawa, the Boko Haram insurgency – yesterday alleged complicity of security forces in sect members.
They blamed the Federal Government for failing to rise up to the battle and lamented the sect’s wanton killings.
The leaders urged the Federal Government not to extend the state of emergency declared in the states beyond April 19 when it will expire because, there is no for justification for it.
Speaking under the aegis of Borno -Yobe People’s Forum, a non-partisan, non-religious association, in Abuja yesterday, they demanded answers to many attacks that had claimed hundreds of lives in the zone.
A former Chief of Air Staff ,Air Vice Marshall Al Amin Daggash, who spoke on behalf the group alleged that there were instances that suggested that security agents either had the knowledge of the attacks before they happened or neglected to act proactively to prevent them.
With the former military chief were elder statesmen Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe and Alhaji Shettima Mustapha. Ciroma is from Yobe. The others are from Borno State.
The group demanded to know “who authorised the withdrawal of security personnel from the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi (Yobe State), hours before the attack that claimed the lives of 59 innocent children”.
They also wondered why security reports from the communities on impending attacks were ignored or not promptly responded to by security personnel.
Dagash said: “Are the authorities unaware of helicopters dropping arms and ammunition, food and medical supplies to areas well known to be strongholds of the insurgents?
“How were the insurgents able to attack the Maiduguri Air Force Base and demobilise as well as burn planes and other military installations, despite existing state of emergency and curfew in the town? How could 20 to 30 Toyota Hilux vehicles move in a convoy freely with subsisting curfew and still go undetected?
“How did a little band of rag-tag misguided youths metamorphose into a well kitted, well armed killing machine moving freely in convoy, of vehicles and supported by helicopters?
“How did the Shilka Tank, a multipurpose self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery weapon positioned to secure Giwa Barracks fail to function, resulting in heavy loss of lives both civilian and military, as widely reported in the media? Are we dealing with fifth columnists in this crisis?”
They insisted that the state of emergency declared in the three Northeast states should not be extended after April 19 because it has failed to achieved the desired result.
The state of emergency will be one year old on that date.
AVM Daggash noted that about 18 communities had been attacked by insurgents in the last one month, with heavy civilian casualties..
“The continuous bloodletting has led to the loss of over 17,000 lives. Statistics released by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) showed that over three million people have been displaced by the insurgency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in the first three months of this year.
“Most of the victims are women, children and elderly. These developments underscore the urgent need for the government, the international community, as well as all Nigerians to arrest the brewing humanitarian crises in the area,” he added.
AVM Daggash called on the government to unmask sponsors of Boko Haram and probe the genesis of the crisis “with particular regards to those who master minded, encouraged or financed it”.
The leaders recommended the implementation of the recommendations of Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari and Taminu Turaki Presidential Committees. “It is the considered view of many commentators that had the reports been implemented, the insurgency would have been largely contained,” AVM Daggash said.