Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has called on Nigerians to be vigilant and cautious in order to ensure that fleeing members of the Boko Haram sect are not allowed to regroup following the capture of Sambisa forest.
In a statement made available to journalists yesterday in Abuja, its Executive Secretary, Ikpa Isaac, said given the desperation with which the terrorists sympathisers have tried to convince themselves that their fleeing members are potent, Nigerians must be cautious to help foil suicide bombers who he described as ‘lone wolf’ attacks by those who would rather kill themselves and take others with them.
According to him, “We appeal to traditional and religious leaders to see now as the moment to scale up the performance of their roles in ending the menace of terrorism which the Nigerian Army, through a decisive leadership, has brought to a halt in Nigeria.” Isaac stated that “even as we call for vigilance from the public, it must be noted that membership of Boko Haram terror group is not written on the face as only security personnel are able to investigate and interrogate suspected persons to determine their culpability.
“Nigerians must therefore not hide under the cover of suspected Boko Haram membership or affiliation to lynch anyone or dispense mob justice. Anyone suspected of being a fleeing Boko Haram member must be handed over to the police.
“We further appeal to social commentators, especially the online community, to make analysis based on fact and to be wary of amplifying alarmist views aimed at sustaining a regime of fear in the heart of citizens. There is nothing to be gained from helping defeated terrorists to achieve the campaign of fear at which they had failed woefully in the past.” He therefore urged the security agencies not to spare any efforts at tracking down and apprehending the last of the fleeing terrorists.
“CESJET urges the federal government not to slow down activities geared towards the total eradication of terrorism simply on account of the capturing of Sambisa Forest and the defeat of Boko Haram,” noting that the inertia of 2009 after the death of Boko Haram founder, Muhammed Yusuf, allowed members of the sect to flee to other countries where they got training and were further radicalised.
“It is on this account that any escaping terrorists must be apprehended before they exit the boundaries of Nigeria. “We further underscore the importance of activating the necessary international instrument necessary to go after any known Boko Haram suspect in other countries. This terror group is a cancer that must be excised to its very roots,” the group noted.