- Accuses FG, military of corruption Buratai tells troops to intensify effort
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Following reports by the federal government that the Boko Haram insurgency has been technically defeated, the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has described the United Statesâ€™ â€˜Country Report on Terrorism 2016â€™ and the Transparency International (TI)report revealing corruption in the military as a confirmation of his stern position that the federal government lied to Nigerians that the sect had been routed.
â€œWith over 120 Nigerians killed by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State last month alone, it is necessary for the federal government to face the reality that it has a very long walk to victory in the fight against the insurgents,â€ Fayose said
In a statement in Ado Ekiti wednesday by the governorâ€™s Special Assistant on Public Communications, Lere Olayinka, the governor alleged a possible â€˜arrangedâ€™ release of some Chibok girls by the federal government to divert attention of Nigerians and give the impression that it was making progress in the fight against the insurgents.
The US Department of Stateâ€™s Bureau for Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism had said in the report that the inability of security agencies in Nigeria to share intelligence report because of animosity is affecting the success in the fight against Boko Haram.
It went further to accuse the State Security Services (SSS) of failure to share intelligence report with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), thus making it harder to investigate Boko Haram financing.
â€œThis report by the US Government has further lent credence to earlier revelation by the Transparency International (TI) that despite President Muhammadu Buhari governmentâ€™s anti-corruption fight, corruption in the military is weakening Nigeriaâ€™s efforts to battle Boko Haram.
â€œThe report is also a confirmation that the SSS has abandoned its core responsibility of intelligence gathering and turned itself into an instrument of political oppression, invading judges residences in the night,â€ the governor said.
On how the insurgents can be defeated, the governor said: â€œThe first step will be for the federal government to stop lying to Nigerians. The government must let the people know the situation on ground so that genuine assistance can be offered.
â€œThere should also be a periodic change in military personnel so that officers donâ€™t become institutions to themselves.
â€œAs revealed by the TI, fight against Boko Haram has become a cash cow for some top military officers and corrupt politicians in the Buhariâ€™s government, with the creation of fake defence contracts and laundering the proceeds often labroad-UK, U.S. and elsewhere.
â€œThe TI went further to state that the military is left without vital equipment, insufficiently trained, low in morale and under-resourced.
â€œThe federal government must therefore address the widespread corruption in the fight against Boko Haram as revealed by the TI and also see to the welfare of the military personnel involved in the fight.â€
While reiterating the need for the government to say the truth always, Fayose said: â€œThe government cannot keep telling the public that Boko Haram had been decimated and the same Boko Haram was able to kill over 120 people in just one state in one month.
â€œFew hours ago, the insurgents invaded a community in Madagali Local Government Area in Adamawa State, killing more than 10 people and sacking the entire community.
â€œThe truth like I said, two days ago is that the battle is not over yet. In fact, it is raging fiercer than ever before. The gory killing of the oil workers confirms this. The wanton destruction of lives andproperty all over the place by Boko Haram also testifies to this fact.â€
Meanwhile, contrary to earlier claim by the military and federal government that the Boko Haram terrorists had been technically defeated, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Tukur Buratai, wednesday charged Nigerian troops in the North-east to always be alert as there was no time to rest yet.
According to him, there are more tasks to be done in the effort to clear the remnants of the terrorists.
Buratai gave the charge while addressing troops of the 3 Division Tactical Command in Damaturu.
He advised the troops to work closely with other security agencies to ensure that the remnants of Boko Haram were flushed out of the region.
Earlier, at the palace of the emir of Damaturu, Shehu Ashimi Ibn Umar El-Kanemi II, the army chief said the terrorists had become desperate to remain relevant, hence they had resorted to attacking isolated locations and kidnapping for ransom.
Buratai, according to The Cable, solicited the support of the emir and other traditional rulers in the state through provision of relevant information.
He said although the terrorists had been flushed out of the state, some remnants were still attempting to use the state as a transit point, adding that the cooperation of everyone was required to check their activities.
Responding, the emir said that the state had passed through trying period and assured the army of continued support.
The traditional ruler said that what remained now was the ongoing effort to relocate the internally displaced persons from their camps to their various communities.