Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Despite the resurgence of Boko Haram terrorists who have launched a series of daring attacks recently, 20 civil society organisations under the umbrella of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria has commended the military’s efforts in the war against terror.
It said after undertaking a tour of the North-east in the areas where the military is currently carrying out operations to mop up the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists group, it observed that the troops deserve some accolades.
The Executive Director of the coalition, Maxwelll Gowon, in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja, said that in spite of frantic efforts by the terrorists to regroup around the borders to carry out attacks on the troops, the military still remained committed and well coordinated to sustain its winning spirit and determination to stamp out terrorism from Nigerian soil.
He lamented that the terrorists have ramped up the exploitation of filial and communal links to obtain intelligence on troops’ movement, which they then capitalise on to launch attacks, stressing that the recent attempt to ambush a military convoy fits this pattern.
Gowon stressed that there should be an engagement of people living in the affected areas, including awareness campaigns, to impress on them the need to obstruct any form of support for terrorists since this is not in the interest of anyone.
According to him, “Despite this high level of successes that the Army has achieved so far, troops have not relented on being on the trail of the terrorists who now operate majorly from outside the territory of Nigeria. They do more from the fringes (international borders) from where they launch attacks and flee into jurisdictions beyond the remit of the Nigerian Army. This pattern has enabled remnants of Boko Haram fighters to carry out attack and run into safety.”
He said there was room to further improve the coordination between the various branches of the military to derive a formidable force that will easily mop up whatever is left of the terrorists.
The coalition also said that the Department of State Services (DSS) and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) should expand their strategic surveillance for on-the-spot intelligence gathering across the North-east and Nigeria’s neighbouring countries.
It recommended that Nigeria should extract a stronger commitment from neighbouring countries to support the war against terrorism so that terrorists would stop attacking the country from across the boarders and from within these neighbouring nations.