Identifies Training Centres of Boko Haram
President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has assured the international community that Nigeria is intensifying intelligence to unearth those sponsoring the dread Islamic Sect, Boko Haram, their source of funds and arms supply.
“We are already making thorough intelligence efforts to identify their sponsors and their sources of funding and arms supply. I have no doubt that with the cooperation of Nigeria’s neighbours, it would be possible to rein in these organisations until this scourge is ultimately eliminated and defeated. We will not succumb to terrorists and their dangerous tactics”, he said adding that terrorists will not be allowed to define “who we are or instil fear in our people and cause destruction and mayhem”.
He said the time has therefore come for all peace-loving peoples of the world to unite against this new threat to global peace and stability.
“We have developed intelligence, which indicates clearly that global terrorist networks are deeply involved in the recent activities of Boko Haram, which has now turned into an integral part of the Al Qaeda network as the West African Branch. More tellingly, the group runs an international network of training and incubation centres in such places as Gao and Kidal areas of Mali, the Diffa, Maradi and Maina Soro areas of Niger Republic, Maroua and Garoua areas of Republic of Cameroun, the Zango and Ridina quarters in Ndjamena, Chad, the Ranky-Kotsy area of Sudan, and also some cells in the Central African Republic”, he said.
The President explained that last year he ordered the release from detention of women and under-aged persons who had been involved with terrorists and also, persons against whomprima facie cases could not be established, adding that proven incidents of human rights violation which may have involved security forces are always promptly investigated and dealt with in accordance with our laws.
“In addition to military operation, our administration has adopted what we have termed “a soft approach” to combatting the insurgency. This includes short, medium and long-term measures to mitigate the impact on the people and the entire country.
“Our focus along this line, has been mainly in form of the introduction of a robust educational programme in the Northern states, to reduce the number of out-of-school children and empower the youths”, he noted adding that Boko Haram Sect emerged in 2002 while its insurgency phase started as far back as 2009.
“Officially known as the Jamaa’tu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’wati Wal Jihad, which in English means “people committed to the propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”, the group is more commonly identified with its motivating principle, and referred to as Boko Haram which literally means, Western or non-Islamic education is prohibited.
The group is hostile to democracy; it uses every means to indoctrinate its members; its ultimate objective is to destabilize the country, and take over Nigeria in order to turn it into a base of operation in West Africa and the entire continent.
“ Since 2009, we have had to contend with many attacks and killings, which have now developed into a full-scale war targeting the stability and integrity of our Nation. Boko Haram has launched a vicious guerrilla-style campaign against the government and the people of Nigeria. It has attacked schools, slaughtered students in their dormitories, destroyed villages, communities and government infrastructure and has wreaked havoc on the economic and social life of our people”, the President said.
He said that the regional and global character of the terrorists’ campaign makes it imperative to explore and adopt a regional and global approach to addressing insurgency and menace.
“ Indeed, in the spirit of collective regional security, it is important that we accept that an attack on one country is an attack on all of us, and our common humanity”.
He said he is confident that the outcome of deliberations will go a long way in addressing both the immediate challenges and root causes of Boko Haram insurgency in order to restore enduring peace and stability, not just to Nigeria but also to our sub-region.
He described the abduction of girls from Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, Borno as a wake up call for all. “A line has been drawn in the sand; a test is put to each one of us. Nigeria will rise up to this challenge and will prevail. I call upon each one of you to get up and be counted with us in this fight”, he said