The fight against terrorism would be an easy task if the locals give security agencies the right and reliable information, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
He said leaders in the communities were in the know of the insurgents’ movement into Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
The president said this Wednesday during a condolence visit to Maiduguri over the killing of over 30 travellers and burning of several vehicles and houses at Auno, a suburb of the state capital late Sunday night.
While assuring of his administration’s readiness to put an end to the menace, the president said there was no way terrorists would move deeper into Maiduguri without the communities leading to Maiduguri knowing.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu Buhari as calling for a synergy and intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies and the civil populace to achieve the desired objective of ending the war.
He said: “I assure you that improvement in security will be pursued vigorously. The military will work harder and strategise with tactics to deal with the insurgents. This is however not possible without good intelligence and cooperation with local community leaders.
“Boko Haram cannot come up to Maiduguri or environs without the local leadership knowing because traditionally, the local leadership is in charge of security in their own respective areas.
“I want to call on the leadership at various levels to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and let us deny Boko Haram access to our loyal citizens.”
Continuing, the president said: “We will do our best and I hope history will be kind to us; to recall what was on the ground when we came and what will be on the ground when we leave.”
Accompanied by the state Governor, Professor Babgana Zulum, President Buhari also visited Shehu of Borno, His Royal Highness Abubakar Ibn Umar Gabai, and sympathised with the royal father and other victims of the attack.
Zulum thanked the president for identifying with the state in these trying times.
He praised the efforts of the military so far, wondering why some people would be comparing the security situation now with what obtained before the Buhari administration came on board.
Need for change in strategies
Earlier, Governor Zulum said there was need for change of strategies in the ongoing insurgency fight, even as he acknowledged successes recorded by the same military in the state.
“Your Excellency sir, between the period of March 2019 to date, we have started witnessing horrific and spontaneous attacks by the insurgents which has resulted in loss of lives and properties of our people.
“We are calling upon the Nigerian military to change strategies and we can borrow a leaf from the success our military was able to hugely record in the years 2016 and 2017 with a view to ending the insurgency. We need to keep taking the war to the enclaves of the insurgents in the fringes of the Lake Chad, in Sambisa forest and some notable areas,” Zulum said.
He commended the president for his commitment to ending the insurgency and thanked him for being there for people of the state in their hours of need.
“Let me appreciate Mr. President for associating with us at this our very trying moment. I am so surprised that we have forgotten the past,” Zulum said.
The governor, though, could not ignore the dastardly act of the hoodlums, he, however said: “The people of Borno state still remember the days before Buhari’s emergence, when 20 out of the 27 local government areas in the state were in the hands of Boko Haram, while all the five routes into Borno state were largely inaccessible with exception of Maiduguri-Kano road. In addition, there were sporadic bombings and killings even within the capital, Maiduguri.
“Close to about 20 local government areas were resettled under Buhari. In fact, in the year 2016/2017, we celebrated the demise of the Boko Haram insurgency that has unfortunately returned.”
Meanwhile, during the visit, some angry locals were seen by the roadside booing and jeering at the president’s convoy, ceaselessly shouting ‘ba mu so’ meaning ‘we don’t want.’
And just few hours after the president’s departure, Maiduguri was again thrown into confusion Wednesday evening as suspected insurgents launched an attack, shooting and forcing the people to scamper for safety.
According to report, the melee occurred at about 7 p. m, precisely around Jiddari Polo, on the outskirts of Maiduguri.
Although some houses were said to have been set ablaze by the insurgents, but this could not be verified as at the time of filing this report.
It was however gathered that troops, with the support of the vigilantes were able to repel the attacks with no casualty recorded.
PDP speaks up
Meanwhile, opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Buhari to walk his talk and go beyond sympathy visit to Borno state.
The people’s angst during the visit to Borno state was a clear message that Nigerians were not happy with the rising insecurity in the country.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement Wednesday said the president should extend his visit to other parts of the country, including Kaduna, Kano, Benue, Plateau, Yobe, Adamawa, Zamfara, Kogi, Niger, Taraba and other states to sample the people’s feeling on the current security situation in the country.
“Our party holds that Nigerians do not deserve a distant president, who sits in the comfort of the Presidential Villa and luxury jets, remaining indifferent to the pains, anguish and torments that compatriots suffer on a daily basis.
“The PDP hereby calls on Mr. President to quickly embark on these visits and monitor, on first hand basis, the damage which his administration has caused and for which Nigerians are demanding that he resigns and allow more competent hands to manage the affairs of our nation.
“It is only after these visits that the Buhari Presidency will appreciate that those calling on him to rejig the nation’s security architecture mean well for our dear country,” the statement said. .