By PHILIP NWOSU
The Nigerian Army yesterday called the citizenry to activate their vigilance over terrorism fully, as it has made a new discovery that the group is amassing weapons to launch fresh attacks. The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Onyeabor Ihejirika, who made the revelation said: “As we speak, I am aware that Boko Haram is training some where,
I am also aware that Boko Haram is ordering new equipment and planning new attacks.” General Ihejirika spoke while declaring open, an interactive session on the Military-Media Relations in Nigeria, insisting that since Boko Haram was amassing weapons, the Army would not rest on its oars in the fight to cut off the supply of line of the group. He said: “I talk so much about the use of force because that is my own line of business, my job is to destroy the terrorist, if
I am able to find them or to deny them access or curtail their movement generally. But I want to say that curbing terrorism like any other problem requires multifaceted approach. There is no country where terrorism had been curbed that force was not applied.” He said Boko Haram is not a menace Nigerians expect to vanish overnight, noting the reasons Boko Haram still florished in Nigeria to include; insufficient security awareness, undue publicity, which encourages and fuel their activities, porous borders, which we are finding ways and means of policing and external support, which they get despite efforts to stop them.
The Army chief said cutting external support of Boko Haram group would be done through collaboration with Nigeria’s neighbours, insisting that: “I am aware that there is collaboration at the Presidency level and the office of the National Security Adviser and Chief of Defence Staff. Particularly the Chief of Defence Staff is meeting with the CDS of countries around Nigeria and some of these collaborations will be in terms of joint patrol. We are also establishing Forward Operation Bases that will enhance border patrol, but the most important of all these is the public security awareness.”
Ihejirika revealed that one of the headquarters of Boko Haram, which was discovered in Kano, was within areas where law-abiding citizens were living, explaining that the owner started building reinforced wall and the residents never asked question “and they never know what the man was into until he was discovered. It took the army a whole night to pull down the wall and gain access into the compound.
If only the residents knew and had asked question, they would have been able to report to the law enforcement agents before the problem escalated.” He said findings by the Nigerian Army revealed that the sect recruits their followers, mostly the uneducated and disgruntled, through a covert radicalization process that assures all adherents of many heavenly benefits once they kill non-adherents. It urged the media to expose the activities of the sect to assist the security agencies curb the menace.
While acknowledging the role of the media towards improved security within the country, the Chief of Army Staff said: “As we are all aware, the increasing role of the media in warfare takes root in the dynamics of the global security environment.” –