Chris Steven, Abuja
Following the success recorded in the war against Boko Haram terrorism by the Nigerian Army, the North East Coalition Against Terrorism (NECAT) has concluded plans to hold a mega peace rally tagged “North East Mega Peace Rally” at the Ramat Square in Maiduguri on Wednesday, 1st February 2017 to celebrate the return of normalcy to the north east as well as begin a campaign for the rebuilding of the region.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday, the Media Officer, North East Mega Peace Rally Abubakar Mohammed said the rally is part of the coalition’s enlightenment on the need for the people to come together to win the peace for the region which was once the economic hub of northern Nigeria.
He said while the efforts of the military which is restoring peace to the region by decimating the once dreaded Boko Haram terrorists are well appreciated, the coalition’s position is that military might doesn’t bring about peace without contributions from the people for whom the peace was won.
Accordoing to him, hence the rally, which is meant to enlighten the populace, is part of the groups contributions in restoring peace to the region.
Mohammed said the defeat of the terror group must not be allowed to leave a vacuum that its fighters may again attempt to fill, saying no other evil group must be allowed to fill it as well.
He therefore urged stakeholders in the north east project irrespective of political affiliation or religion to come out en mass to show their solidarity and support for peace in the north east region .
According to him, Nigerians therefore owe it as a duty to begin rebuilding the northeast region.
He said, “the bombing and shooting of us innocent people by the terrorists might have waned but the scars they left on our collective psyche are in need of healing. We must use this healing to send a strong message to the Boko Haram members – militant, intellectual or political wing – that we remain unbowed in spirit.
“They must see that we will not just return life to normal but we will make our lives better than what they destroyed.
“This message is meant to tell Abu Shekau and his minions that nothing they did would detract from the faith we have in the secular Nigeria and the country’s competent institutions like the Army.
“We want them to know that there was never going to be a time when the will of a few, even with guns, bullets and bombs, would trump our collective resolve to live in peace.”
He said “the North East Mega Rally for Peace and we shall be calling on the fleeing terrorists and their agents that the battle has been won and it’s time for them to surrender without any further delay. No one needs to keep running like a homeless child as healing must come at the end. Everyone without exception is invited to be part of this rebirth and regeneration process in the land.
He said it is obvious that the agenda of Boko Haram has failed through the collective will and sacrifices of men of the Nigerian Armed Forces and no one should be allowed to continue living with the delusion that terrorism can achieve any objectives.
“We know there may be concerns on the part of some people but it is also about time that we stop running from the truth like the defeated terrorists. The message of peace is one that must be preached and it cannot be publicized in secrecy. Join the Mega Rally for Peace and watch normalcy return to our town and cities in the northeast with rapidity.” He said