Chris Steven, Abuja
Following the defeat of Boko Haram terrorists group in the aftermath of the capture of Sambisa Forest, the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has called on Nigerians to ensure that fleeing members of the terror sect are not allowed to regroup under any name just as no other extremist group is allowed to take up its place.
CESJET Executive Secretary, Comrade Ikpa Isaac in a statement issued in Abuja urged Nigerians to be their brother’s keeper by reporting any suspicious movement of unknown persons to the Police or other relevant security agencies.
He said given the desperation with which the terrorists sympathisers have tried to convince themselves that their fleeing members are potent, Nigerians must be cautious to help foil suicide bombers who he described as “lone wolf attacks by those who would rather kill themselves and take others with them.
Isaac also urged the security agencies not to spare any efforts at tracking down and apprehending the last of the fleeing terrorists.
He commended the efforts of the Nigerian Army whose leadership from the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General TY Buratai to the last troop of Operation Lafiya Dole spent sleepless nights in the trenches to achieve the rare feat that has united Nigerians irrespective of political or ethnic affiliation.
“We appeal to traditional leaders and religious leaders to see now as the moment to scale up the performance of their roles in ending the menace of terrorism which the Nigerian Army through a decisive leadership has brought to a halt in Nigeria.
Even as we urge vigilance on the part of members of the public, it must be noted that membership of Boko Haram terror group is not written on the face as only security personnel are able to investigate and interrogate suspected persons to determine their culpability.
Nigerians must therefore not hide under the cover of suspected Boko Haram membership or affiliation to lynch anyone or dispense mob justice. Anyone suspected of being a fleeing Boko Haram member must be handed over to the police.
We further appeal to social commentators, especially the online community, to make analysis based on fact and to be wary of amplifying alarmist views aimed at sustaining a regime of fear in the heart of citizens. There is nothing to be gained from helping defeated terrorists to achieve the campaign of fear at which they had failed woefully in the past.” He said
He also called on the government to collaborate with foreign security agenciesto ensure that terrorists who may have fled the country are apprehended.
“CESJET urges the Federal Government not to slow down activities geared towards the total eradication of terrorism simply on account of the capture of Sambisa Forest and the defeat of Boko Haram noting that the inertia of 2009 after the death of Boko Haram founder, Muhammed Yusuf, allowed members of the sect to flee to other countries where they got training and were further radicalised. It is on this account that any escaping terrorists must be apprehended before they exit the boundaries of Nigeria.
“We further underscore the importance of activating the necessary international instrument necessary to go after any known Boko Haram suspect in other countries. This terror group is a cancer that must be excised to its very roots.” He added