Nigeria’s violent Islamist sect, Boko Haram, is gradually moving down south to Lagos, Ogun, and Rivers States, following the extensive military onslaught against it in the North-East geopolitical zone, Babafemi Ojodu, a senator, said on Wednesday.
The senator spoke at a lecture organized to commemorate the 70th birthday of Ropo Sekoni, a retired Professor of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, in Lagos.
Mr. Ojodu said that during a visit by a team of senators to the North East, military authorities informed them that documents recovered from the dreaded Islamist insurgents revealed that they still have about 6,000 fighters ready to fight to the finish.
Some of the members are hiding at the Sambisa forest far away from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
“We were told by the military that the sect members are moving into Ogere in Ogun State, Lagos and Port Harcourt,” Mr. Ojudu said. “The military said they are trying to flush them them out but we don’t know how much they have succeeding.”
The senator added, “The Boko Haram issue is the biggest problem before us but we are not tackling it with urgency, We are busy talking about 2015.”
Mr. Ojodu stated that his team’s five-day official assignment ended abruptly on the third day because the atmosphere in the area was “not conducive.”
The military, according to Mr. Ojudu, showed the visiting senators several video clips, including how members of the dreaded sect butchered the 10 traders from Bodija market, Ibadan, who had travelled to the North to buy beans.
The documents recovered from the sect also revealed that members had vowed that they would fight to the finish, Mr. Ojodu, representing Ekiti Central, added.
On Monday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted the extremist Boko Haram sect for crime against humanity for its widespread and systematic murder and persecution of civilians since 2009.
The report titled “Situation in Nigeria” says there is reasonably basis that since July 2009, the group that aims to spread radical Islam in Northern Nigeria has committed crime against humanity.
The report highlights various attacks on civilian population by the sect. It also described these attacks as systematic and widespread spanning over the entire North Eastern region as well as Plateau, Kogi, Kano, Bauchi and Kaduna States.
The birthday lecture in honour of Prof. Sekoni, entitled ‘Make or Break: The Imperative of Cultural Democracy in Nigeria’ was delivered by Femi Folorunso, iconic writer and author. Mr. Folorunso was a student of Prof Sekoni at the then University of Ife.
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