The International Emergency Management Society [TIEMS] Nigeria/West Africa Chapter, has asked the Federal Government to direct its military to go all out in the fight against Boko Haram and other insurgent groups and restore peace and tranquillity to the country immediately.
The Chairman of the chapter, retired Air Vice Marshall Muhammad Audu-Bida, said this in Abuja on Tuesday while disclosing the outcome of a meeting of the executive board of the society, which held on Monday.
Mr. Audu-Bida said the board members considered the worsening humanitarian situation in the North-East Nigeria as well as adjoining states and neighbouring countries and concluded that it was time that everything legitimate should be done to wrestle the area from the grip of the rampaging insurgents and restore peace.
According to him, figures from local and international agencies such as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Human Rights Watch, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Internally Displaced Monitoring Centre (IDMC) revealed that mounting and intolerable number of Nigerians were both displaced or are refugees in neighbouring countries.
He noted that as at March this year, close to four million Nigerians were displaced while over 100,000 others were recorded as taking refuge in camps in Niger, Chad and Cameroun.
Mr. Audu-Bida declared that that situation should not be allowed to continue because humanitarian aid agencies are unable to reach these displaced people for fear of being attacked or kidnapped by terrorists who have no respect for rules of engagement in their operations.
“As a former military general myself, I am aware that our military is capable of quelling this insurgency because they have the training, courage and equipment to accomplish the task of securing the country’s territory but they should be allowed by political authorities to carry out their duties unfettered by political, ethnic or religious colouration and or sentiments,” Mr. Audu-Bida said.
He lamented that the insurgency had been allowed to fester for too long and that things had got out of hand especially with the recent sacking of the Police mobile training institution in Gwoza, Borno State.
With this, the insurgents will become more emboldened unless decisive action is taken immediately to wipe them out, he said.
“For the good of millions of Nigerians, the military should take decisive action now to stop further displacement of Nigerians, destruction of farmlands, lives and property as well as occupying our territory, a situation which has become very embarrassing to Nigerians, government and the armed forces.”
While sympathising with parents and relatives of the abducted Chibok secondary school girls and other abducted Nigerians, the TIEMS Chairman said “reportedly, parents of the girls have patriotically called on the Federal Government not to allow Boko Haram insurgents to use the girls as human shields to continue to wreck havoc on the country”.
He noted that fighting insurgency and restoring peace had never been a piece of cake in any clime and cited the instance of the United States of America which refused to yield to Islamic State terrorists who demanded ransom in exchange for the captured American journalist but rather continued to rain heavy sorties on the insurgents in Northern Iraq.