[Terrorism Tracker] Joint Task Force, Mama Boko Haram, and other stories
By Ifah Ele Sunday
As Nigerians worry about Covid-19, they tend to push the activities of terrorists and bandits to the background. However, these evil men have killed many more persons than Covid-19 has in the last four months and counting. In this edition of Terrorism Tracker, we provide insight into the perennial violence and some of the efforts being made to find solutions to it.
Why Multi-National Joint Task Force has not defeated terrorists – Report
The Multi-National Joint Task Force, made up of troops from all the countries in Lake Chad basin, was supposed to spell the death knell to terrorists. However, it has not. The International Crisis Group, research, and solution-based outfit, in a recently released a report which explains why the Force seems to be wavering. The research group made this recommendation: “A successful response to militancy in Lake Chad will depend not only on the joint force but also on whether states can improve conditions for and inspire more trust among residents of affected areas. But an improved MNJTF could help such a strategy. Lake Chad states should boost its planning and communications capacity, intelligence sharing, human rights compliance, and civil-military coordination. They should then reach consensus with donors on financing.” Read more on https://reliefweb.int/report/nigeria/what-role-multinational-joint-task-force-fighting-boko-haram-africa-report-n-291-7.
A woman who knows much about Boko Haram:
Aisha Wakil is a name that rings a bell when peace deals with Boko Haram is mentioned. Beyond being a broker for peace, she had known many members of the sect before Boko Haram became violent. How much success has she garnered? One story that tells her story is a long read published in this link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/09/mama-boko-haram-nigeria-maiduguri
The church loses 8,378 members and pastors in Boko Haram attacks
The President of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), Reverend Joel S. Billi, at a press conference last week, gave a graphic image of the havoc done to his denomination by Boko Haram. The high point of his lamentation was that over 8,000 members of the church, among them pastors, had been killed in terror attacks by Boko Haram. Also, “Over 700,000 members have been displaced with only 7 out of 60 District Church Councils not directly affected by the insurgency.”
As a result of these, Reverend Billi has appealed to the Nigerian government and the international community to seek a pragmatic end to the killings by the sect. The following are some of the church’s recommendations:
- We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency deploy at least a battalion of the military to the deserted areas behind the Gwoza Hills as enumerated above to ensure the speedy return of the IDPs to their ancestral land.
- The government to immediately reconstruct and rehabilitate all houses, schools, and worship places destroyed by the insurgents in the deserted villages, to be carried out by the Northeast Development Commission.
- Government to deploy more security personnel to volatile areas to mitigate further attacks.
- The federal government to marshal out plans to evacuate the over 47,000 IDPs in Cameroon camps back to their ancestral homes by the end of 2020.
- The government to live up to its constitutional responsibility by putting a stop to the continuous killings, abductions, rape, and all forms of criminality across the country.
- Government to urgently address the activities of Fulani militia, armed bandits, and kidnappers terrorizing our communities.
- Religion is a sensitive issue in Nigeria; we, therefore, urge the states and federal government to ensure that Christian Religious Studies is taught in public schools in some of the northern states where it is not done. This would contribute to molding the character of the citizens.
- Appointments should reflect the federal character and any breach of that is unacceptable to the church. We demand immediate reversal and correction of the imbalance in most appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari where his appointments have always been skewed to favor a particular sector and religion.
- While we as a church support the federal government fight against corruption, we frown at the selective nature of the fight and demand that rule of law must be respected.
- While we commend the federal government for the efforts made towards diversifying the economy amid the COVID-19 challenge, we encourage the government to ensure that job opportunities are created for our teeming numbers of unemployed youths, this, when done, would reduce youth restiveness.
- From the look of things, the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari has run out of ideas and is overwhelmed with the security challenges; we call on the United Nations and the African Union to come to the aid of Nigeria in tackling the security challenges.
‘Army kills more Boko Haram terrorists’
The Nigeria military has killed about 75 Boko Haram terrorists in a recent onslaught. John Enenche, the spokesman for the Nigerian military, said in a statement that the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, while causing high casualties on the Boko Haram, also have rescued 35 captives from the militants, including 18 women and 16 children, in the encounters from June 1 to June 30.
South-East raises alarm over herdsmen attacks:
In the South-East, many communities are at alarm and have called on the government to come to protect them and their farms from attacks by violent herdsmen who destroy farms, kill farmers and rape their women. The violence is widespread. Read more: http://saharareporters.com/2020/07/02/south-east-communities-groan-herdsmen-take-over-farmlands-rape-women.