A rights group, Conference of Civil Society for Peace, Security and National Development has cautioned the Federal government against listening to individuals and groups calling for the removal of the security chiefs in the country saying doing so could relapse efforts made in the war against insurgency.
The CSOs at a press conference held in Abuja on Wednesday and addressed by its conveners, Comrade Mike Msuaan and Mallam Adamu Kabir Matazu also accused some media establishment and civil society organisations for taking side with the insurgents with the aim of demoralising the troops.
“As stakeholders who believe in the Nigeria project, we have elected to stand for unity and peace of the nation. It is in this wise that we urge the Federal Government to disregard calls for the sacking of the current service chiefs. Those making such calls are not doing so in the interest of the nation but their pecuniary gains.
“We wish to draw the attention of the government to the fact that the calls for replacing service chiefs have become loudest now that the war is almost over. We warn as patriots that any relapse in the strategy being used now in the war theatre could embolden the terrorists. Any well meaning Nigerian or foreign observers who have followed the history of insurgency in the country would agree that retaining the service chiefs is the best option now. The coalition herein, commends President Muhammadu Buhari for his visionary decision in retaining the service chiefs”, the CSOs noted.
It further argued that the security situation has improved significantly following the coming of the current government explaining that fighting insurgency was not as simple as some people imagine.
“The situation degenerated to a point where citizens deserted the north eastern states almost completely. Average Nigerians had given up hope on the sovereignty of the country. Hope however, began to return when Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai assumed office in July 2015 as he quickly evolved a master plan of taking war to the door steps of the terrorists, away from the reactionary approach adopted in the past. This art of war coupled with credible intelligence gathering has seen the destruction and killing of several terrorists’ leaders, camps and hide outs through a coordinated ground and aerial bombardment.
“Today, no territory in the north east nor any part for that matter is under the control of insurgents. Although the war has not been completely won, the relocation of the Chief of Army Staff to the north east where he is commanding the war has witnessed significant achievements. Now, it is no longer news that the war is near an end as the insurgents are been bombarded heavily and now scampering to safety. Since the relocation of Gen. Buratai to the war theatre zone, many top Boko Haram and Islamic States West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists have continued to surrender to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD). Several others have been killed and others captured in the renewed military offensive to wipe out terrorists.
“Gentlemen of the press, it is disturbing that in the midst of these successes, the merchants of war have still found amongst us as agents to distract the efforts of our military. It is regrettable to say the least that some unscrupulous young men find it lucrative to disparage the military efforts and promote the insurgents for monetary gains. Our scrupulous findings reveal that some of these young people hide under the guise of media practise to achieve their aim. Others yet use the toga of activism to cast aspersions on our gallant troops.
“We make bold to say Sahara Reporters is notable amongst the media platforms that has shamelessly surrendered to the whims and caprices of the insurgents. We have observed over time that Sahara Reporters begins and ends its news publishing with either outright falsehood or malicious content against the army. On the other hand, anyone looking for news about the escapades of the insurgents sure knows that Sahara Reporters is a veritable platform to find such.
“Today, any youth or group who is willing to put aside patriotism is engaged by agents of terrorists in our country. One acclaimed civil society activist, Deji Adebanjo has taken a lead in this respect by either addressing the press to malign the military or calling for the replacement of service chiefs”, the CSOs alleged.