by Peregrino Brimah
While we have received the announcement of the technical defeat of Boko Haram from the Nigerian government on the Christmas eve, we are obligated to advice Nigerian citizens to not release their breath yet and risk their lives in the known Boko Haram territories. Keep your guards up and be fully security-conscious as the end is near and approachable but not quite here.
We highly appreciate the work of the altruistic and truly patriotic civilian JTF, which has always remained the last line of defense, and the most reliable and consistent hope of the communities plagued by Boko Haram. Your vigilance in intercepting those food-flask bombs cannot be overestimated. The sacrifice you make, and those who have passed will never be forgotten.
Boko Haram “moneybags” are still free
While Boko Haram has been “technically” defeated, the danger is still here. If the public was not notified, not a single sponsor of Boko Haram has yet been arrested by the Nigerian security services and army. This is the root of the deadly tree, and until the root is killed, the tree will not be dead.
We would like to remind the Nigerian security services that the governor of Borno state and the head of the Northern States Governors Forum, Kashim Shettima, knows the sponsors of Boko Haram. He has mentioned on several occasions that he is keeping mute to protect them. We want the Nigerian army to make Kashim Shettima and others who know the sponsors talk. Dasuki has hinted that he knows the sponsors; so has the former president, Goodluck Jonathan. We all do believe they have handed over this information to the security services, and we also expect the top-level arrests before the December deadline.
It is time to put a lasting and permanent end to the menace that has affected all of us including the army, and turned some of us into beasts and walking dead. The stress has taken a permanent toll on our army; it needs counselors and medical therapy. The soldiers should not keep laying their lives down for us, and testing their physical and mental capacities while some people who have paid for this carnage still live happily.
The war against Boko Haram sponsors must start now
As important as the war against corruption are prosecuting the chief looters, and the war against Boko Haram and its main financiers and political sponsors, both Nigerian and foreign. Nigeria must urgently get to the bottom of it via identifying and executing its backers, not only to truly end the reign of terror and prevent its reoccurrence, but also to identify the reasons towards preventing similar situations in the future. The sponsors of Boko Haram must no longer be covered, and all those implicated in concealing their identities must be punished equally to the full extent of the law.
The military chiefs suspected in directly and indirectly supporting Boko Haram and its pogrom agenda along with the former NSA, Dasuki, must also be brought to book. We should have pity for the 100,000 dead and three million displaced suffering in the Borno winter right now. The Chibok girls and their families deserve justice; without justice there can never be peace.
It is another Christmas without our girls. Only God knows whether they will ever come back. But they are in the best hands – His. May He have mercy on them.
We thank the sacrifice of the soldiers in the battlefield. May the Good Lord bless you and reward you in the ways man cannot. Zaman Lafiya, Lafiya Dole!
God bless Nigeria.
Dr Peregrino Brimah is the coordinator of the Every Nigerian Do Something campaign.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.