Boko Haram: Senators Accuse Cameroun, Niger, Chad Of Complicity
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, April 29, (THEWILL) â€' The Senate floor was charged on Tuesday as emotion-laden Senators took turns to decry the abduction of female students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State and the failure of the security agencies to rescue them from their captors after over two weeks in the Boko Haram insurgents' hideouts.
The girls were abducted a fortnight ago.
The angry Senators, however minced no words to accuse the neighbouring countries of Cameroun, Niger and Chad of a possible complicity.
The returning senators debated a motion sponsored by the Leader of the Senate, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, and 108 others on the abduction of 234 female school children in Chibok on April 15 by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Also some of the senators alleged internal sabotage within the security agencies deployed to the North East region of the country to fight the Boko Haram terrorists. They lamented that the security operatives had failed to achieve the purpose for which they were sent there.
Sequel to the motion however, the Senate urged the Federal Government and all security agencies to intensify efforts to immediately rescue the abducted female students who were abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents two weeks ago.
It also urged the Federal Government and the security agencies to seek the cooperation and aids of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations Organisation (UNO) to deploy advanced technological measures, including dialogue towards rescuing the abducted children safely.
While condemning the atrocious abduction, the Senators further implored the government at all levels to provide adequate security toschools in their areas. They also collectively prayed for the safe release of all the abducted children.
Leading debate in the motion, Senator Ndoma-Egba, said: 'The Senate notes with grief the inhuman abduction of secondary school girls in Chibok, Borno State by alleged Boko Haram terrorists.
'Senate also notes that, just when the country was nursing its grief caused by the rush hour bombing of a bus park in the nation's capital, Abuja, which killed over 75 people and wounded dozens more, the country was struck yet with another devastating blow: the abduction of about 234 girls from their school in Chibok on 15th April, 2014.
'Senate notes that on the 15th April, 2014, the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State was attacked when militants broke into the school, shooting the guards and abducting a large number of students in trucks into the Sambisa forest, a known hideout for the Boko Haram sect.
'The Senate is disappointed that two weeks after their disappearance, the girls' whereabouts are still unknown. And about 44 escaped by jumping from the back of the truck used to ferry them away or by sneaking out of the abductors' camp deep inside the Sambisa forest.
'The Senate is hopeful that the offer of assistance by Governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom to rescue the students would come with all the required technology including the deployment of the drones, which the United States had used to great positive effect to tracking/fighting terrorism elsewhere.'
Contributing to the motion, Senator Ahmad Zannah, representing Borno Central, informed the Senate that the insurgents had moved the girls to Cameroun and Chad, expressing pessimism on the ability of the security operatives to rescue the girls from their captors.
Zannah, who gave a graphic detail of the movement of the insurgents with the abducted girls, said it was lack of willingness on the part of the military operatives to combat the insurgency that led to the escalation of the menace.
He told the Senate that he constantly furnished the security with information on the itinerary of the Boko Haram insurgents to enable forces track them down, but they never acted on his information.
'I rise to adopt this motion passionately, based on the ages of the girls that were involved and the human lives that have suffered as a result of this unfortunate development. Since the beginning of this sage, I kept mute on this issue as far as press releases and press interviews are concerned.
'I have been constantly in touch with the security agencies, telling them the developments, the movement of the girls from one place to the other and then the splitting of the girls and eventually the marriage of these girls by the insurgents. What bothers me most is that whenever I inform them where these girls are, after two to three days, they will be moved from that place to another and still, I will go back and inform them that see, this is what is happening.
'I lost hope two days ago, when I found out that some of them were moved to Chad and Cameroon. Actually, some of them moved through the Mandara Mountain that is in Gwoza and some of them are just a stone's throw from their barracks.
'It all depends on their willingness. If the state of emergency was extended, I was interviewed by the press on whether the military would succeed and I said yes, if there was willingness, they will. Theirnumber is not all that much as being touted and without cooperation from certain group of people within the security agencies, there is no way these people will survive like this.
'But when we talk, they will say we are against them; we are exposing them, we are demoralising their troops. These are the facts. So unless there is spirit of seriousness on the part of our military, we have no hope of getting those girls. Even if we are going to get them, we are going to get them in trickles; maybe getting two, three, four, and five. They are now scattered. So it is not possible for us to get 50, 60,100 in one particular position. This is the position as at today,' he said.
Also contributing, Senator Maji Maina Lawan, representing Borno North said: 'We have to face the reality; the truth is that we are not doing enough.'
He called for cooperation amongst all Nigerians and the security agencies in the fight against terrorism and insurgency in the country. 'Everybody must cooperate so that we confront this evil. The atrocity is getting over the roof. This issue has to be confronted with everything. Nigerian military is the only military we have; something is lacking in our military. We must stop pointing fingers and fight the Boko Haram. This madness must stop.'
Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, who represents Borno South, observed that the security operatives were doing their best, but pointed out that their weapons were inferior to the sophisticated equipment of the insurgents.
He also said that the military personnel were not motivated enough to prosecute the war against the terrorists in the North East region, saying their allowances were not paid, while their equipment were obsolete to face the insurgents.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in his position, expressed concern over the allegation that the security agencies deployed to fight the were not acting on intelligence information available to them, alleging that there must be act of sabotage amongst the operatives.
'If people are giving information and nothing is done, then there is a clear national sabotage. There is no doubt about it', he said.
Also, Senators Ayogu Eze, Kabiru Gaya, Ahmed Lawan, Nenadi Usman, Ganiyu Solomon, Mohammed Magoro and Ehigie Uzamere, all expressed concern on the matter, calling on the government and the security agencies to put more effort in the raging battle against terrorism in the land.
EMMA UCHE, ABUJA