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Anti-terrorism Group Releases report, laud Buhari, Military counterinsurgency efforts.

By OLUFEMI LAWSON AKINDELE
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As the Federal government intensifies its efforts, towards finding a lasting solution to the insurgencies and violent clashes in some part of the country, an amalgamation of 42 Civil Society anti-terrorism campaign groups under the aupises of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups against Terrorism in Nigeria has lauded the effort of the Buhari's administration, in achieving noticeable landmarks, in the war against terrorism and other violent activities, across the country.

The group stated this in Lagos today, while releasing it's quarterly report for the first quarter of year 2018, which reviewed the progress of the war against Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast and incidents of farmers/herders clashes in the North central part of the country.

Speaking at the presentation of the reports to the general public, Convener of the Coalition, Comrade Odeyemi Oladimeji commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for the untiring commitment towards ensuring the security of lives and properties of Nigerians, and the commitment of his administration, towards promoting peace and national cohesion.

Commenting in the report, on the performance of the Nigerian Military, the Coalition lauded the neutrality of the Military, in the conduct of its operations, while specially appreciating the Officers and men of the Nigerian Army, for their patriotism and professionalism, in the line of discharge of their duties.

The report took a swipe, at those it described at Political 'Boko Haram', whom it accused of emboldening the activities of the remnants of the now decimated Boko Haram terrorist group, through their utterances, mostly politically motivated statements, aimed at destabilizing the incumbent administration.

The report also frowned at situations where some States Chief Executives, have failed to take appropriate actions to promote peace among ethnic nationalities in their States. The group also condemn the activities of some state government who are arming militias who are cupable in most of this heinous crimes.

The group said it carried out independent assessment of the security situation, in selected States of the Northeast and the North central, where it assessed issues of clashes between herdsmen and farmers. It said its investigation revealed that many of those clashes, have become escalated, due to the inability of some governors, particularly of Benue and Taraba States, to separate the sanctity of lives of their citizens, from politics, thereby rather than cooperating with the security agencies, resorted to sponsoring and recruiting armed Militias in their States.

The report also noted that some desperate politicians have been exploiting the security situation in those areas, as a cash cow to further exploit their people rather than take steps to mitigate the crisis in order to derive both political and financial benefits.

The group further stated, that against the erroneous impression being created by certain persons in the country, it discovered that the Federal government have ensured a consistent deployment of the military and other security agencies in the crisis areas across the states assessed. These deployments it said, have yielded commendable gains at restoring peace and orderliness, with the arrest and neutralization of several criminal elements, responsible for the violent clashes being witnessed in the affected areas.

"We want to specially acknowledge, the impact of the various intervention activities of the Nigerian Army, which includes but not limited to the Operations Python Dance, Ayam Akpatuma, Lafiya Dole in the troubled parts of the country, which has led to great improvement in the security and stability for the development in those areas.

On the alleged connivance between suspected herdsmen Militias and the Nigerian Soldiers in some states where there have been violent attacks on communities, the group said its finding shows that only criminal elements and their agents in power who nurse the ambition of using the military for personal duties and were rebuffed, nurse such conspiracy theories in their reasoning. It advised Nigerians to disregard such beliefs, as it only existed in the imaginations of the accusers of the Nigerian Military.

The report demanded thorough action from the federal government, in ensuring that the Armed Militias operating across several parts of the country, are immediately disarmed and arms thoroughly mopped up, since all indications have shown, that some highly placed individuals have continued to thwart efforts by the Nigerian Military, to mop up these criminal elements. It also condemned some politicians, who have consistently linked the Nigerian military with inability of the government to arrest the ugly situations.

In conclusion, the group urged the military, to increase its presence and sustain its various special military exercises in the troubled parts of the country, especially those areas where 'ethnic champions' and criminal elements have continued to create tensions. While also condemning the attempt by some politically exposed individuals to use religion to cause to cause disaffection and disunity in the Country.


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