The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the recent attack on the convoy of the Governor of Borno State, Babagana Umara Zulum.
The group also lamented what it described as the politicisation of the ongoing counter terror war in the country.
HURIWA, in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and made available to Newspot on Thursday noted that the emergence of Boko Haram as s terrorist group in Nigeria significantly changed the country’s security landscape.
It noted that in response, particularly since 2015, the Nigerian Army under Lt. Gen Yusuf Buratai has committed itself to different counterterrorism measures, which are largely dominated by “hard politics” and military mobilization.
According to HURIWA, however, these attempts have become unpopular as they have failed to contain Boko Haram within a short time frame and have made insufficient headways against unabated terror.
HURIWA lamented the concerted efforts by some unpatriotic individuals to politicise and disrupt the ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency in the country.
The group said it was regrettable that the convoy with Zulum was attacked on his way to a camp for Internally Displaced Persons to distribute relief materials, adding that this shows the desperation by enemies of peace and humanity at large to jeopardise all efforts towards making life easier for victims of violence in the state over the years.
“We have further observed the spreading of mischief and damaging propaganda cum perfection of strategies since after the attack on the convoy of Governor Zulum to rubbish the Nigerian Army and the Chief of Army’s efforts in the provision of safety and security for her citizens, which serves no good,: HURIWA said.
“More so, to dampen troops’ morale especially in the North East so that the troops will become more compromised against the war efforts and complicates the security situation in the country for selfish and cheap political gains and expediency.”
The group called on Nigerians to support the army chief, adding that since 2015, the transformation of the Nigerian Army has rapidly manifested under the leadership of Buratai.
“Perhaps, those still not convinced by the impactful exceptional transformational measures manufactured in repositioning the Nigerian Army for effective counter-insurgency combats are definitely either poor adherents of history or have a faulty retentive memory,” HURIWA said
“The Nigerian Army is a professional institution and the COAS has made a landmark and tremendous record as a strict disciplinarian and therefore he is well aware of his obligation to fish out Moles and Saboteurs embedded within the Army who are derailing the objectives of the Counter Terror War.”
It said,therefore, that there was no need to continue to antagonize the Nigerian Army as it has come of age and in need of our collective support and goodwill.
“The Governor’s statement attributing his convoy’s attack to sabotage either on the part of some of the Soldiers or poor communication between the Soldiers in his convoy and those on the ground in Baga further underscores the disturbing situation in the Counter-Insurgency war and the need to further support the efforts of the COAS, who under his commander the Army has gone to great extents in demonstrating pragmatism towards fishing out these moles and saboteurs and reposition the Nigerian Army into a symbol of pride to Nigeria,” the group added.
HURIWA said Buratai has so many stakes in restoration of peace to the North East of Nigeria, calling on Nigerians not to be identified with agents and saboteurs working hard to destabilise the Nigerian Army through the spreading of cocktails of fabricated stories and damaging innuendos aimed at rubbishing the public standing of the institution of the Nigerian military.
HURIWA commended the Army for rising to the occasion to getting rid of all moles in the military establishment so the war on terror can end on time because it is long enough.
“Furthermore, we ask that President Muhammadu Buhari consults widely with all stakeholders and convoke a bipartisan consultative meeting on national security so he gets strategic counsel on how to win the war on terror because war on terror is not a political gambit but a national security programme that should involve all Nigerians and must never be politicised.
“In an age of increased security threats, keeping our people safe is above politics and the security of our nation runs deeper than our political differences.
“We condemn the attack on the Governor of Borno state and urge the Nigerian Army to expedite action with its investigations, make public details of the incident and deal decisively with the attackers just as spokesperson of the Nigerian Army; Sagir Musa had promised.”