A Grand Coalition of youths from the north east region of the country yesterday in Abuja held a peaceful rally to Aso villa in solidarity with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Military in the ongoing war against the Boko Haram insurgency.
The youths in their thousands under the aegis of the North East Coalition Against Terrorism (NECAT) said being the most affected by the insurgency, the rally became necessary to show appreciation to the military for winning the war against insurgency. According to them, they can now sleep with their eyes closed and return to their ancestral homes.
Addressing the rally, president general of NECAT, Babangida Halilu said, “the period Boko Haram overran towns and villages in the northeast were times of utter despair completely devoid of hope. They were days that we reckon our life expectancy in minutes and hours as we were never certain we will see the following day. This sense of helplessness was compounded in no small way by the diversion of the funds meant for equipping the military.
“Life was restored to the region with the coming of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, who true to his campaign promises, showed leadership and the political will to quash the terrorist group and end the reign of terror by the insurgents. Mr President’s commitment found expression in his appointment of new Service Chiefs that have demonstrated the Armed Forces of Nigeria are to be reckoned with.”
The youths also urged the military to sustain the war against the insurgency until the last of them either surrenders, killed or arrested.
He said “it is with joy that we inform you that the Army’s achievement in the region has allowed state and local governments to be back to functioning while citizens are going about rebuilding their businesses.”
The youths said there was need to appreciate security agencies who risked their lives to liberate the northeast. The youths also paid tribute to the families of the valiant troops who died in the course of liberating towns and villages from Boko Haram.
He said, “their sacrifices are not in vain; new generations that would be born into freedom for the sake of their heroic actions is proof of their great and valiant deeds.
“Mr President, our appeal as we express our thanks is that the momentum be sustained until we heard the last of Boko Haram. The provision of arms, equipment, funds and leadership that turned the tide against Boko Haram should be sustained until we see the last of terrorism. The political support that emboldened the Army to charge into battles should be intensified.”
The youths further appealed to the federal government to fast tracked the promised intervention for rebuilding the northeast.
“It will be a great joy to us if private businesses get some consideration in addition to the public sector that has been targeted for rebuilding.
Once again, we appreciate Mr President for winning the war against terrorism. Defeating Boko Haram is a promise well kept.”
The youths handed over their speech of appreciation to the Chief Security Officer to the President who received them and promised to relay their message to the President immediately after the ongoing State Security Council meeting.