The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has condemned Monday’s suicide attack on a mosque at the University of Maiduguri in Borno state, describing it as desperation on the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists to remain relevant.
CESJET in statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday by its Executive Secretary, Isaac Ikpa however urged the Army and other security agencies not be deterred but to redouble their efforts in ensuring that the remnants of the terrorists who fled the Sambisa forest are apprehended.
He said the attack was apparently orchestrated to be a major distraction to the ongoing operation to apprehend fleeing Boko Haram fighters and to create the impression that the group remains formidable even when the last of its known bases has been captured by the Nigerian Army.
He said, “As it was during the group’s ascendancy to the basest form of evil, in its final decline Boko Haram remnants are again turning on a places of worship because they are no longer able to stage any daring attacks and must therefore seek soft targets. It speaks volumes that a group that had hinged its insurgency on a demand for the strict application of Sharia law could attack a mosque where Muslim worship.
“The haste with which some people gleefully used this attack to justify their claim that Boko Haram is undefeated calls for concerns as it appears that they were in agreement with the terrorists to strike so that they will have justification to continue insisting the terror group is still relevant.
“Boko Haram was never relevant and should be discussed only in context of what punishment is befitting for its members, their sponsors and sympathizers.”
Ikpa therefore urged the military to remain focused, ignore distractions, and speed up its pursuit of these terrorists so that their capacity to attempt causing havoc in any part of the country.
He said the pursuit should be expanded to include identifying and prosecuting those that offer support to the terrorists as their crime is no lesser than those they empower to blow other Nigerians up.
According to him, Nigerians must remember that the key stopping these remnants of Boko Haram from regrouping remains vigilance, stressing that better results would be achieved if the nation act as one to rid the soceity of the last of these killers.
He said, “We cannot continue to present a divided front regardless of our religious, ethnic or geo-political differences. The security agencies and the military should be supported to succeed in fishing out those who escaped from the various camps that were captured in Sambisa Forest.
“We appeal to the Federal Government to improve on intelligence gathering now that the war on terror is in a different phase following the defeat of Boko Haram.”