The Global Terrorism Index report, released on November 15, 2015 by the Institute
for Economics and Peace, ranked Nigeria third, out of the 162 countries of the world that have been worst hit by terrorist attacks. Nigeria ranked fourth in 2014.
By this latest ranking, Nigeria is only better than the two Middle Eastern countries of Iraq and Afghanistan, who were ranked first and second respectively. Two other Middle East countries, Pakistan and Syria, ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, after Nigeria. The only African countries close to Nigeria are Somalia and Libya, which are in the eighth and
ninth positions respectively. France, which recently experienced deadly terrorist attacks that recorded about 160 deaths in Paris, is ranked 36th, same as the United States. The GTI report, sadly, pointed out that terrorist attacks are more lethal in Nigeria than in any other country.
According to the report, the terror group in Nigeria, Boko Haram, overtook ISIL in 2014 to become the most deadly terrorist group in the world. It went further to state that deaths attributed to Boko Haram increased by 317 per cent in 2014 to 6, 644, compared to 6, 073 blamed on the Islamic State. Boko Haram pledged allegiance to IS in March 2015.
The GTI report further stated that the two bodies, Boko Haram and the IS, are responsible for 51 per cent of deaths by terror worldwide.
Now, to the question: who are the sponsors of this heinous crime that is eating deep into the peace fabric of Nigeria and gradually turning the country into an “architecture of ruins”? The old, the young, the concerned, and men of conscience, want to know the demons of destruction that have held the nation captive for so long. This is one question that must be answered, so long as the natives of the North-Eastern Nigeria remain living corpses at the mercy of this deadly group.
About two years back, during the launch of the Federal Government Victims Support Fund in Abuja, some children did not only thrill Nigerians with their dance steps, they also asked questions that left many bewildered. With songs, drama and speeches, they held the audience, which included former President Goodluck Jonathan and other dignitaries spellbound as they took everyone down the memory lane of the nation’s journey since independence. They reminded us of the nation’s travails and triumphs in various sectors. They demanded the whereabouts of the over 200 girls abducted from Chibok, Borno State and wondered whether they would ever return. Then they came hard on the insurgents and demanded to know their sponsors. That touching demand prompted, instantly, the nodding of the heads of some members of the audience, who could not help but look at each other’s faces.
In September, 2015, the Nigerian Army issued a statement in Abuja that it had uncovered plans by some highly placed individuals and political groups to undermine and scuttle the fight against terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria. The statement, signed by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Kushasheka, said,
“The Nigerian Army wishes to inform the public and send a very strong serious final warning to some prominent individuals and political groups, who hail from Borno State, in particular, and North-East, generally, that there is information on plans by some highly placed individuals and political groups to undermine and scuttle the fight against insurgency in this country.“The unscrupulous individuals and their cohorts are determined to reverse the gains made and scuttle our efforts of achieving the Presidential directive to defeat Boko Haram terrorists within three months. They are enlisting the services of some non-governmental organisations in this grand design.”
It added, “It has come to our knowledge that they are employing every means to see that our operations do not succeed in order for them to continue to enjoy certain benefits. It has been revealed that they are employing the services of marabouts and other unethical means in order to frustrate our efforts and the operations in addition to campaign of calumny.
“We are aware of their clandestine meetings and other diabolical efforts to achieve their nefarious aims. This will not be tolerated.”Reacting to the statement, the Chairman of the Borno Elders Forum, Amb. Gaji Galtimari, charged the military to unmask the culprits with a view to bringing them to book as they posed a serious threat to the nation’s security.
Similarly, the BEF has recently indicted those implicated in the ongoing arms deal investigation as sponsors of the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Chairman, BEF, Mr. Usman Gaji Galtimari, in a statement in Maiduguri pointed out, “With the horrifying revelations about the arms deal, it is no longer necessary to look elsewhere in search of the real sponsors of Boko Haram,” adding that “those who collected such huge sums of money from the treasury and converted same for their unending greed and avarice should be regarded as part and parcel of the sponsors of Boko Haram. Get them and you will get the rest.”
For now, the media, the helpless people of the North East, experts, and international observers have spoken. The true faces behind the terrorist attacks in Nigeria need to be unveiled. This will be the first step in the plan to end the Boko Haram war in Nigeria. They have killed enough.Delay could be dangerous.