Boko Haram Security experts said on Saturday that the Nigerian government’s ceasefire agreement with the Boko Haram, was a wrong approach in handling terrorism.
Pastor Ladi Thompson and Mr Ona Ekhomu insisted that what Nigeria was facing was not insurgency but terrorism, advising the government to treat the issue as terrorism and not as insurgency, as the media had made the situation appear.
While giving his opinion on Saturday on the ceasefire deal, Pastor Thompson said he was alarmed when he first heard of the agreement, since the announcement came from official channels of the government.
He said that the ceasefire deal was a pointer to “a truth that the Federal Government of Nigeria has no cohesive policies and a sign that it had lost the war against the Boko Haram”.
“If you ignore the ideological aspect of what the Boko Haram represent, that is the only time you will allow anybody to deceive you that there will be a ceasefire for a season that will not be strategically advantageous to the Boko Haram,” he said.
He insisted that the Nigerian government was dealing with terrorism and not insurgency as the crisis in the north-east had been referred to by world media.
Pastor Thompson also said that Nigeria’s security services had been infiltrated, stressing that “Nigeria does not have an understanding of what it is handling in the first place”.
“How do you tell a group with an ideology that does not have the record of negotiating with anyone to negotiate with you?” He questioned.
Politicisation Of Terrorism Issue
Explaining the extent of the crisis he said one of the girls that was released by the Boko Haram group tested positive to HIV and was also pregnant. He said that the girl was not one of the Chibok girls that was taken in April.
“The girl has been held for six months before she was released and when she came she told us of how nice the Boko Haram sect members were and that they did not touch her. I observed her and i requested that certain tests should be carried out on her. When she was tested and it was discovered that she was not only pregnant but HIV positive.”
He condemned the politicisation of the issues of the kidnapped Chibok girls.
“We have not allowed the nation to know the depth and the extent that things have worsened in the battlefront,” he said, urging the Nigerian government to be more structured in its approach to the war against the Boko Haram.
Soldiers Killed By Friendly Fires
He further advised stakeholders who look beyond the Nigerian politics to rise up and talk to the government about what to do “before the situation goes beyond what it is”.
“They should tell the government to take issues out of political issues and tackle it as a war that it is. If we continue to accept to the rest of the world that we have an insurgency, what we are admitting is that there is a popular or unpopular uprising in Nigeria,” Pastor Thompson said.
Being a pastor, he said that he was privy to some information about what was happening in the north-east and what the military was facing.
He said that a young soldiers in the war front had told him that the situation of things had worsened and that they were being killed in air raids.
“He was crying when he was talking to me. We pray for these boys and we have a first hand conversation with them. He confirmed to me that the embargo on Nigeria would not have been made public if not for the seizure of arms deal money in South Africa. On several occasions, soldiers were killed by air force friendly fires.
He asked the government to be sure of who it was negotiating with if negotiation was the only option it had.
On his part, Mr Ona Ekhomu also said that the crisis in the north was not insurgency but terrorism.
“This is not insurgency, it is extremism and it is not properly defined. It is a breakdown of law and order. He said.
Mr Ekhomu insisted that what Nigeria was experiencing was a world phenomenon that had not been seen before.
He said that the Nigerian government had not accepted the reality, explaining that the Boko haram activities are similar to that of the ISIS in Syria and other terrorists groups around the world.
“We are solving the wrong problem because we have refused to call it what it is,” he said.
Mr Ekhomu also said that there were a lot that the government was not letting Nigerians know, insisting that there was need for evidence for the leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau, who the military claimed it had killed.
He insisted that the Boko Haram sect were faceless and that a negotiation with the group may be difficult.
He suggested that the government should do due diligence on who they are negotiating with if such negotiations would work.