BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI, ABUJA
Ohaneze Ndigbo, the umbrella sociopolitical body of Igbo in Nigeria, has hailed the unrelenting efforts of the Nigerian military in the battle to dislodge Boko Haram (invaders) terrorists from the nation’s shores even as the group sympathized over the casualties and sacrifices troops were being subjected to.
President General of the body, Chief Gary Nnachi Enwo-Igariwey who led members to the office of the Minister of State, Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro in Abuja, condemned the continued violence perpetrated by Boko Haram on innocent Nigerians noting that “No country develops when there is this kind of insurgency”.
His words: “No person should pray that these attacks and destruction should continue. We have come here to show solidarity and to appreciate the efforts being made by our troops to encourage them to do more. We pray for them, we appreciate that their lives are on the line and we sympathize with the families of those who have already lost their lives”. “We are here to give support to your war efforts. For over two years now we have had the situation in the country where some extremists are trying to undermine the unity of this country. We know the cost in lives and properties to our people we are also aware of the efforts our security operatives have been making over time they have put their lives on the line making sacrifices so that we live. We appreciate their efforts and one can only wish that they do more”.
Continuing, the Ohaneze Chief said, “We have been through this before so many years ago and we really know what it was about. It started as a minor infringement in the North east now the thing has grown to a situation where it is trying to put the unity of the whole country at risk and we will not allow that”.
“We are also asking that government should do more in providing all the necessary equipment required to achieve this goal. The security forces must have the right equipments; their morale must be good, because they are fighting for us. So we can’t expect less for them, because when they have the right equipment, they are better able to defend and protect their own lives, so that they will do service for us another day”.
“We also aware that in the process of this fighting, lives and properties have been lost by people from all over the country. The bomb blast in Abuja and in other places; and in the north east particularly. Collateral damages to civilians and properties. We are also hoping that as the country goes ahead in providing compensations for victims; very comprehensive studies should be made to ensure that all those who suffered whatever kind of damage both in lives and properties would be appropriately compensated”.
Responding, the minister commended Ndigbo for the support to not only the military but for the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan
“As you have rightfully said the challenge before us today is herculean. To every generation there is always a challenge. Our fore fathers had the challenge of ending colonialism; the next generation had to battle military dictatorship in the country. Our own generation has the onerous task of ensuring that we have a peaceful nation where all Nigerians can live as one as equals”.