Amid the terror unleashed on Borno State and some states in the north and Abuja, the federal capital, allegedly by the Boko Haram sect, a Christian leader, Archbishop Ola Makinde, says the Federal Government was warned ahead of the insurgency.
Makinde, however, said the warning was not taken seriously.
The Christian leader’s statement came even as three suspected Boko Haram members attacked a police patrol vehicle stationed at the Bulunkutu Roundabout , Maidiguri, Borno State capital, on Friday, injuring seven passers-by.
The spate of bombings and killings in some of the northern states and Abuja has been linked to the Boko Haram group.
A retired military officer and former governor of Bendel State, Chief Samuel Ogbemudia, also, at the weekend, gave some insight into why it it has been a big challenge tackling the sect, while the former secretary general of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, advocated good governance to curtail the security challenge.
“Shortly after Abdul Muttalab was arrested (in the US for alleged terror) and there were links to Yemen and Nigeria, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, raised the alarm that some extremist groups were being trained in some camps in the north. That was not treated seriously until they began to unleash terror on innocent people”, Makinde, also the prelate of Methodist Church of Nigeria, told Sunday Vanguard in an interview.
The CAN leader went on: “It would be recalled also that, several times, I raised concerns about the rising threat of home grown terrorism, given the pattern which the series of attacks that took place within that period were taking.”
He stressed that the Boko Haram menace requires “serious intelligence gathering, processing and action, and the Federal Government must do everything seriously possible to empower,strengthen and equip all agencies relevant to this assignment’’.
Ogbemudia, who retired as a brigadier-general from the army, also speaking to Sunday Vanguard, blamed security agencies slow response to the Boko Haram crisis on poor intelligence.
“I think the Inspector-General of Police has been let down by his intelligence service. I also believe that the I-G was not properly briefed when he took over”, the PDP leader said.
“I believe the incident itself spread beyond the assumption of office of the I-G. So, he ought to have been given a full briefing so that he could make a plan on how to arrest the ugly situation.”
On his own, Anyaoku harped on the need for collective responsibility by the three tiers of government in curtailing the incessant killings, noting that good governance was the basis for the nation’s security rejuvenation.
Ex-Rep tasks N/Assembly
Meanwhile, a former member of the Federal House of Representatives, Mr Anthony Aziegbeni, has urged the seventh National Assembly to critically look into what he described as the porous security situation as recently exposed by the Boko Haram sect, saying that the dangers arising from the recent bombings and killings are capable of disintegrating the nation.
Aziegbeni, who was in the Federal House of Representatives between 1999-2007, said that it would be dangerous for the nation to be tagged a terrorist state, therefore stressed the need for the National Assembly to assist the Federal government in finding solutions to the prevailing security problem confronting the nation. He spoke after the dedication of St Gabriel’s Catholic Church Emu, Esan South East Local Government Council of Edo State by the Bishop of the Benin Catholic Diocese, Archbishop Augustine Akubueze. The church was built and donated to the community by the former lawmaker.
Aziegbeni, who also is a Russian trained security expert, asserted: “The issue of security should be of concern to all of. We just hope that our security agencies are equal to the task to get these people perpetrating this evil because they are not spirits they are human beings. We all need a united country, we cannot continue to fight and distracting those in government.
He, however, expressed optimism that with the caliber of men and women in current Assembly “ I have no doubt in my mind that they will do better than us by ensuring that problems like this are tackled holistically so that Nigerians will be proud of them”.