The Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism, CATRE, a civil society group, has described the approval by the 36 governors in Nigeria for the Federal Government of Nigeria to use $1 billion out of the savings from the nation’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) to fight insurgency and terrorism as a right step in the right direction.
Recall that governors of the 36 states had last week approved the withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account for the ongoing fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the North-east.
The decision was taken at FEC meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Reacting to the development, CATRE observed that although, much success has been recorded in the fight against insurgency by the current administration which saw to the sacking of Boko Haram fighters in many communities in the North-eastern part of the country, but the battle is not over yet.
Comrade Gabriel Onoja, National President of CATRE, in a statement said terrorism, just like an epidemic cannot be termed as subdued if remnants of its causative agents and malignant germs are left to foster, no matter how insignificant their number.
It reads further: “It is true that the sect has been degraded and technically defeated , but the recent attack on soft targets has indicated that there are remnants of the sect not only fighting for survival but seeking ways to relaunch their deadly attacks on the citizenry.
“This, to us informs the need to approach the matter holistically and with military precision so that total success would be achieved.
“This has necessitated the request by the federal government and its subsequent approval by the state governors.
“Unlike in the past where such funds are seen as slush funds that were arbitrarily disbursed to cronies of those in government in the most shameful and brazen manners, we have absolute confidence in the current administration that the funds would be used for the purpose it is meant for and every single kobo would be accounted for.
“This is because the president, Muhammadu Buhari and his service chiefs have shown capacity to appreciate the depth of the problem and not toy with the lives and destinies of people as was the practice in the past
“This step should be seen as a commitment by the Nigerian State to take care of a cancerous problem and this involves the purchase of more military hard and soft wares, communication gadgets, fighter jets and helicopter gun ships, drones and other surveillance equipment to achieve success.
“All these require huge amount but the need would be appreciated against the backdrop of the enormous problem it is set to solve.
“Life would revert to normal for millions that have been sacked from their communities, institutions built with public funds would be preserved and utilized, millions of children would return to schools and a substantial part of Nigeria would be given the opportunity to restart. All these are not what money can quantify.
“The Coalition hereby endorses the approval of $1billion to support the mop up operations in the ongoing war against terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria and urges all Nigerians to do same.”