By Chioma Onuegbu
A former military administrator of Akwa Ibom State, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga retd, has bemoaned the Nigeria Government for refusing to accept that Boko Haram is a terrorist group in spite of the killings perpetrated by the insurgents.
Nkanga spoke weekend in Uyo while reacting to a recent statement by the United States, alerting Nigeria government that foreign terrorist groups, the Al-Qaeda and Islamic States (IS) were secretly taking over the North West of the country.
He stressed that the warning by the United States about Al-Qaeda penetrating some parts of the country was not surprising, and expressed concern that the security situation may escalate if the Nigeria Government kept pretending over their existence.
His words, “The point here is that we are having insecurity problems and we are not taking any serious measure to end it. That statement from the US should not come as a strange thing to us. It is something we have already known and taken precaution.
” And when the US mention something like that, it is to help for world peace. They are saying that so that we don’t later pretend like we have been pretending that we don’t know that it exists. If you call your father’s house dustbin, people will help you rubbish inside.
“This is not the time for us to continue pretending. Anybody that loves peace should take that statement seriously. It doesn’t hurt anything to take precaution. It is only a foolish person that will see a thing like that and not do anything about it.
“When the world said that Boko Haram is a terrorist organisation we were denying it, our government is still denying it till today. If we had admitted and treated it as such, I am sure even Al-Qaeda will be careful. But with all the security challenges all over the country, Al-Qaeda naturally will take advantage of such a situation.
“I don’t know what their reaction will be as government. Nigeria government up till today has not admitted that Boko Haram is a terrorist organisation. Of course, the only link that Al-Qaeda have to Nigeria will be Boko Haram”
Nkanga questioned why those in the Internally Displaced Person camps (IDPs) even some northern politicians could not go back home if actually the claim by the government that Boko Haram insurgents were not holding any territory in the country was true.
“They have been saying it openly that they can’t go back home. This is serious but we are in denial. The first thing is to admit that they are there. There are IDPs, camp everywhere if insurgents are not holding any territory how come those displaced persons are not back in their homes.
” Every day we say we have killed one hundred (100) Boko Haram members and still we keep denying that we don’t have any territory that is in the hands of Boko Haram. If we had treated insurgency with seriousness when it started by now it would have been a thing of the past” Nkanga asserted.