…Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Adams knock govt, security chiefs
…US releasing information now suspicious – Anya
By Clifford Ndujihe, Anayo Okoli, Dapo Akinrefon & Henry Umoru
DISTURBED by the United States warning that the Islamic State of Iran and Syria, ISIS and al-Qaeda have penetrated North-West geo-political zone of Nigeria and working towards expanding further South into the littoral areas of the country, Senators have asked the Federal Government to be proactive and avert disaster.
They urged the Federal Government to take the warning very seriously by making hay while the sun shines, rather than wait for the terrorists to penetrate and begin to commit havoc in the country.
Consequently, Senators who spoke with Saturday Vanguard, called on the military to further recruit as many of the nation’s unemployed youths as possible to protect Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
The Commander of US Special Operations Command Africa, Major General Davin Anderson had raised the alarm that ISIS and al-Qaeda are penetrating Northwest and looking to expand further south into the littoral areas of Nigeria during a digital briefing on US efforts to combat terrorism in Africa during the COVID pandemic.
Senators, who urged immediate action on the US warning are Chairman, Senate Services Committee, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, All Progressives Congress, APC, Niger East; and Senator Chukwuka Utazi, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Enugu North.
They spoke as apex Igbo Socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; the Pan-Yoruba Socio-Political Organisation, Afenifere; and Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Aare Gani Adams, tongue-lashed the government and security chiefs for the parlous state of security in the country.
Also, Elder statesman and pioneer Chairman of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group,NESG, Professor Anya O.Anya wondered why the US was just releasing the information since the development started two years ago.
FG must not take chances – Senator Musa
Senator Mohammed Sani Musa said: “Government should immediately take the warning very seriously and act decisively to forestall the invasion of those terrorists in to our lands. The Government should be proactive and take no chances. The military should further recruit as many of our unemployed youths as possible as they are large in number and can well protect our territorial integrity.”
Let’s review ECOWAS free movement protocol – Senator Utazi
On his part, Senator Chukwuka Utazi said, “I have called without ceasing on the floor of the Senate that the ECOWAS protocol on free movement for ECOWAS countries must of necessity be reviewed in line with the closure of our borders for economic activities in the Sub-region.
According to him, “the unchecked infiltration of non-Nigerians into the country is a keg of gun powder waiting for explosion and a recipe for long lasting disaster of unimaginable proportions. It can be likened to an accident waiting to happen.
“The National Assembly has shown courage for severally asking for a change of guards in the headship of our armed forces, and stands absolved of any eventuality which the Intel of the US may portend for Nigeria.
“Lastly,with the President not heeding the several calls for the sack of the service chiefs,in the interim, and a re-engineered armed forces at the long run,the National Assembly, on resumption will be left with no option but to explore other constitutional means of steering the country away from this long drawn Boko Haram insurgency that may be aggravated with further joint intervention of ISIS and al-Qaeda in the ongoing Nigerian strife.”
Warning fuels conspiracy theory against our armed forces – Ohanaeze
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, speaking through his media adviser, Emeja Attama said: “It is dumbfounding for Ohanaeze Ndigbo to know that the Defence Headquarters is admitting that they are aware of the development without alerting the populace so as to elicit cooperation in checking the trend.
“It is even more appalling for it to be the United States that will now bring it to the consciousness of Nigerians. This further fuels the alleged conspiracy theory making the rounds about our armed forces colluding with our invaders. This also raises further questions about the continued retention of service chiefs and what it portends. Nigeria is in real trouble and all must be double vigilant.
“No amount of money pumped into the defence apparatus will bring about change until the desired and needful change in manpower and control is done. Change the service chiefs and bring back moral and discipline within the rank and file”.
We don’t have a coordinated govt – Afenifere
The pan-Yoruba socio-political oganisation, Afenifere, said though the alert should be taken seriously, Nigeria does not have a coordinated government that caAn be trusted.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said: “We take the alert seriously and more so that we don’t have a coordinated government we can trust with the security of the land.”
It’s not new, why US is announcing it now is the issue – Anya
Professor Anya said: ‘’That (warning) is not new. It has been on since mid-2018. Why are they (US) announcing it now?’’
On the report of the group moving down South, he said: ‘’What people forget is that no insurrection, army occupation or whatever survive where the population is hostile. They will be taking a high risk unless they are coming to cause confusion and run away. That may not be ruled out. Even in the North, the population is becoming hostile.’’
I’m not pleased with army’s response – Aare Adams
The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Aare Gani Adams expressed disappointment over the Army’s response to the US red alert.
Adams, who called for urgent action to prevent the terrorists from overrunning the country, restated the need for restructuring of the country.
He said: “I am not pleased with the army’s response over the US alerting Nigeria of a possible incursion of ISIS and Al-Qaeda into Nigeria. The Army ought to have taken this seriously and map out strategies on how to prevent this. The US has given us an information which should not be taken lightly.
‘’Any country invaded by these terrorist groups does not remain the same. We have countries that are yet to recover from these terrorist organisations. We have to do something urgently and that is why we have been calling for restructuring. Each region should be able to protect itself from external aggression. Action must be taken to nip this in the bud.”