Surrendered insurgents with blood on their hands must be prosecuted ― Sen Ndume
Senator Ali Ndume

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, has asked the Federal Government to name and arrest those that finance terrorism in the country.

Senator Ndume spoke, even as Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, yesterday said security operatives should “carpet bomb the forests” to wipe out bandits.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Political Paradigm, Ndume said he was prosecuted by the Federal Government for sponsoring Boko Haram, noting that his offence was because the Department of State Services, DSS, tracked a phone and uncovered a call made by the spokesman of the insurgents.

While noting that he was arrested, the lawmaker criticised security agencies for not doing a proper investigation before subjecting him to public ridicule.

According to him, “If there is evidence that somebody is funding Boko Haram, there is clear evidence after doing your investigation, why don’t you tell Nigerians? Why don’t you prosecute them?

“Just because they were tracking my phone and they said a spokesman of Boko Haram called me, they went and arrested me. They did not even ask me, they did not do any intelligence work.

“The Senate President called me and said the SSS wants you to report that they have some questions.”

According to the lawmaker, he reported at the DSS office thinking he would be afforded the opportunity of availing them the useful information that will help in the terrorism war.

He recalled that the then DSS spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar, briefed journalists where he was accused of sponsoring terrorism.

The senator also called on the government to rebuild the north-east that has been ravaged by the insurgency for over a decade.

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As part of the rebuilding efforts, Ndume asked the authorities to resettle the victims of terrorism, reconstruct the areas they destroyed, process and profile insurgents that voluntarily surrender to the military authorities.

El-Rufai wants forests bombed

On his part, speaking yesterday in a chat with Arise TV, the Kaduna State governor attributed the prolonged inability of security operatives to curb banditry in the northwest region to a “lack of enough boots on the ground”.

He noted that more investment in security personnel, technology and military equipment would see bandits wiped out “once and for all. These bandits operate in the periphery because their hiding place is in the forest. It’s a major problem. The security agencies are doing their best but they are overstretched.”

“The reality is we don’t have enough boots on the ground to address the myriad of security challenges that we face, and these security challenges are asymmetric, widespread, and there’s no part of Nigeria that does not have one security problem or the other.

“Ramp up the number of boots and more technology and more investment in armament and wipe these guys once and for all.

“I have always believed that, you know we should carpet bomb the forests; we can replant the trees after. Let’s carpet-bomb the forests and bomb all of them.

“There will be collateral damage, but it’s better to wipe them out and get people back to our communities so that agriculture and rural economics can pick up.”

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