...Say those rejecting plans are Boko Haram sponsors
From Okwe Obi, Abuja
North-East elders under the aegis of Coalition of North East Elders for Peace and Development (CNEEPD), have supported the suggestion of Borno State governor, Professor Babagana Zulum for the assistance of Chadian soldiers to crush Boko Haram insurgents.
CNEEPD Chairman Zana Goni, and the Secretary, Mohammed Misua, in a statement yesterday said those opposing the move were being sponsored by the insurgents.
Goni argued that the Nigerian soldiers were doing their best, but the assistance of Chadian security personnel would facilitate the defeat of bandits, terrorists and kidnappers, whom he said were making life miserable for Nigerians.
According to him, “We support the call by our dear Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum that Chadian soldiers should be invited to assist their Nigerian counterparts in the fight against insurgency and terrorism in the country.
‘This has become necessary given that the strength of the terrorists in Nigerian has risen very high. Besides, the Chadian soldiers are known to have adequately dealt with the threat of this nature. This call is the best thing to have happened to us this year.
“We have high regards for the Nigeria Armed Forces knowing their capabilities and competence, but they obviously lack the needed motivation and zeal to prosecute this war because of low morale and some factors which are caused by the continuous retention of the service chiefs against the wishes of majority of the Nigerian people.
“Those attacking Zulum because of his statement calling for assistance from chad are either agents of Boko Haram or people who benefit from our pains.”
He continued: “We trust the ability of our soldiers to deliver and still have high confidence in them but they lack the needed leadership that will lead the way to win the war.
“We wish to remind Mr president that Nigerians voted for him and he needs to listen to them urgently on security which we know that the service chiefs are 70% of the problem.
“All of us speaking against the service chiefs do not have personal hatred for them, as a matter of fact two of them are our sons from the North East. But we must put the country first before any other personal interest and consideration.
“It is so shameful for a country of our about 200 million people to be calling on the Republic of Chad with just 16 million people with less than 10 percent of the budget of our defence to help us fight insecurity.
This is very sad, disturbing and shameful but it is the sad reality of where we are and as elders, we cannot continue to shy away from it.
” Governor Zulum’s call for asistannce of Chadian soldiers is out of frustration as a chief executive of people going through so much agony without remedy despite daily assurances from our military high command.
“Our people are dying in hundreds on a daily basis yet Mr President has refused to act. We are aware that sacking the chiefs may not be the only solution to end insurgency and insecurity, but it will immediately restore confidence of the populace on our security architecture and allow free flow of intelligence that may end the war.”