The apex pan-northern socio-cultural organization, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has said the military onslaught against insurgents in the North-East is not designed to end terrorism. It said it was only to reclaim territories occupied by the dreaded Islamist sect, Boko Haram.
The forum said just like a former military Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), it had received complaints against military personnel in the troubled North-eastern part of the country.
Buhari had last week Wednesday while speaking on the Hausa Service of Voice of America (VoA) monitored in Kaduna, scored the Nigerian Army low in the fight against the Boko Haram, in the North-East, saying there had been a series of complaints that soldiers were involved in collecting bribes at check-points and raping women during operations.
He said, “Now, there are accusations that they collect bribes at checkpoints, that they rape women during operations as was the case in Borno. That was not known before. Now, if you kill one of their own, they round up and wipe out the community like what happened at Baga”.
The National Publicity Secretary, ACF, Anthony Sani, affirmed that the military campaign had helped to reduce the intensity and spread of terrorist attacks in the region to a reasonable degree.
He added that the military campaigns had restricted Boko Haram’s campaign of terror to the three states (Borno, Yobe and Adamawa), as attacks in areas outside the mentioned states were no more frequent.
He said, “I do not think the military campaigns were designed to put an end to activities of Boko Haram the way Nigerians expect because it is not that easy.
“The military campaigns were intended to reclaim the territories taken over by Boko Haram in the hope of making the Nigerian authorities to negotiate from a position of strength. And that is why the option of dialogue has not been closed”.
Sani further said, “ACF accepted the military option that came with the state of emergency, with the provision that rules of engagement would be adhered to strictly during the military campaigns. ACF has not changed its position on that”.