Former Defence Minister, Lt General Theophilus Danjuma (Rtd.), yesterday, lamented that insurgents appear to be having an upper hand in the country at the moment and tasked President Goodluck Jonathan to bring the insurgency to an end.
General Danjuma spoke in Abuja at the inauguration of the Presidential Committee on Victims Support Fund headed by General Danjuma. The fund is for victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.
In his speech, Danjuma, who told the President jokingly that members of the committee would be willing to go to Sambisa Forest if the President, as Commander-in-Chief leads, challenged government to bring the insurgency to an end.
“But seriously, this war must be brought to an end. We must win this war immediately; it is taking too long. I called it civil war when it began and people say it is insurgency. The insurgents appear to be having an upper hand at this very moment. They pick and choose where to strike; they are even holding positions and displacing us. We must win this war, Mr. President, we must do so immediately”, he said.
General Danjuma promised that his committee “will raise the funds, and we will disburse it. I promise you we will do so diligently and transparently but we must win this war, Mr. President. May God bless our country”.
President Jonathan, who spoke earlier said: “The menace of terrorism has emerged as one of the most complex and challenging problems confronting governments in different parts of the world. Terrorists aim to cause social dislocation, spread fear and panic among the populace and disrupt government activities. But they never win. They have not won in the Middle East, in the USA, in China, in Colombia, in Italy, in the United Kingdom, in Kenya, etc. They will not win in Nigeria, and, with the support of all Nigerians, we would ensure they do not win in Nigeria. Good must prevail over evil,” he said.
President Jonathan noted that the decision to set up the Victims Support Fund was to provide a framework through which all persons and institutions that wish to help mitigate the pains men and women are going through for no fault of theirs.
“We will ensure that those, who have suffered unjustly in the hands of terrorists can, in our little way, be consoled,” he said.
He therefore urged members of the committee “to go out there and knock on the doors of all hearts and institutions in a determined and focused way. I am confident you will raise the required resources to help rebuild some of our broken existence,” he said.
“The Victims Support Fund Committee will help to mobilise collective efforts and resources in support for the victims. I appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians and non-Nigerians, individuals and corporate bodies, to give generously to this Fund. The victims need our sympathy and empathy. We have to show that we care and can never give way or give in to agents of evil.
“I, therefore, call on all Nigerians — students, youths, boys, girls, men and women — to pause today and spare a thought for the victims; and support them. This is not a task for the rich alone. Every widow’s mite will count, and will be appreciated. I urge Nigerians to donate generously, even through your GSM phones”, he said.