Delegates to the National Conference have urged the Federal Government as a matter of urgent national importance to immediately take a drastic measure against the increasing terror attack on Nigeria particularly the North East by closing the borders to Cameroon, Niger and Chad.
The delegates also unanimously declared that Nigeria is under international terrorists’ invasion, and therefore called on Nigerians to forge a united front against the invaders and their known local collaborator and financiers.
The delegates, who had resumed plenary in late afternoon after being forced to adjourn penultimate day by the bombing in Nyanya, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, which led to death of 74 persons leaving 124 injured, were reacting to information presented by the National Conference Vice Chairman, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, on the adoption of about 200 school girls Monday in Chibos, Borno state, by suspected gunmen.
Leading the charge, former Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Ismail, who said women delegates to the conference were dressed in black robes in mourning of the Nyanya deaths, were further shocked by another grievous atrocity had been committed against innocent children.
“Nigeria is being invaded. We are dressed in black in sympathy for the murder innocent citizens but now are further traumatized by this latest atrocity against innocent school girls. We must unite to fight against this scourge,” she said.
Segun Osoba, who represents Former Governors Forum, had set the agenda by declaring that it was high Nigeria stopped glossing over the menace but see it as an international invasion. “The economy of the North East is being destroyed, the education of North East is being destroyed. We must take drastic action now by closing our borders between Nigeria and Cameroon, close the borders between Nigeria and Niger and Chad.”
Subsequently, delegates after delegates asserted that something was not wrong with the security in Nigeria but that drastic measures must be adopted by all irrespective of political leaning and religious affiliations to confront the scourge.
Professor Ish’aq Oloyede, who represents the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, said there must be a fiveth columnist that is trying to destroy Nigeria adding that Nigerians must therefore see beyond the surface by ensuring proper investigation was done to identify those the menace.
Fatima Ibrahim, a North West delegate, observed that the Nigeria borders are porous and therefore open to corruption and then went on to support the suggestion that the borders be closed. “Where is the money voted for security, where are the aircrafts for surveillance which was provided for in the budget? It seems the more we see the less we know,” she concluded.
ASP Abubakar, who is representing the retired police officers said insecurity was growing from strength to strength since 2009 and regretted that nothing tangible seemed to have been done. “We need drastic action, Borno has a large border, yes we need to close the borders,” he said but wondered why with the motley of Armed Forces, Police, NSCDC and the traditional rulers in every community, people are still unable to identify those behind the insurgents.
Retired Maj. Gen. Tanko Ayuba, also joined the chorus in declaring that Nigeria’s borders are the most porous and therefore supports the closure of the borders to allow for control and monitoring of whatever goes on around the border areas.
However, he said the sustained acts of terrorism against Nigeria was clear manifestation of the failure of the federal government, the armed forces and intelligence gathering noting without sound intelligence gathering there is nothing that could be done to control insurgency.
Comrade Isah Aremu recounted the plight of victims of the Nyanya bombing noting that the level of decimation of lives of several ordinary Nigerians should not be taken with kid gloves. “We need to send strong signal from the conference that enough is enough. We need assurances from the president that this can’t continue. The adoption of more than 100 girls means a whole nation is being breached.