After a hectic six months of battling Islamic insurgents under a state
of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, President Goodluck
Jonathan came back to the National Assembly early in November 2013, to
ask for a six-month extension to enable the armed forces complete the
The Senate gave its express approval, even though a few of its members
from the troubled zone grumbled. The House of Representatives was not
so expeditious. It summoned the Service Chiefs on November 20, 2013 to
explain in greater details before also granting the President's
The Service Chiefs made it clear that more military resources were
needed to establish the level of stability in the areas before the
emergency rule could be called off, warning that this might go on for
a much longer period than expected.
We are aware of the displeasure that citizens from those areas have
expressed over the extension, particularly given the challenges it
imposes on their economic and social activities. The emotions are also
understandable, given that the political season is coming into full
swing, and people desire the liberty to go into the arena.
We, however, wish to point out that unless the areas are completely
secured, there will be no room for political, social and economic
activities. Terrorists will continue to penetrate the populace, wreak
their havoc and flee. The recent murder of a bridal train in Borno and
attack on Damaturu by Boko Haram suspects should sound a note of
warning that there can never be half measures when it comes to the war
It is evident that the armed forces have made great progress, driving
the terrorists away from the big cities into the forests with the
support of the general populace. In fact, the valiant vigilance groups
known as the Civilian JTF have helped into no small measure in driving
the anarchists to the fringes, from where they now make desperate and
uncoordinated attempts proving they still exist.
The only way a return to sustainable normalcy can take place is for
the armed forces and the local population to redouble their efforts
and get the job finished in quicker time.
Meanwhile, we call on government at all levels to consider some relief
packages for those hardest hit by the conflict, especially the
displaced persons and those needing food, medicine and clothes. The
war on terror is a war. Wars breed human suffering, and efforts are
made to reduce it through relief efforts.
The armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are mandated by
the Constitution to secure the nation from internal and external
threats. The President has sworn an oath to implement this
constitutional provision. It is mandatory for the people to cooperate
and ensure that this sacred national mission is accomplished.