Boko Haram Reps tell FG to Relocate Army Headquarters to Borno

The House of Representatives on Tuesday asked President Goodluck Jonathan to relocate the headquarters of the Nigerian Army to Maiduguri,   Borno State.


The resolution was the House way of reacting to the spate of attacks and killings by Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East.

The House said moving the army headquarters to Maiduguri  for the time being would give the Chief of Army Staff the opportunity to gather first hand information on the attacks and come up with measures on how to contain the situation.

The resolution followed a motion moved by a member from Borno State, Mr. Peter Guntha, who complained bitterly that Nigerians were being killed daily in the state.

He said defenceless villagers were most exposed and were at the mercy of insurgents.

The lawmaker called for a  collaboration between the governments of Nigeria,  Chad, Niger Republic and Cameroon to tackle the  insurgents operating along their common borders.

Guntha, who noted  that over 150 houses were razed by the  insurgents in recent times in the Gavva-West/East Local Government Area, lamented    that even soldiers were being killed.

Guntha  said,  “In Ngoshe town, 46 people were killed, while 30 houses were razed;  seven  people were killed in Hambaged and about 140 cattle  were taken away.

“In Chinene village, seven people were killed and  in  Krawa town, 20 people were slaughtered and 20 shops razed .

“Emir of Gwoza’s house at Jaje village was razed with property and foodstuffs worth millions of naira destroyed.

“Several houses in Juba village and places of worship were razed with property worth millions of naira also  destroyed

“In Ndufa village, six deaths were recorded and 120 cattle taken away, while in Pulka town,  one person was killed and eight abducted. In Ngoshe Sama village, 18 people were killed, 80 houses razed  and 150 cattle taken away.

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“A total of about 120 places of worship were destroyed by the gunmen from December  2013 to February  2014, including churches and mosques.”

He told the House that since all efforts to contain the situation were facing challenges, the next option was to move the army headquarters to Maiduguri.

Another lawmaker from the state, Mr.  Mohammed Monguno, observed that the insurgents looked more sophisticated than men of the joint task force patrolling the state.

Mr. Tisi Ganama from Adamawa State advised the Federal Government to be more proactive in  tackling insurgency in the North-East or else the situation would  get  out of control.

At the end of their contributions, members passed the motion  for the relocation of the Army headquarters  to Maiduguri  in a majority voice vote.

In Maiduguri, the  Borno  State Governor  Kashim Shettima,  donated N100m to the victims of Saturday’s  Boko Haram attack on Izghe in the Gwoza Local Government Area.

Shettima,who did not visit the community as earlier scheduled,   announced the donation while addressing some of the displaced persons in Sabon Gari, Madagali in Adamawa State.

The News Agency of Nigeria also quoted him as having   condoled with the victims and urging  them to take the incident as an act of God.

The governor said, “Our visit here is to sympathise with you over the unfortunate incident. I want to assure you that we share your grief. We have approved the release of N100m to the victims to take care of their immediate needs.

“This is in addition to the previous N100m approved for the victims of the recent attack in other parts of the local government area.’’

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Meanwhile, the Presidency has said it will not declare a total war against Boko Haram because of the presence of civilians in in areas being used   as hideouts by the insurgents.

It  also  faulted  Borno State governor’s  claim that the insurgents were better armed and motivated than the Nigerian soldiers.

The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, stated this at a  news  conference  in Abuja.

Okupe added that the recent attacks by the  insurgents in Borno State and some comments about them  in the media  were misleading.

He  said  that with ample evidence on the ground, the Nigerian Armed Forces  were on top of the situation.

The presidential aide  claimed  that the recent attacks in Borno  and Adamawa states were  as a result of the dislodgment of  the insurgents  by security agents from their hideouts.

Okupe said it was therefore wrong for anyone, Nigerian or foreigner, to assert that  the armed forces could not defeat  Boko   or to insinuate that the insurgents were better armed.

He said that the statement  by the Borno State governor  that the insurgents were better armed than Nigerian soldiers  was based purely on a civilian perception of the situation at hand.

The Presidential aide said it was clear that  Shettima did  not have the expertise to categorise or classify the effectiveness of any weapon.

Okupe said, “We state categorically that the Nigerian military is one of the best equipped in Africa and that in 2014, the Federal Government made budgetary provision in excess of N1tn  for the military and other security agencies, an amount, which is about 22 per cent of our entire national budget for this year.”

News Reporter

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