In an apparent move to halt the general insecurity in the country, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno, recently identified three groups sponsoring terrorist organisations in Nigeria and the Sahel region. According to the NSA, the groups are Jama’at Nasr al-Islam WalMuslimin, the Islamic and Muslim Support Group as well as the Islamic State in Greater Sahara.

The NSA added that the spread of terrorism and the rapid escalation of violent activities by militant Islamist groups in the Sahel since 2016 have been primarily driven by the Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS), which mainly operates in Mali and extends to Niger Republic and Burkina Faso. ISGS, he stressed, is bolstered by activities of other groups such as Jama’at Nasr al-Islam WalMuslimin, the Islamic and Muslim Support Group (GSIM) and ISGS, which have continued to pose a threat to the stability of the region. In Nigeria, Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) dominate terrorist activities, especially in the North Eastern part of the country.

Monguno decried the piteous situation in the Sahel which he said, manifests in the spread of extremist violence, growing number of internally displaced persons and food insecurity.

Monguno’s disclosure came on the heels of the recent designation of six Nigerians among sponsors of terrorism by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Nigerians included Abdurrahaman Ado Musa, Salihu Yusuf Adamu, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Muhammed Ibrahim Isa, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad. The development followed the UAE cabinet resolution, designating 38 individuals and 15 entities as those supporting and financing terrorism in the country. Before then, UAE had jailed six Nigerians for funding Boko Haram.

It is good that Nigeria has eventually named those behind terrorism in the country. Identifying the sponsors should serve as a good starting point in fighting the scourge. With the financiers properly identified, winning the war can be within reach if adequately prosecuted.

The terror war has festered for long because of support from its major sponsors. It has also led to the death of many Nigerians. For instance, over 500,000 people are estimated to have been killed by the insurgents since they began their operations in 2009. Borno State has had over 100,000 of its citizens killed by the insurgents. Other states in the North East and some parts of the northern region have also experienced the horrors of the war.

The insurgents have also hoisted their flags in some parts of the country and have displaced over three million Nigerians from their homes. They have contributed to food crises and famine particularly in the North East region, where farmers can no longer go to their farms. The North East currently accounts for nearly 60 per cent of the 13 million out-of-school children in the country due to the activities of insurgents in the area. Niger State is seriously affected by the activities of the sect. Recent reports also indicated that the terrorists were not too far from Abuja.  Without doubt, Boko Haram is responsible for the prevailing insecurity in the country. Due to its onslaughts, Nigeria has been repeatedly ranked alongside Afghanistan and Iraq as the most terrorised countries in the world. The group has caused so much harm to Nigeria and has discouraged investors from coming into the country.

Therefore, it is commendable that the government has finally unmasked the sponsors of terrorism in the country. However, beyond naming them, the government should go ahead and apprehend and prosecute them diligently. Besides, government should do more to stem the activities of the insurgents. Since terrorism is a serious crime against the country, we urge the government to deploy all lawful means to move against those behind it.

Proactive measures and more effective strategies to contain the menace must be put in place. Let there be intelligence sharing among security agencies and our foreign partners on how to dislodge the terrorists. Let heads of the security agencies work in concert and deal ruthlessly with the terrorists and other criminals undermining the nation’s security. 

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Source: news