From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The National Association of Seadogs, also known as Pyrates Confraternity, has declared that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government should stop pampering terrorists if it wants to win the war on terrorism.
NAS Capoon, Abiola Owoaje, in a statement on behalf of the association titled: “Federal Government must rethink its war on terrorism” rejected arguments by the Presidency that bandits are being dealt with by security forces.
He said the subsisting order to shoot bandits on sight as claimed by the Presidency is not working given that bandits continue to intensify attacks in Kaduna, Zanfara and Kastina states.
He faulted the deradicalisation policy of the Federal Government and called for the immediate trial of all terror suspects to demonstrate government sincerity to tackling terrorists.
“We demand that the federal government and our security agencies get serious with intelligence gathering to weed out internal collaborators, identify sponsors of terror, cut off their sources of funding, supplies and punish severely those found guilty. Nigerians are tired of the excuses; President Buhari should act now before terrorists overrun his government and our country.”
Owoaje said terrorism and all kinds of atrocious crimes have blossom under Buhari’s watch because the government he heads has been trivializing terrorism, pampering criminal elements, thereby allowing the culture of impunity to reign.
“It is incongruous that a country ranked third in the Global Index of Terrorism is seemingly unable to interdict the sponsors of terror and negotiating with these criminal elements, and even unconstitutionally granting pardons to self-confessed murderers and ‘reintegrating’ them back into the society through a non-transparent deradicalization policy.
“President Buhari as the Commander-in-Chief leading the security agencies must do more to convince Nigerians on the sincerity of his government’s fight against terrorism. We reiterate that the government should rethink its strategies to combat terror by ceasing all manner of negotiations with criminal elements in the northeast and northwest. The recent disclosures by governors Matawalle and Aminu Masari on the failed negotiation with bandits show that from the onset, negotiating with bandits was a self-defeatist strategy.
“To this end, the hundreds of terror suspects in various detention centres should be screened and those found culpable of mass murder and other crimes should be put on trial immediately. Also the 400 Bureau De Change (BDC) operators, that the office of the Attorney-General, Mr Abubakar Malami announced in May 2021 of being implicated as sponsors and financiers of terrorism should be immediately put on trial. A similar trial and conviction of six Nigerian bureau de change operators for sponsoring terrorism in United Arab Emirate in November 2020 is a pointer to the Nigerian government on how not to pamper terror suspects.”