By ADEGBITE lAWAL
The United Arab Emirate Appeal Court exposition of the six Nigerians allegedly having sympathy and sponsoring the dreaded Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram, appears to have turned the table against the President Muhammadu Buhari led All Progressive Congress, APC, government plans to rehabilitate and reintegrate repentant insurgents into the society.
Ali Ndume,a Borno state born politician and Chairman, Senate Committee on the Army, who could not hide his feelings at a closed door defense budget session with the army , under the close watch of Tukur Buratai, a Lt. General, on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, had said that the government could not be talking of ‘’settling and pampering terrorists while the country is still at war’’.
An aggrieved Ndume who do not want to hear about government’s plan to resettle and reintegrate the repentant BokoHaram insurgents into the society stressed that the much that could be done by the government is to keep the repentant insurgents as ‘’prisoners of war’’ and in due time should be profiled and tried in accordance with the Laws of the country’’. He had cited the recent attack that was carried out at Damboa, Headquarters of Damboa Local government Area of Borno state, which was said to have been masterminded by one of the repentant BokoHaram terrorists.
His major worry was that the repentant BokoHaram members who were informant to the Bokoharam Insurgents regarding the movement of military personnel in the flashpoint areas in the state would cause more problem to the society. Hear him: it is unfair and not right to have the government lavish Its resources on those who threaten the peace of the nation.
Recall that the appologists of the BokoHaram Insurgents in the Senate were said to have sponsored a bill, which according to informed sources had the backing of the Presidency for the establishment of a national agency that would see ‘’to the rehabilitation , deradicalisation and reintegration of the repentant insurgents in the south east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe into the society.
Ndume, as usual had opposed the Bill, describing it as a ‘’misplacement of priority’’. He noted that the bill if passed into Law will only encourage the Group recruit more members on the ground that they are sure of being accepted for rehabilitation and reintegration into the society if they so wish to drop their gun.
He believes that what the Buhari led APC government is just telling the teeming unemployed in the society is ‘’to go and join the BokoHaram terrorist group and then repent and become something , describing it as ‘’totally unacceptable idea and a way of solving the problem in the north east.
In a related development, the Army has intensified the manhunt for a total of about 400 BokoHaram terrorists declared wanted who are still at large. A banner showing the photographs of the wanted terrorists was said to have been unveiled by the Babagana Zulum, the governor state governor, and Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff , last Wednesday, at the Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF, Super Camp Chabal, close to Maiduguri, the state Capital.
Buratai was said to have given his words that the public and the CJTF, members would be given copy of the photographs each, for easy identification of the terrorists. Note that the first batch of the terrorists on the wanted list of the BokoHaram insurgnts were said to have been published in 2016, barely a year in office of the Katsina state born Nigerian President first term in office but that was how far the Army could go.The Army Chief had told the people’’ some of the terrorists may leave behind your yard parading themselves somewhere in the market –place and, urging them to deal with them wherever they find them and so on.
Ever since the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, Boko Haram took up arms against the state in 1999, during the Administration of Former President Jonathan, there had been rumours making the rounds that the Insurgents were being funded by Nigerians who are sympathetic to their cause both within and outside the country. Former President Jonathan may have known that when he said that there BokoHaram sympathisers in his government.
The sources and methods used by the Nigerian terror group from the lens of state sponsorship suggests that the group is indirectly funded by some elements both within and outside the country. Muhamma Sanusi, a one-time Central Bank of Nigerian, CBN, governor and THE deposed Emir of Kano, may not have considered it necessary to block the loopholes in the nation’s banking sector through which thousands of dollar to fund the terrorists operations were wired to them. It is instructive to note that most of the Boko Haram Financiers were leaving in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate, UAE.
Perhaps, when information leaked out that some of the BokoHaram Financiers who are Nigerians from DIFFERENT northern part of the country were operating from the Arab country, the security Operatives were said to have been detailed by the King to move into action to arrest and prosecute them without further delay. The effort had paid off as six of them:Surajo Abubakar, Muhammad Saleh, Ibrahim Ali Hassan, AbduRahman Ado Musa, Bashir Ali Yusuf and Mohammad Ibrahim Isa were arrested and detained.
The Six suspected Nigerians that were said to be bankrolling the operations of the BokoHaram terrorists in the north eastern of Nigerian were said to have transferred $782,000, between 2015 and 2016, from Dubai , to the Group in Nigeria.
Given the period the amount was transferred to the Nigerian terrorsit group, it falls within the first year in office of the APC government which had replaced the PDP government in the 2015, general election. Note that Godwin Emefiele, the current, CBN governor was at the helms of the apex bank when the $782,000 was transferred to the BokoHaram terrorist group in Nigeria.
The UAE security operatives were said to have arrested the six Nigerians in their hideout at Abu Dhabi in 2017 and subsequently dragged to Court, where they were Convicted. The Boko Haram associates were said to have defended their action, insisting that there was nothing Criminal about the transactions. But on Monday, November 9, 2020, the six Nigerians who had been standing trial at a UAE Court were sentenced to life and different years of imprisonment by the UAE Federal Court of Appeals .
Muhammad and Adamu, described as the ring leaders in mobilizing the funds were said to have bagged life jail terms while Hassan, Musa, Yusuf and Isa, were each handed down a 10-year sentence each. It was a bad news to Abubakar Sheakau, and other leaders of the BokoHaram insurgents on the wanted list of the government that the game is up.
The action that had been taken by the UAE government to prosecute the six Nigerians funding the BokoHaram Insurgents hiding in their country, had confirmed the rumours that had been making the rounds over the years that the Insurgents were been funded by Nigerians.
Many believe that the Buhari led APC, government may not have helped maters with the payment of ransoms to the Insurgents, said to have tacitly helped the group to procure weapons and consolidate its hold on power in some parts of Borno state.
The group were said to have also engaged in illegal activities such as the trafficking in counterfeit goods, kidnapping for ransoms, extortion of citizens and other diverse transcontinental networks to raise funds for its operations. This may have informed why it is not ready to let go of the Lake Chad axis and the fishing town of Baga to the Nigerian soldiers and the Multi-natinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF, comprising of soldiers from Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic.
Studies have also shown that through acts of Commission and Ommission, countries like Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Pakistan , Sudan, Syria and Yemen , are considered to be the major sponsors of the BokoHaram terrorist activities in Nigeria. This is where Buhari, the Nigerian born President may have to take t up with the government of these Arab countries, which caught across Asia AND africa.
It is on record that during the 10 years of the Bokoharam terrorists group operations in Nigeria, alone, no fewere than 27, 000 people, were said to have been killed , hundreds kidnapped and thousands displaced in their homes in the north east.