The Defence Headquarters in collaboration with the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State has held an interactive session with some residents in the state capital, Maiduguri, with the aim of ending the insurgency by Boko Haram in the state.
The meeting which was held at the popular Ramat Square in Maiduguri, was attended by women as well as youths who subjected themselves to the rigorous search by security forces to make their own contribution on the best way to handle the menace of Boko Haram.
Various contributors at the session called on the military authorities to release the people that have been detained for no reason as well as reduce stringent security measures that have hinedered free flow of vehicles within the metropolis and thereby negatively affecting the state’s economy.
Our correspondent, Jonathan Gopep, reports that at the Government House in Maiduguri, traditional rulers, religious and opinion leaders held another session where they also demanded tolerance and cordial relationship between the military and the civil society, saying that the absence of this has hampered the willing disclosure of relevant information that would help address the situation.
They also called on the JTF to allow the residents within areas worse hit by the insurgency go back to their homes and the quick dispensation of justice for those arrested, while promising to partner with the JTF to ensure lasting peace in the state.
The Deputy Director Civil-Military Relations at the Defence Headquarters, Air Commodore Ademola Onitiju who represented the Chief of Defence Staff at the forum said the military chief is keen to see the resolution of the crisis. He gave the assurance that all the issues raised at the session would be forwarded to him for his consideration.
Air Commodore Onitiju appealed to the insurgents to reconsider their position and give peace a chance, while calling for more collaboration and partnership between the military and the populace to ensure the amicable resolution of the insurgency.
Borno State in the north eastern part of Nigeria is the base of the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, which has taken up insurgency against the Nigerian government. The state has witnessed a number of suicide bomb attacks in the last three years, resulting in the loss of many lives.