Describing the region as a zone that has fallen, Modibo who is also from the region decried the hardship being faced by people in the region since the insurgency started, adding that there had been no clear vision or mission while trying to subdue the insurgency.
He said that the emergence of the Boko Haram was an offshoot of people who believe that “education instead of being a blessing has been a curse, in the sense that most of the Boko Haramists up till the moment were educated people” as it would be impossible for an illiterate to mix chemical together to make a bomb to destroy lives and property.
“I can tell you they are educated people and they have seen how the democratic governance has been able to turn the zone and Nigeria as a whole in a topsy-turvy, where the people have not been able to benefit directly from the government.
“There has been failure of governance in the sense that the democratic atmosphere has not been able to give the people the democratic dividends they need.”
“It is in view of this that this people assembled to fight the system. They have been driven by puritanical vindictiveness as the inspiration to wage a war against the people or the government has not been drawn from any scriptural perspective, whether it is Islam or Christianity.
He stated that they carry out their terror acts “feeling that the country should move towards more of puritanical nuances rather than the democratic atmosphere in which it lives”, a situation he referred to as “one of the saddest and most unfortunate things that have happened to the country.”
He stated that there could be no justification for the killings by the sect based on religious or moral views or the alleged failure of the government, as the sect could have stood to form a political party or a group to pressurize the government.
He added that the Boko haram has not been fair to the people in the Northeast because they were the ones suffering the attacks as well as the lack of liberty, economic challenges and the neglect by the government and its failure in taking care of the masses.
The Northeast indigene noted that the Boko haram started as a religious movement but was hijacked by religious extremists who believed that making Government responsible could only be done through violence.
He insisted that this was about the political system and not a religious war as the insurgents have been going to both mosques and churches to kill people, adding that with their spate of attacks, they may have killed more Muslims than people from any other religion.
We Don’t Need State of Emergency
“With the State of Emergency, our economy has been in comatose, the people have been devastated, they’ve been hopeless and helpless, the region has been completely destroyed.
“Some villages and towns have been razed to the ground and in terms of people, because of all these checkpoints the social and economic activities have been crippled.
“I can tell you, in the Northeast we are suffering, we don’t even have a sense of belonging because honestly and sincerely Government has not been able to do a lot.
“How we wish it would take up its responsibility and come to our aid and also look at the issues dispassionately. This is not time for politicking but one for serious reflection on the problems in which the region has found itself”, he said.
“We are suffering; whenever I go home within Yola where I live it is very difficult if not impossible for free flow of movement. You can’t associate beyond 9pm.
“We don’t even need State of Emergency to fight Boko Haram”, if the military was serious”, he said.
We Have The Military Might
Mr Modibo also said that the Nigerian military and the Government would need to stand up to the Boko Haram sect with some seriousness.
He noted that the civilian JTF had tried its best to help the military but they could only do little with information gathering because they have not been trained nor equipped to face a Boko Haram that has sophisticated weapons.
He wondered why Boko Haram has been on since 2009 and they have not been subdued.
“Are we now saying that the Boko Haram which is a ragtag hungry looking religious extremist would be able to override this country with all the military might that we have as the largest and also the most sophisticated country in sub-Saharan Africa?”
“We must stand up to this people but in the event of us not being able to conquer them in terms of warfare, what is the next option? I strongly believe an olive branch can be sent to them just like what happened in Niger-Delta.
He, however, further expressed confidence in the Nigerian Army to conquer the sect, provided the government was willing to empower its Army. “I am sure we have a Nigerian Army that has the force; the might and psychological balance to go and meet these people and conquer them or at best make them to surrender.
“Let the President challenge the heads of the security units, give them the next 4 or 5 months, if there’s a will and a determination to fight these people we can finish it in 2 to 3 months because we have the capacity.”