The Arewa Youth Forum, an umbrella organisation for youths in Northern Nigeria, has called on the Presidency to expand the mandate of the military operations in the North East to include unmasking of sponsors of Boko Haram for prosecution.
Speaking at a briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, National President of the group, Adamu Adamu said the military and the relevant security agencies should be given “the marching order” to expand the scope of operations in the North-East to include the identification, investigation, arrest and prosecution of sponsors and beneficiaries of Boko Haram’s violent acts.
He disclosed that group’s interaction with highly placed stakeholders in the region has revealed that there are forces behind the resurgence of Boko Haram’s violence in the zone, adding that these sponsors are believed to be benefiting from the violence and were bent on protecting their economic interest.
“It however leaves us wondering if the embezzlement of money meant for IDPs camps or money for brokering negotiations with terrorists is worth killing other people for. This is utterly condemnable and Nigerians should unite in condemning it.
“Equally condemnable are those that are exploiting terrorism to further their political interests. People must be made to realize that it is better to make themselves politically acceptable to the electorate as opposed to sponsoring killers to destabilize an entire regions and wantonly waste human lives.”
He said According to Adamu, the Federal Government must at this point take off the gloves and openly take on “these sponsors of terrorism since they have shown that they are not likely to voluntarily have a change of heart and allow the country live in peace.”
He expressed joy that youths and non-governmental players have taken the initiative to win the peace in the region as evident in the recent North East Mega Rally for Peace.
He called on those erecting obstacles to peace in the region for personal gains to desist from such unpatriotic act in the interest of their people and the country, stressing that they rather recommit themselves to the war against Boko Haram and terrorism.
He said the insurgency would end once Boko Haram no longer gets financial and political lifelines from sympathizers and backers.