Senator Ali Ndume, Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, on Thursday lamented that the insecurity crisis has become worse in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, than in Maiduguri, Borno State, the war zone of the Boko Haram terrorists in northeast Nigeria. The controversial senator stated that he is more at ease when visiting Maiduguri than Abuja.
Ndume had said that the terrorists have been sent out of Maiduguri city and reduced to attacking soft targets in the suburb of the state. The senator noted that the military had secured Maiduguri to the point that people can stay at home, and no one knocks at their doors anymore, noting that in Abuja somebody can knock down the door with a gun.
According to Ndume: “I live in Abuja and also live in Maiduguri.
“Once I come to Maiduguri, I feel safer than in Abuja because somebody can knock down your door with a gun. In Maiduguri, we do not hear of that.
“It is outside Maiduguri where the insurgents are marauding around and attacking intermittently. And that is normal with insurgents. That is why they are called insurgents; they do hit and run on soft targets.”
He maintained that “in every society, you can’t wipe out criminality completely. In America, there is a school shooting. Our own is that we have known terrorists and the army is fighting them.”
Senator Ndume noted that the situation seems to be improving with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the welfare of the fighting troops. “With the new budget, things will soon change,” the senator said.
Senator Ndume commended President Buhari on his visit to Maiduguri on Thursday, saying that the visit will boost the morale of the Nigerian troops.
“The President went round for six hours – I was tired. He came at 10 o’clock and we were going to see various projects until four o’clock this evening before he left,” Ndume said.
The senator, advocating for the release of more funds on time to the military, noted that “the army now has the numbers.”
Senator Ndume, acknowledging the killing of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, by the ISWAP, noted that the terrorism war now has a new face with ISWAP on board in the northeast Nigeria.
Ndume had declared: “ISWAP is more deadly, more sophisticated, have international connection, access to military armament and the likes, but the other side of them is that they don’t kill civilians indiscriminately like the Boko Haram and, in fact, that was what ignited the fight between the ISWAP and the Shekau group.”
He added: “Now, the Shekau group has been virtually eliminated, it means that our Nigerian troops are going to face what they know specifically.
“What was frustrating them most was the indiscriminate killing of civilians and other soft targets, destruction of public property by Boko Haram.
“But now that the ISWAP is saying we are just going after the military or the armed forces or the security agencies. Our security agencies are up to the task; Our security agencies are up to the task and ready for them. They have engaged themselves and (ISWAP) have suffered serious casualties.”