Government intervention in Mali ’ll reduce security challenges in Nigeria, says Governor Suswam
THE involvement of the Federal Government in the intervention mission in Mali will checkmate Boko Haram activities in Nigeria, Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam said yesterday.
Relying on security reports, the governor alleged most members of the sect were trained in Northern Mali. he noted the intervention will assist in the destruction of Boko Haram’s major camps.
Suswam, who spoke in a chat with reporters in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to tighten security at the nation’s borders to prevent sect members and Malian terrorists from sneaking into the country.
He said: “What President Goodluck Jonathan has done is highly commendable. Based on information from security agencies, most members of the Boko Haram sect were trained in Northern Mali and they were creating a lot of problems for our country.
“When the President decided that Nigeria will be one of the countries that will intervene in Mali. I think it is a welcome development.
“The National Assembly too did not hesitate. We are hopeful that in the next few months, the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria will reduce.
“This is because the base where they were being trained is being destabilised. So, they will no longer have people who will train Boko Haram operatives.
“But beyond sending troops to Mali, Nigeria must take steps to ensure the borders are well protected. If our borders remain as porous as they are, then we are going to have problems as some of them will sneak into Nigeria and begin to train people here.”
Suswam recalled how hard the sect attempted to gain access to Benue State but for the vigilance of security agencies.
He added: “The Boko Haram kingpin that was traced to Benue was because of the watchful eyes of security operatives in the state.
“The security personnel were unable to arrest the Boko Haram members, but as it is, we have heaved a sigh of relief, because, according to security reports, they had actually started recruiting people.
“Unfortunately, when I raised the alarm that they were threatening to attack me, the Nigerian media just moved on me. The media accused me that I was being an alarmist.
“Since they traced this major operative to Benue, nobody has written to apologise to me that I was speaking from the position of information available to me.
“If those terrorists could have the audacity to attack the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Adio Bayero, then the media could have tried to find out why I had publicly alerted the nation.
“Nobody asked me and they went on to write editorials and all kinds of comments against me. And, since they tracked the man there, no newspaper has made a major story because they had already branded me an alarmist and all sorts of names. So, Nigerians should be more careful when issues of security are concerned.”