by Lekan Olanrewaju
Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, on Saturday in Abidjan, said the days of the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria would be “over soon” and it would only be a matter of time before they are brought to justice.
Petinrin made the statement during an interview to newsmen at a meeting of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff held in Cote d’Ivoire.
“Boko Haram is a religious sect that initially started by condemning western knowledge in Nigeria and blossomed into a terrorist group that had unleashed mayhem on unsuspecting victims;” he said. “Boko Haram has killed over 1,200 people in Nigeria, including Christians, Muslims and most internationally remembered was the bombing of UN House in Abuja that killed about 23 people.”
“The truth of the matter is that we have decimated the leadership of Boko Haram and most of them are now in detentions. They have been caught. And just recently, about 23 days ago, we again caught the leader of the military wing, which led to our knowing where the kidnapped victims were and unfortunately the victims died in an attempt to rescue them.”
He also went on to say that the sect had no clear sense of direction, and described them as a “flash in the pan”. “These are people with no clear cut ideology and when you ask them what they want, you will hear very stupid and silly things. So, to me this is a flash in the pan which will be over soon,” he said.
He also spoke on the rising anxiety and concerns from the public over the seemingly lukewarm attitude of security agencies to the issue saying: “The issue of terrorism is not something you can cure in a day, it is not something you do with immediate effect, what I am trying to say is that the issue of terrorism is not something you will say it can end tomorrow.