by James Sambo
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the recent Boko Haram attack on Baga town, in Borno, where thousands were reportedly killed.
In a statement in Enugu on Saturday, January 10, Buhari said it was high time the Federal government reviewed its counter-terrorism strategies, while calling for the introduction of more proactive and effective security strategies to tackle the menace of terrorism in the country.
Buhari expressed his embarrassment at the fact that Nigerians in the North-east have become helpless victims to frequent terrorist attacks.
He stated that the security, welfare and the happiness of the citizens is the basic function of any government, adding that a situation where the citizens are helplessly living with the spectre of terrorist attacks contradicts these basic functions.
Buhari said: “On our way back from campaigning in two states in South Eastern Nigeria, we were informed of the unspeakable massacre that took place in Baga earlier Thursday. I have since called Governor Shettima to express my sympathies over the dastardly incident. He has promised to appraise me of the evolving situation.”
“Our hearts go out to the families who have lost their loved ones in this horrific, cowardly manner. Just a few days ago, whilst campaigning in Bayelsa State, I made my views on the insecurity that has plagued our country clear. I repeat, Allahu Akbar, means ‘God is Great’. So people who go around slaughtering their fellow menfolk and womenfolk clearly don’t know what they are saying or don’t believe it.”
“No true religion subscribes to the wanton killing of the innocent. Islam is not a violent religion and it is devastating that people whose hearts are full of hate continue to claim to be Muslims”.
Furthermore, the erstwhile head of state said the country has become unsafe for the citizens, adding that Nigerians deserve much better than what they are getting.
He noted that the strategy of waiting to be attacked by the terrorists before attempting to repel them is not working, advising that Nigerian troops go on the offensive, rather than waiting to be attacked before reacting.
He said: “I make bold to say this: Nigeria has become a place where people no longer feel safe, where the armed forces have neither the weapons nor the government support required to do an effective job of protecting Nigerian citizens and their property. As a trained military man and administrator, come May 2015, the safety of each and every Nigerian life will be a priority.”
“This scourge, this season of death must be brought to a complete stop. I sincerely believe that Nigerians deserve better than this. Again, we pray for the souls of the dearly departed, and sympathize with those whose lives will now never be the same.”
“What is wrong in taking the war to the terrorist’s camp before they even organize and attack?” Buhari asked.