Group recommends Service Chiefs, Nigerian troops for national honours over efforts on the war against insurgency
In recognition of their unwavering sacrifices in flushing away Boko Haram terrorists, the Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC) has recommended special national honours for the Nigerian military, especially the Service Chiefs.
The group made this recommendation as part of its message to mark Nigeria’s 59th Independence on Tuesday in Abuja.
In a statement signed by Executive Secretary, Comrade Ibrahim Abubakar, the group hailed the Service Chiefs for turning the tide since taking over the helms of affairs in 2015.
The SHAC reckoned that the serenity and relative peace being enjoyed on another Independence Day may have been different if not for the bravery, sacrifices and efforts of the Nigerian troops and its leadership.
According to the Centre, no territory is under the control of Boko Haram terrorists, made possible by the dedication and commitment of the Armed Forces.
Therefore, Save Humanity Advocacy Centre believes mere compliments are not enough – hence a national honour should be reserved for the military top shots as well as the gallant troops in the frontline.
Read full remark below.
Nigeria had witnessed unprecedented security challenges since 2009 when the Boko Haram group took up arms against the Nigerian state with a violent campaign that initially targeted security agencies and security installations in North-East Nigeria.
The Nigerian Authorities treated the menace with kid gloves until it turned into a monster that has haunted us in the past ten years with so much aggression. Lives have been lost, properties destroyed, legacies destroyed, and in some instances, generations of families erased.
Yes, as stark as the details are, it is the harsh reality that befell us as a people and as a country that we must live with for generations to come — the years of the locust that almost brought Nigeria to its knees.
The Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria is one episode that would make a best-seller anytime because of the quantum of destructions and setbacks that it has brought. It somewhat reminds us of the civil war era that some of us have refused to let go because of the emotional and psychological impact it had on our collective psyche as a people.
If the truth must be told, the Boko Haram insurgency has had psychological, economic as well as physical impact on the people of North-East Nigeria. The activity of Boko Haram insurgency also had various implications on women and girls.
For instance, the year 2013 marked the time Boko Haram began to use women and children as pawns in their nefarious activities by abducting them. The terrorist group on May 15, 2014, stormed Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state and kidnapped without resistance over 200 college girls. In a related account, the terror group on May 2013 carried out a mass assault on a police barrack in Bama, Borno state in which they captured 12 Christian women and children. Most of these women and girls abducted by Boko Haram experienced sexual violence, including rape, torture, and also murder.
Also, children’s exposure to armed hostilities affected their mental health. Wives whose husbands voluntarily or forcefully joined the ranks of Boko Haram were not only left disheartened but also abandoned to fend for themselves with their children and were also vulnerable to isolation and “traitor” label by community members.
Boko-Haram terrorist activities indeed crippled the economy of North-East Nigeria to a large extent. Its horrendous activities made the area so vulnerable to criminals and political thugs to dehumanize the political environment, thus making the area almost ungovernable.
We must admit that like many terrorist groups, Boko Haram evolved from operating based around opportunity and availability to that of a drive based around politics and circumstance.
Boko Haram activities in the North East has led to the mass displacement of persons especially in Borno State as the state accounts for the highest number of internally displaced persons since Boko Haram took up a more violent approach to their agitation.
Successive governments made efforts towards arresting the situation with little success recorded and the Nigerian Military has been up and doing in ensuring that the territorial integrity of Nigeria is preserved with various strategies towards curbing the activities of Boko Haram.
We all know that the Nigerian Military has made enormous sacrifices towards containing the activities of Boko Haram terrorists since 2009. They have toiled day and night for peace to reign supreme in Nigeria. They have also been victims of the nefarious activities of Boko Haram terrorists.
We must admit that their sacrifices have been worth the while in the sense that they have lived up to expectations and deserves our commendation because they have stayed true to the ideals of the unity of Nigeria.
That our democracy and independence has been preserved is a function of the efforts of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and as such we must admit that they deserve every form of commendation there is in the country. They have displayed an unalloyed commitment to the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria, and they have stayed true to these values despite the difficulties they have experienced in the course of the discharge of their duties.
We must admit that but for the sacrifices and the efforts of our soldiers committed to the fight against terrorism in Nigeria, we would have been talking about a different situation. Special praises must go to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for providing that sterling leadership that the Armed Forces indeed requires.
The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre on this auspicious occasion of the 59th Independence Anniversary of the country states that the Nigeria of our dreams is still possible with the commitment exhibited by the political authorities in the country.
The Service Chiefs so appointed since 2015 have also risen to the occasion in ways too numerous to mention. They have led by example, and they have also displayed that true Nigerian spirit that has translated into the various successes recorded in the fight against terrorism in the country.
This much we admit and this much we appreciate, and as such it behoves on the relevant authorities in the country to carry on initiatives that would see to the psychological upliftment of the morale of our soldiers that have been fighting day and night towards preserving the territorial integrity of the country.
This is cognizant of the fact that today as we all celebrate the 59th-anniversary celebrations of Nigeria; it is on record that no Nigerian territory is under the control of Boko Haram terrorists. Let us make no mistakes about this fact which has been made possible by the dedication and commitment of our Armed Forces.
The question on the lips of everyone is how can we repay these individuals that have dedicated and rededicated themselves to service to fatherland? How can we show our appreciation?
We must all agree that words are indeed not sufficient to express our gratitude because in the past ten years, the foundation of Nigeria was threatened and our Armed Forces have been up and doing especially since 2015, the year that saw to the beginning of a new phase in the war against insurgency in Nigeria.
It is, therefore, the considered opinion of the Save Humanity Advocacy Centre that as a token of our appreciation to the ever-loyal and dedicated troops battling terrorism in North-East Nigeria, all the soldiers that have been involved in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria be given a step promotion.
We believe that such gestures, though not commensurate with their day and night sacrifices, it would be nonetheless worth the while.
We must not also forget the Service Chiefs, who have continuously provided that leadership that translated to the various successes recorded in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria. That no Nigerian territory is under the control of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist is indeed a testament of the commitment of the Service Chiefs to protecting our nascent democracy and ultimately the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
They have indeed done well. So they deserve our commendation on this auspicious occasion of our independence day celebrations. The Save Humanity Advicacy Centre also advocates that the various Service Chiefs are awarded National Honours in appreciation of their invaluable contributions to the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria and the enormous work done so far in northeast Nigeria.
Again, words might not be sufficient to appreciate the Service Chiefs because Nigerians and as well as the international community are appreciative of their efforts thus far and that we are once again celebrating our independence anniversary is a testament.
We can’t but thank the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for providing that political will needed to confront the Boko Haram terrorists. Nigerians are indeed grateful to the Commander-in-Chief for leading the war against terrorism in Nigeria and ensuring that no Nigerian terrorist is under the control of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist in line with the promise he made upon assumption of office in 2015.
It has been indeed an eventful journey in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria. And that our Armed Forces are in full control of North-East Nigeria is and would remain a welcome development that all well-meaning Nigerians should be proud of.
Thank you all, and God bless Nigeria!