A non-partisan advocacy group, Concerned Northerners for Peace and Development (CNPD) has called on northerners to irrespective of religious, ethnic and political affiliations support the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to restore normalcy in the entire region.
The group said its investigations revealed that residents of North East celebrated 2021 Christmas with fanfare as a result of intensive military operations and the region has been enjoying relative peace since then.
It added that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is poised to ensure that total peace is restored not only in the North East, but the entire Northern region.
CNPD stated this in a press statement signed by its Convener Abdulazeez Lamido and Secretary Agnes Bitrus on Monday.
“We remember that for the first in several years, our people in the North East celebrated Christmas with fanfare in 2021. As we approach the 2022 Christmas, support and cooperation with the Armed Forces of Nigeria is required to sustain what is being done.
“The CNPD commends good news coming from the region. Just recently, troops of 151 Task Force Battalion, Operations Hadin Kai in Banki arrested eight members of the youth vigilante group, known as Civilian JTF accused of aiding activities of Boko Haram. They were said to be supplying logistics and welfare items to the terrorist group.
“Before their arrest, the suspects actively operated as ‘terrorists intelligence’ and were involved in supplying different items including drugs, fuel, mosquito nets, noodles, among other items to terrorists.
“Also some terrorists of the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP), were vanquished after the Nigerian Military dropped 7 bombs at their position in the axis of Damboa Local Government of Borno State.
“Similarly, troops of Operation Forest Sanity neutralized about four bandits during a clearance operations in identified hideouts around Tsohon Gayan, Chikun LGA of Kaduna state.
The group urged the terrorists to lay down arms for peace to reign in the region, saying the Armed Forces of Nigeria under the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. LEO Irabor has shown capacity and determination to tackle the security challenges.
“We urge the insurgents to follow the example of the 49 fighters of the Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād, terrorist group including two Commanders, Ba’a Usman (Munzir) and Alhaji Ari,(Nakib) who surrendered to the Troops of Operation Hadin Kai in Damboa on November 20, 2022.
“No fewer than 90,000 insurgents comprising combatants and non-combatants and their families have so far surrendered to the Nigerian Troops as a result of the kinetic and non-kinetic approaches.”