The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar pointedly asked Nigeria’s military on Monday why they have not occupied the Sambisa Forest and Lake Chad islands, which the Boko Haram terrorists have been using to stage attacks against Nigeria.
The Sultan, a former Brigadier-general of the army raised the poser when he led a team of traditional rulers on a sympathy visit to Borno Governor Umara Zulum in Maiduguri.
Borno recently experienced another carnage in Zabarmari, in which 78 rice farmers were killed by Boko Haram terrorists.
The Sultan made it clear that they did not just come on a sympathy visit. They came to make a strong statement about the insecurity in Nigeria.
The Sultan did not mince words about the parlous security situation in Nigeria, which he said, is getting worse and worse.
He expressed exasperation that all the recommendations made have not been implemented.
“The National Council of Traditional Rulers in Nigeria deem it fit to put a small team to come round to Borno State, Maiduguri in particular to make this very strong statement.
“It is not just a condolence visit, it is a statement that all of us are fed up with the shedding of innocent blood in whatever guise across this country.
“So many lives have been lost in the past, we can’t even compute how many lives we have lost. It becomes like a daily occurrence, a daily event. A new normal, it becomes a story when in a day nobody was killed in a particular place of this country”.
“We had various fora with our political leaders, mentioned these things out, how to take care of our securities in various communities.
” We have written papers, sent our Governors, we have discussed with all our leaders, all the way forward.
“But we see things getting worse and worse. It used to be Boko Haram alone in Borno and Yobe.
“Now it is all over the north in particular and generally all over the country.
“You have bandits and terrorists all over the north, you can’t even move freely, in the south it the same thing. The killings have taken new dimensions and we really don’t know what the causes of this mass killings of innocent people are.”
The Sultan now turned to the military, his former constituency.
“I read about the comment the Governor made some few weeks ago, challenging the military to take the fight to the Lake Chad to clear that place.
“Your Excellency while I was a Lieutenant, I was at Lake Chad in Baga for six months, my battalion in Bama used to rotate with the battalion in Monguno and Maiduguri every six months.
“We occupied Lake Chad part of Nigeria for six months.
“I was a Lieutenant, I was the operation officer and I have my maps. In Lake Chad that time we had 36 islands under Nigeria, we occupied 16 of them.
“The biggest was King Nasara. We controlled that part of Nigeria effectively well as a battalion.
“Now I don’t know why we can’t occupy the whole of Lake Chad and why we can’t occupy the whole of Sambisa Forest.
“If we want peace we have to dominate these areas.
“If we want peace, we have to do away with those terrorists who occupy that place and see nothing good in other people except those that believe in their own negative ideas” the Sultan said.
The visit by the monarchs marked the first time they will venture out to any state or any town specifically to discuss or talk about the happenings in that particular place as regards insecurity and mass killing of innocent people.
While expressing gratitude to the royal fathers for the special visit, Governor Zulum decried the continuous dependence on donations to feed IDPs as the main source of livelihood.
The Governor said there is increasing need to provide sources of livelihood to the IDPs and those resettled in rebuilt communities.
On the trip to Maiduguri with the Sultan were the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemaka Alfred Ugochukwu, Oba Adekunle Adebayo, Ore of Otin, Emir of Hadeja, Dr. Adamu Abubakar Maje, Emir of Fika, Mohammed Abale Ibn Mohammed Idrissa, and Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom, King Dr. Dandasen Douglas Jaja.