By: Valentine Adese (JP), Eunice Maina and Musa Gabriel,
The Nigerian Christian Graduate Fellowship has strongly reacted and described as misleading the press conference recently held by the Member Representing the good people of Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency, over the condemnable murder of Daciya Ropvil Dalep by the Boko Haram Muslim Sect, operating in the Northeast of Nigeria.
The Christian group, alleged in a press statement made and sent to REALITY that, the press briefing and its text has further raised pertinent issues and questions that calls for answers.
NCGF opined in their press statement that, “His statement raised pertinent issues and questions that should be addressed if the war against terror must be won. Though we don’t know his religious leaning, but as a politician, he was technical in most of his submissions.”
They emphasized that, his narrative that, the action and intention of Boko Haram is aimed at causing religious disharmony was spurious. Stating that, “First, we need to correct the spurious narrative that the intention of Boko Haram is just to create religious disharmony. Making excuses on the intention of Boko Haram is the reason why the insurgency is festering. Boko Haram from the onset is clear that its intention is to set up an Islamic Caliphate and set aside the quasi secular State of Nigeria.
“Secondly, the insurgents are clear, who are their primary target. They have never hidden the intention to annihilate Christians and Christianity as this is the greatest obstacle to realizing their objective. Therefore, they are not just making mere inflammatory statements when the words that accompany the video on any execution of Christians is always, “We will continually abduct and kill Christians.”
“Until Nigerian state and northern Muslims in particular, face this fact and stop making excuses and or living in denial of the intention of Boko Haram, the problem will not be solved.
Driving the narrative to correct what they term as spurious, NCGF, stated that, “We all could recollect that in 2014 when Jonathan Administration mooted the idea of negotiation with Boko Haram, they impudently gave the ridiculous condition that Jonathan must convert to Islam.
“We also consider the call by Honourable Gagdi on the Plateau State Governor to send a delegation to Borno State to extract a commitment from the Governor and Vice Chancellor of University of Maiduguri to guarantee the safety of Plateau Students, particularly Christians as unrealistic.”
READ THE FULL TEXT OF NCGF REPRODUCED BELOW:-
NIGERIA CHRISTIAN GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP RESPONSE TO, HON. YUSUF ADAMU GAGDI, MEMBER REPRESENTING PANKSHIN/KANKE/KANAM FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE KILLING OF DACIYA ROPVIL DALEP BY BOKOHARAM
(Dedicated to the pains of Leah Sharibu, forced to marry and give birth for Boko Haram commander)
On Thursday, January 23, Hon. Yusuf Adamu GAGDI, member representing Pankshin/Kanke/kanam federal constituency, addressed the press on the recent killing of Mr Daciya Ropvil Dalep, a 200level student of University of Maiduguri who was abducted on his way back to school by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The press conference which held in Jo’s, Plateau State was in solidarity and condolence with the families of the slain undergraduate from his constituency.
Hon. Gagdi should be commended for sympathizing and empathizing with his Constituency as well as encouraging them to have faith in the Nigerian project in spite of their experiences.
However, his statement raised pertinent issues and questions that should be addressed if the war against terror must be won. Though we don’t know his religious leaning, but as a politician he was technical in most of his submissions.
First, we need to correct the spurious narrative that the intention of Boko Haram is just to create religious disharmony. Making excuses on the intention of Boko Haram is the reason why the insurgency is festering. Boko Haram from the onset is clear that its intention is to set up an Islamic caliphate and set aside the quasi secular State of Nigeria. Secondly, the insurgents are clear, who are their primary target. They have never hidden the intention to annihilate Christians and Christianity as this is the greatest obstacle to realizing their objective. Therefore, they are not just making mere inflammatory statements when the words that accompany the video on any execution of Christians is always “we will continually abduct and kill Christians”. Until Nigerian state and northern Muslims in particular, face this fact and stop making excuses and or living in denial of the intention of Boko Haram, the problem will not be solved. We all could recollect that in 2014 when Jonathan Administration mooted the idea of negotiation with Boko Haram, they impudently gave the ridiculous condition that Jonathan must convert to Islam.
We also consider the call by Honourable Gagdi on the Plateau State Governor to send a delegation to Borno State to extract a commitment from the Governor and Vice Chancellor of University of Maiduguri to guarantee the safety of Plateau Students, particularly Christians as unrealistic.
What powers do the vice Chancellor and the governor have to guarantee safety of the citizens when the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces constitutionally invested with the responsibility is dereliction in his duty. It is clear that the governors are chief security officers of their states only on paper. They cannot even direct Commissioners of police. It is clear to us that the nation is living in denial of the fact that we are at war and the North East as the theater of the war. The question we must ask is how safe is it to go to school or do any other business in a war front. It is risky and any persons that chooses, to do anything in the axis of war should do so at his or her own risk. Those who were at the igbo enclave during the civil war or at Monrovia during the Liberian civil war or in Kigali during the Rwandan crisis can attest to the fact that schools do not run in war or conflict zones. Until government understands that, the insurgency is worse than conventional war, it will not stop risking the lives of citizens permitting University of Maiduguri to be in session. It is a calamitous deception and anybody buying into it is taking risk.
Hon. Gagdi came close to stating the obvious, when he challenged Government to go beyond lip service and ensure protection of life and properties of citizens. We agree with you that as long as Government is more interested in propaganda of “we have defeated Boko Haram , Boko Haram is downgraded, it has no power to constitute a threat, this war will linger.
Moreover, it is disheartening to state that Boko Haram is a cash cow whose milk is servicing the interest of some people. Therefore the war will continue while propaganda will continue to be used to cover up the wasting of our national resources.
This observation in our opinion agrees with assertion that government releases those it wants to and abandons those it wishes in agreement with the insurgents. Hon Gagdi alluded to this fact when he acknowledged the speed with which Jennifer an aid worker was released through quick intervention of Plateau State Government with federal government, while the likes of Leah and Rev. Adinmi are allowed to be forcefully married or executed respectively. We are aware that government periodically swaps prisoners with Boko Haram . Most of the beneficiaries are not Christians.
For the honourable member to express surprise that budgetary allocations for prosecution of the war is not reflecting on the status of the war is to us begging the issue. In your capacity as the House Committee chairman on Navy and being privy to the allocations and releases one would have expected that your worry should have extended your joining the rest of us to demand the removal of the non performing service chiefs and overhauling of the security architecture. Do you need to be told that continuous pumping of fund into the war under the watch of present security management team is like pouring water into basket with perforations? Your committee should be the one asking why the reluctance in overhauling the security architecture or is your committee compromised?
You also said you don’t want to believe that the insurgents are better equipped than the Nigerian army. This, to us is face saving statement. You know that the insurgents have shown superiority in every facet of the war. A situation that is an aberration. A ragtag army routing professionals. The reason is simple. Morale is higher with the insurgents. They are better equipped. Resources available to them are wholly committed while our soldiers are ill-equipped as a result of diversion of resources by the military hierarchy. We still remember the recent mutiny at Maimalari barracks in Maiduguri when the soldiers protested over the slaughter of their fellows because of mismanagement by their officers.
As for your worry about the non use of technology in intelligence gathering in prosecution of the war, the only way to explain this is internal sabotage rather than external as you are wont to believe. There are moles in Government, the military and among the northern elders particularly, in the areas where the war is being fought. There is no magic on how the insurgents get information on about movement of troops. President Goodluck Jonathan acknowledged this fact as far back as 2014 when he said there is Boko Haram in his Government. Unfortunately, Buhari has remained silent about this. The reason is obvious.
You also expressed surprise that the super Tucano jets for which millions of dollars were released without following due process have not come in and blamed the international community for frustrating Nigeria in the war. We are happy you said you and your colleagues will demand explanation from Mr President. May we tell you that the cogent answer may not come because President Buhari failed to insist on an urgent delivery date but was rather smiling sheepishly when he made the deal without recourse to the National Assembly with President Trump.
Now, to the question of sources of funds to the insurgents, if a nation that has battled insurgency for 10 years is unable to identify the sources of funds and supply lines of the insurgents that, Government is not worth the onions. We doubt if government is not privy to the sources. This cannot be divorced from the reason of Mr President’s continued silence over moles in Government. It will not be out of place for us to say that Mr President is privy to the sources of funds to the insurgents as commander in chief and chief security officer of the nation. We are happy you have challenged Mr President to make a “diplomatic statement”. Whatever that means, we agree with you that president Buhari should make a statement. Part of the statement should aim at discharging the moral burden of being an accessory after the fact. May we at this juncture challenge Mr. President that he must like David of old who convinced the whole nation of Israel that he was not part of the conspiracy to kill Abner by boldly declaring a curse against the perpetrators. The President has the burden to convince the nation that in his private capacity and as President he has no link to Boko Haram . This is important considering the fact that in 2014 when Government wanted to negotiate with Boko Haram , Muhammad Buhari was the only Nigerian, the only northerner and the only Muslim the insurgents nominated to negotiate on their behalf. Nigerians must interrogate this matter. Why must it be Buhari if he has no link with them? Why is he the only one they can trust?
The president and no other must answer this question. This has a lot to do with how the battle has been fought in the last four years and what to expect in the days ahead.
We, therefore, join Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi, Chairman, House Committee on Navy to ask, WHY?
Prof. Charles Adisa
Mr Onyenachi Nwaegeruo
FOR BALANCING, READ THE PRESS TEXT OF RT. HON. GAGDI, REPRODUCED BELOW:-
BEING TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY RT. HON. YUSUF ADAMU GAGDI, MEMBER REPRESENTING PANKSHIN/KANKE/KANAM FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NIGERIAN NAVY, ON THURSDAY, 23RD JANUARY, 2020 AT THE NUJ PRESS CENTER, JOS.
With a heavy heart, I address you this morning concerning the deplorable state of security in our dear country and its devastating consequences on the lives and property of the entire citizenry, with particular reference to my constituency and Plateau state as a whole, which if not checked, will threaten the harmonious coexistence of faiths and ethnic diversities in the state.
We woke up in the morning of Tuesday, 21st January, 2020 to the gory video of the gruesome execution of Daciya Ropvil Dalep, my Constituent, and a 200 level Biology/Education student of University of Maiduguri, who was abducted on the 9th of January 2020 by Boko Haram insurgents on his way to school from Jos.
I want to use this medium to extend my sincerest condolences to his immediate family, Pankshin/Kànke/Kanam Federal Constituency, Mupun nation and to the government and people of Plateau State over this tragic incidence. I pray God almighty to grant the immediate family of the deceased the fortitude to bear this painful lost.
This unfortunate incident occurred when we were exploring lobbying mechanisms for Federal and State Government’s intervention for the release of one Bashir Abdulhamid, a native of Kanam LGA of Plateau State, and also my constituent, who was abducted by Boko Haram insurgents on 4th December, 2019 at Gambu, while on his way to Maiduguri to take polio specimen for experimentation. Bashir is an adhoc staff of the World Health Organization, who is still being held in Boko Haram captivity.
These two unfortunate incidences involving my constituents within the span of one month has left me devastated, wondering if the efforts of the federal government in curbing the menace of terrorism in the country is yielding the desired results.
Not long ago, a similar video of the gory killing of two Plateau citizens from Mangu local government area was released by the insurgents with similar message of their intention to continually abduct and kill in like manner Christian citizens of Plateau State. Two other constituents of mine were also ambushed and killed along Maiduguri-Damaturu road by Boko Haram on 23rd December, 2019. They are Dauda Gojang Gaskiya of Kazuk village and Joseph Wutuk of Amper village, both in Kanke LGA. May their souls rest in peace with the lord, amen!
As the representative of the good people of Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam Local Government Areas in National Assembly, I found this act of the Boko Haram insurgents as not only condemnable but it is devilish. It is a bad tone that is capable of igniting religious conflagration between Muslims and Christians citizens of Plateau state and Nigeria as a country.
While I challenge the federal government to go beyond lip service to guarantee the safety of Nigerians anywhere within the country, I passionately appeal to the Executive Governor of Plateau State to, as a matter of urgency, set up a machinery in motion by considering the appointment of a delegation to visit the executive Governor of Borno State and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri to elicit a convincing plan of action by the government of the state and the school management, of guaranteeing the safety of Christian Plateau students studying in the state. Otherwise, I would strongly advocate that negotiations with JAMB, University of Jos and Plateau State University Bokkos as well as other institutions within the north central be held with the view to securing admission for them outside the northeast, where activities of the insurgents is most prevalent.
This is because, since the insurgents have made it categorically clear that they are looking out for Christian citizens of Plateau State to kill, the last could not have been heard of such gruesome murder of our dear Plateau brothers and sisters. Only the living go to school, we cannot afford to continue to loose our loved ones in their prime to the nefarious activities of those daredevils.
Early last month, one Jennifer, a native of Bokkos LGA and aide worker with an international organization was taken captive by the Boko Haram terrorists. It took the swift intervention of Governor Lalong and rapid response of the federal government to have the lady released after almost a month in their dungeon. It appears the terrorists are now focusing on Plateau citizens as target of a particular sinister agenda, which is to put the country in a religious disharmony.
As the chairman of the House committee on Nigerian Navy and member of most of the security related committees of the house, I am in a vintage position to speak on the commitment of the 9th National Assembly towards the security of lives and property of Nigerians, going by budgetary allocations to the various military, paramilitary and other security agencies in the country. The committees put in place by the Speaker, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila to look into the activities of non-governmental Organizations and other security related issues is a clear testimony to that.
But the festering spate of insurgency in the country leaves one bewildered.
We must as a people give our utmost respect to our fallen heroes who had laid down their lives in defense of the territorial integrity of our nation, the zeal and commitment of the military personnel in the fight against insurgency can better be appreciated by the number of our soldiers who are killed daily in confrontations with the terrorists.
While I do not want to believe that the insurgents are better equipped than military forces, I must admit that dearth of sophisticated technology and weaponry to prosecute the war against terrorism as well as international conspiracies has caused the insurgency to fester.
This brings to fore the begging question why the technologically advanced nations of the world are reluctant in allowing the Nigerian military have access to modern and sophisticated military hard-wares and other technological platforms that will help quell the insurgency.
Even the recent transaction to acquire Super Tucano fighter jets, is yet to come to fruition as the jets are yet to be delivered to the federal government of Nigeria. I am privy to the terms of the transaction, and the non-delivery of those fighter jets has obviously hampered the success of the fight against insurgents.
It is on record how the insurgents are ambushing our military forces due to lack of modern military hard-wares. why?
These are the questions I want to assure you that I will work together with other National Assembly members from Plateau with our other colleagues to challenge the Federal Government to provide answers to.
Just like most of my colleagues from the National Assembly and particularly those from the Northeast, I am wary of the activities of some international nongovernmental organizations operating in the northeast. Federal government must widen its intelligence network to identify the source of funding of the activities of the insurgents, the source of their firearms, the source of their petroleum products to power their vehicles and sundry other supplies to the insurgents in their hideouts. The biggest problem is their source of intelligence and how they gather information regarding the movements and plans of the military forces.
Mr. President, and by extension, the federal government of Nigeria must come out and make a definite diplomatic statement regarding the activities of international nongovernmental organizations operating in the northeast and Nigeria as a whole. Some of them have direct links with the insurgents and are secretly aiding their heinous activities through financial and logistics support.
I want to appeal to my fellow Plateau citizens that even in the face of this needless persecution and threat to our harmonious existence, let us not be divided by the antics of the insurgents. Their mission is to set the nation on fire by any diabolical means. They have not spared the Muslim citizens either, but making inflammatory comments in videos while executing Christian victims from Plateau state, is not only provocative but it is satanic.
Let us collectively mourn our loss, and refuse to be pitched against one another on the pretext of religious or ethnic differences. This is one sermon I will never get tired of preaching. We should be more concerned about what unites us, rather than what divides us. I would also caution politicians not to try to make political gains out of this tragedy, as such would be callous and inhuman. Let us guide our utterances and actions in this period of mourning.
Thank you for listening