The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused a Federal lawmaker representing Borno State in the House of Representatives of making wild and exaggerated claims on the insurgency in North East Nigeria.
The lawmaker, Ahmadu Jaha (APC, Damboa/Gwoza/Chibok), had said during plenary on Tuesday that Boko Haram insurgents are occupying eight of the 10 local government areas in the northern part of the state.
BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that Jaha was not being factual
“It is disturbing that a Federal lawmaker could so turn facts on its head by making a wild claim that presupposes that the insurgents are in total control of about a third of the 27 local government areas of the state.
“As a representative of areas that had witnessed some of the worst atrocities committed by Boko Haram in the course of the insurgency, Ahmadu Jaha has a duty to draw attention to the plight of the people he represents. But he and other members of the political elite also need to be circumspect in order not to rubbish efforts by officers and men of the Armed Forces to make their community safer.
“Here is a politician whose constituency once housed the headquarters of the caliphate declared by the Boko Haram terrorists and it is on record that the convoy of three traditional rulers led by the Emir of Gwoza Mohammed Shehu-Timta, was attacked.
“Now, the Emir who was forced to relocate to Maiduguri where he stayed for five years has returned home and is now fully in charge of the traditional institution, yet a politician based in Abuja irresponsibly claimed that the town is under the control of insurgents.
“We are also aware that Jaha made that claim on the same day that the Chief Whip Mohammed Monguno had said in a lead debate in the House that before the advent of the current administration, about two-thirds of the local government areas in Borno State, were under the control of the insurgents who not only hoisted their flag but also administered the areas with their own rules and regulations.
“Does Representative Jaha want Nigerians to believe that the insurgents have their flag in Gwoza, not to even talk about 8 local government areas like he claimed.
“Granted that there had been pockets of attacks in some communities like Monguno who is also from the state said, but there is no way that this can be described as an occupation of those areas”, BMO added.
The group consequently advised members of the political class to resist the pressure of rubbishing the sacrifices of the Armed Forces when they have the opportunity to speak on issues of national security.
“It is alarming that some politicians, especially in the theatre of military operations, are not capable of handling TV appearances or are unable to check themselves when they have the opportunity to speak in public.
“In this case, members of the House of Representatives had had a lengthy closed-door session with heads of security agencies where, we believe, the situation in North eastern Nigeria was thoroughly discussed and a decision taken to give legislative backing for a special fund for the agencies outside of the national budget.
“So it beggars belief that a politician whose constituents are certain to benefit from heightened security operation opted to publicly dismiss military efforts in one –third of the epicentre of the insurgency with a carefree comment.
“We expect the House leadership, especially the majority caucus, to deal well with the situation to ensure that discipline is maintained on issues of national security.”
BMO also urged Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and the military authorities to keep to their pledge of regular interface with a view to overcoming all barriers to effective field operations.