ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has blamed the attacks on military facilities in the country on President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government’s alleged decision to pamper terror suspects.
The NAS claimed that the so-called bandits and terrorists had become emboldened because of the culture of impunity with which the Buhari administration had allowed to thrive in the country.
The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje, said in a statement on Tuesday that the Federal Government must rethink its war on terrorism.
He called on the government to take the prosecution of terror suspects seriously if it hoped to win the war against terrors.
He described the recent attacks on the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, and the Forward Operating Base in Mutumji, Zamfara, as a national embarrassment.
Owoaje lamented that terrorism and all kinds of atrocious crimes had thrived under the present administration because the government had been trivialising terrorism, banditry and violent crimes.
Owoaje faulted the deradicalisation policy of the Federal Government for not being transparent and called for the immediate trial of all terror suspects to demonstrate the government’s sincerity in tackling terrorism.
He said: “It is incongruous that a country ranked third in the Global Index of Terrorism is seemingly unable to interdict the sponsors of terror and negotiating with these criminal elements, and even unconstitutionally granting pardons to confessed murderers and ‘reintegrating’ them into the society through a non-transparent deradicalisation policy.
“President Buhari as the Commander-in-Chief leading the security agencies must do more to convince Nigerians on the sincerity of his government’s fight against terrorism. We reiterate that the government should rethink its strategies to combat terror by ceasing all manner of negotiations with criminal elements in the Northeast and Northwest.
“The recent disclosures by Governors Matawalle and Aminu Masari on the failed negotiations with bandits show that from the onset, negotiating with bandits was a self-defeatist strategy.
“To this end, the hundreds of terror suspects in various detention centres should be screened and those found culpable of mass murders and other crimes should be put on trial immediately.
“Also the 400 Bureau De Change (BDC) operators, that the office of the Attorney-General, Mr Abubakar Malami, announced in May 2021 of being implicated as sponsors and financers of terrorism should be immediately put on trial.
“A similar trial and conviction of six Nigerian bureau de change operators for sponsoring terrorism in the United Arab Emirates in November 2020 is a pointer to how the Nigerian government is pampering terror suspects.”