The Borno Emirate Concerned Citizens Forum (BRCCF) on Tuesday, described attacks by Boko Haram on innocent civilians in the Northeast as an “Act of Cowardice”.
The Chairman of the BECCF, Alhaji Zanna Hassan-Boguma, made this known while addressing a news conference in Maiduguri.
He, therefore, urged meaningful Borno citizens and groups to desist from the culture of silence and expose the secrets, lies and sponsors of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
“The recent development in the state including the abduction of innocent people, attack on the Governor’s convoy, terrorising of innocent people and shedding blood by the insurgents constituted injustice and could never be tolerated further,” he said.
He noted that on several occasions, the Boko Haram and ISWAP had claimed responsibility for the deliberate act of terrorism that targeted worshippers, traditional and religious leaders, villagers, motorists, aid workers and government officials in the state.
He said that the insurgents had also attacked vulnerable unarmed children, women and civilians and called all government agencies to intensify efforts to restore peace, the order in the war-ravaged zone.
“The terrorist act clearly do not reflect Islam as a religion of peace. Islam brought peace in line with the principle of Rahmatan Lil Alamin which means Marcy for the whole universe, its contents, creations, including nature and mankind, Muslims and Non- Muslims alike.
“The forum also upholds the principle of Ta’aayush Fis-silmi, which stresses the peaceful coexistence of all.
“The Holy Quran in Suraj 5: Verse 32, stresses on the sanctity of life; “Whoever kills an innocent person, it would be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoever saves a life, it would be as if he had saved all mankind,” he said.
According to him, any Muslim aware of the teachings of the religion, and who adhere to the directives of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, would never be involved in acts that would invoke the anger of Almighty Allah.
The Chairman commended efforts of the federal government, security agencies, hunters and Agro Rangers amongst others for their efforts in countering Boko terrorism urging the people to be united against the terrorists.
“It is necessary to apprehend and bring to justice, the true perpetrators of these crimes, as well as those who aid and abet them through incitement, financing and otherwise.
“They must be brought to justice in an imperial court of law and punish appropriately. It is the duty of all to participate in this effort with all possible means to save our land,” he said.
According to him, terrorism will not triumph over the country’s decision to move forward in developing and building the Nigerian state to reach its promise land for the good of all.
“We will work with the people to prevent terrorism from turning our state into a haven or arena for their crimes. As people, we must be vigilant and careful to oppose this pernicious and shameless evil,” he said.
“We equally sympathised with security men and women who lost their lives in the front line while in the course of engaging with the insurgents to defend the country”, he said.
He commended the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar-Ibn-Garbai Elkenemy, Borno Elders and all the stakeholders for commendation, for their support in the fight against the insurgents.
“The armed forces should switch from defensive to offensive, they should be proactive in the attacks instead of repelling and they should take the war to the insurgents’ hideout and enclaves”, he advised.
The forum is made up of elder statesmen.