June 2, 2014
SaharaReporters, New York
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan, as the Commander In Chief of the armed forces, to institute a full scale, transparent, thorough and unbiased investigation into the activities and challenges of Nigeria’s security forces, especially in the North East of the country.
In a statement signed by Abdulwahed Omar, its president, the NLC also urged the National Assembly to probe the financial allocations to the military and the utilization of allocations in the sector.
The group was reacting to the murder at the weekend, of Alhaji Idrisa Timta, the Emir of Gwoza.
“We are disturbed that despite huge resource allocations to security, security remains a serious challenge in Nigeria with the recent ambush and assassination of the Emir of Gwoza, Idrisa Timta who was in company of two other Emirs on their way to Gombe for the funeral rites of their late colleague, the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Usman Shehu Abubakar who died earlier at a London hospital,” it said, adding that the murder of the Emir has exposed the soft underbelly of the security operations.
According to the Congress, the entire subject was worrisome in view of the fact that the attacks are increasing even as the Minister of Finance recently announced that N130 billion has been spent on security, especially on the military, which is saddled with the responsibility of confronting the armed insurgency in the North East led by the Boko Haram elements.
“The ease and precision with which these attacks are carried out, despite numerous security check points and the number of security personnel deployed in the zone is worrisome and unjustifiable,” the statement said. “If high profile traditional rulers could be attacked so casually just as villages and towns are being razed even in broad daylight, what would be the fate of ordinary citizens?”
It said it was already a national embarrassment that the school children who were abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State more than six weeks ago are yet to be located and rescued even as multinational interest in the rescue operations increases.
“That these children are yet to be rescued and delivered unharmed to their parents questions the commitment and credibility of those saddled with the search and rescue operation and negatively impacts on our national image, » the group said.
It expressed confidence that the security agencies can effectively route out the insurgents if well-equipped and motivated, as the same personnel have not only rendered a good account of themselves in foreign operations, but have also played a decisive role in ending conflicts in some countries.
“Although this war is slightly different, we are concerned that these same forces are finding it difficult to confront insurgency back home.
“We believe government and indeed, all Nigerians must take interest in what could be the obstacles to our collective resolve and commitment to the war on terror that has all but brought socio-economic activities in parts of the country to a halt.”
The NLC expressed its deep condolences to the family of the Emir of Gwoza and thousands of other families including the families of those security operatives who are bereaved as a result of the costly war.