The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre [SHAC] one of the leading human rights organizations in Nigeria has described the recent ranking by the Institute for Economics and Peace as a reflection of the leadership being provided by President Buhari and the Service Chiefs on the war against terrorism in Nigeria and around the Chad Basin. The group at a press conference held in Abuja on Sunday disclosed to pressmen that the release of the Global Terrorism Index that ranked Nigeria’s efforts towards curtailing the menace of Boko Haram and other terrorists activities by 80 per cent is not new to those in the country having seen the military drastically reduced the activities of Boko Haram to the nearest minimal level in the country.
It remains a welcome development and a mirror for the military and the Nigerian authorities to evaluate their strategies in the war against terror.
Reading from the report, Abubakar said the statistics show that Nigeria has helped to reduce global deaths by about 800,000 to 1,000,000 through its decisive leadership and coordinated military actions that saw Boko Haram Commanders surrendering in droves, rescue of countless Nigerians, reclaiming of lost territories and the rebuilding of the north east.
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It is on record that we have had cause to make several interventions in the past owing to the sheer ferocity of Boko Haram's attacks on civilians. It is a situation that we have continually monitored while we at several times called on the Federal Government and the Nigerian Army to intensify efforts in safeguarding the lives of the populace.
SHAC is pleased to note the release of the 2016 Global Terrorism Index by the Institute for Economics and Peace. From that report it is clear that there has been a tremendous reduction in the total number of deaths from terror attacks in Nigeria, and that the drop is as high as 80%.
This means that there were fewer deaths from terror related incidents. We further learnt from the report that the drop in the number of deaths from terrorists' attacks is attributable to the decreased activity of Boko Haram in Nigeria "following their respective military setbacks".
Permit us to quote from the report: "The decline in Nigeria was due to sustained military action by the Nigerian government and neighbouring countries against Boko Haram, forcing them to abandon territory they had previously controlled. However, they have expanded their terrorist activities in the neighbouring countries of Cameroon and Niger. Both countries have seen a significant rise and are now amongst the ten countries with the highest number of deaths from terrorism and are in the top 20 on the GTI."
It is remarkable that someone if finally admitting that the government and military efforts dealing with terrorism is finally paying off and on a large scale for that matter. Nigeria is just one of the two countries with reduction in deaths from terrorism, the other country being Iraq.
The implication of the report is that hundreds and thousands of lives have been saved in one year, which shows the administration’s commitment to the global war against terrorism and focus on reducing needless human suffering.
It is heart-warming that this which has been conducted under best international practices is a product of an organized military that believes in the President’s covenant with the citizens of Nigeria.
The feat could only have been achieved by a military that is transparent in its dealings with personnel where welfare and regular trainings in modern warfare are hallmarks of its administration.
To that extent the Nigeria military Leadership remains the best and have continued to remain focused on its set objectives. SHAC uses this opportunity to commend the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government’s approach to the war against terrorism, which has restored hope that it is a matter of time before deaths from these demented killers.
We laud President Buhari as a friend of humanity, a leader committed to restoring stability in Nigerian considering the glowing ranking by the Institute for Economics and Peace, which is a welcome development.
It goes a long way to demonstrate how the administration’s commitment to the safety of lives and properties has finally paid off. We similarly commend the Nigerian military for achieving this feat even in the midst of the distractions by vested interests.
It takes a professional military to deliver on its mandate under such circumstances.
Meanwhile, we like to appeal to President Buhari to increase his support for the military so that even the 20% deaths can be further avoided to quickly bring the country to a point where terrorism related deaths are a thing of the past. Our appeal to Nigerians is to support the government in all ways possible to make zero terror-related death a reality.