Vice-President Namadi Sambo has assured the Nigerian community in Tanzania that the federal government has intensified efforts to check the activities of the Boko Haram sect.
A statement yesterday in Abuja by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Alhaji Umar Sani, quoted him as saying that such efforts had started yielding positive results.
Sambo gave the assurance during an audience with members of the Nigerian community in Dar es Salam, Tanzania.
Also, as part of efforts to end the insurgency, a former Abia State Governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, has urged government to concentrate more on intelligence gathering to defeat the terrorists instead of the present physical warfare that is the bedrock of the fight against the dreaded group.
The vice-president in his address to the community, noted with satisfaction the concerted efforts of the security agencies in the fight against the terror group.
According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Sambo said government was particularly proud of the security agencies’ commitment to ending insurgency in the country.
According to him, the federal government is doing everything possible, including cooperating with neighbouring countries, to check the insurgents. ‘‘I want to seize this opportunity to inform you that the federal government is doing everything to ensure that the Boko Haram menace is addressed in Nigeria and we are getting positive results.
‘‘I must say that we are very proud of our security agencies. They have been doing very well and this issue, by God’s grace, will be a thing of the past very soon. ‘‘I want to assure you that we are doing everything possible to end this; we are co-operating with our neighbouring countries to bring this to an end soon,’’ he added.
Sambo, who commended the good reports on Nigerians living in Tanzania, urged them to re-dedicate themselves in the true Nigerian spirit to contribute immensely to the growth of the economy of their host country.
Briefing them on the efforts by the federal government to make Nigeria better, he said the rebasing of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) resulted in the increase by 40 to 70 per cent of the GDP. The GDP, which was initially put at $262.6 billion by the World Bank, increased to $510 billion after rebasing.
Also speaking on how to defeat the insurgents, Kalu urged the federal government to concentrate more on intelligence gathering.
Kalu told airport reporters in Lagos yesterday that Boko Haram has expanded its operations and become a threat to the country, adding that gunfight alone cannot end the killings by the sect without deploying intelligence network to gather information about their operations.
He said: “When these terrorists started, it was against the Igbos and I told you people that this will be beyond the Igbos; it went from the Igbos to southerners, in fact, the entire south. It went from southerners to Christians; it went from Christians to everybody. Now the insurgents have no religion and no tribe, I still say what I have told you people many months ago that both the federal government and the service chiefs have to work more on intelligence gathering.
“It is not the work of gun. I know what I am saying because I have witnessed some services of international intelligence agencies. What we are having here is not what they have.
Nigeria is not doing intelligence right and I still believe that the intelligence they are deploying is not right. If the intelligence were right, even where those girls are now is supposed to have been located.”
According to Kalu, although government may have deployed technology in fighting the insurgents, deploying intelligence officials is more important than the technology because “technology is the hardware but the software is the people that will do the job.”
“I am thinking about the software more than the hardware, the hardware is what every Nigerian look at because they are going to make money and purchase some equipment and make some money for themselves but that is not the issue, the issue is deploying human beings, which is the software of the business,” he said. He also called on the federal government to seek the assistance of the Western nations and Israel in fighting terrorism in the country.
“You cannot do this business without the MOSSAD and without the CIA, I have said this severally. Anybody thinking that Nigeria will be an enemy to America is joking; this is the most important country in the world and they have to be our best friend on earth if we want to move forward. So people who are advising the federal government or advising individuals here to quarrel with America are making a great mistake. We have to be best the friend of America, we have to be best friend of the United Kingdom, we have to be best friend of Germany and we have to be best friend of China, we have to be best friend of the successful people so that we can be successful ourselves,” he stated.
Kalu also hailed the decision of the National Conference Committee on Political Restructuring to propose the creation of an additional state in the South-east.
He said if approved, this would be one of the numerous steps that would heal the wound of marginalisation that had been inflicted on the Igbos over the years. Kalu, in a statement yesterday by his Special Adviser, Oyekunle Oyewumi, commended the committee, for making such a laudable proposal, adding: “If the proposal is eventually approved, it will be a great relief for me as I have consistently canvassed this same position.”
He commended the government of President Goodluck Jonathan for building on the initiative to assuage the feeling of marginalisation of the Igbos through the appointment of an Igbo, Lt.-General Azubuike Ihejirika, as the immediate past Chief of Army Staff.