Renowned Security expert, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, has commended northern political leaders for finally supporting the war on the Boko Haram terrorists. He said that the support of northern political elite was important to create a synergy in the successful prosecution of the war on terror.
Reacting to the recent deadly attacks on Izghe Community in Gwoza LGA and Kondugha town in Borno State that claimed over 200 lives, Ekhomu commended the Governor of Borno State, Alh. Kashim Shettima for acknowledging that the Boko Haram attacks had reached a “state of war”. Gov. Shettima had also advised the Federal government that all parties involved in tackling the problem “should stop playing the ostrich and rise up to the challenges of the day”.
Dr. Ekhomu, who is President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON) also praised the statement by the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Governor Babangida Aliyu that BH attacks had gone beyond traditional pattern of attacks and urged northern leaders to be “frank and refrain from partisanship” in discussing the BH matter.
Commiserating with victims of the Izghe and Kondugha attacks, Ekhomu noted that Nigeria’s war on terror had been unduly prolonged because some political leaders did not appreciate the enormity of the security challenges facing the nation. He lamented that “a grave security threat like BH was turned into political ping-pong”. He averred that some political leaders had been in a state of denial on the issue of Boko Haram terrorism.
Ekhomu, the first chartered security professional in West Africa said that combating terrorism was not a job for the Federal Government alone, but the joint responsibility of Federal, State and local governments. He said that purpose of the modern democratic state was the safety of lives and property of citizens and residents. He advised political officer holders to reduce their focus on the privilege of office and instead focus on service delivery.
Ekhomu described Governor Shettima’s call for proper funding of troops in the front lines as timely since proper resourcing was necessary to successfully prosecute the war on terror.
He urged closer cooperation between the various tiers of government in the war on terror. “The government must deny terrorists any opportunity to strike and destroy innocent Nigerian lives”, he said. A new security architecture must be put in place for the entire north in order to avert further terrorist attacks, he added.
One of the strategies of terrorists is to convince the local population that the government is incapable of protecting them. Therefore, disrupting terror plots and successfully prosecuting arrested terrorists are important actions that could reassure citizens.
He called for the establishment of special military commission (tribunals) to expeditiously try terror suspects and convict or exonerate them as appropriate. He said that the regular courts were not suitable to handle cases of Boko Haram terrorism because of interminable legal maneuverings that could result in impunity for terrorists.
Ekhomu urged the Federal Government to legislate death penalty for convicted terrorists whose acts resulted in the death of individuals. He called for execution by firing squad for convicted Boko Haram terrorists. According to him, “desperate ailments require desperate remedies”.