The President Muhammadu Buhari Government was shocked to learn that it could end up being proscribed as a terror organization following a petition by a US based non-profit organization, Global Advocates for Terrorism Eradication (GATE), alleging that “from all available indices, what is happening in Nigeria is state-sponsored terrorism.”
It has been since established, that the ongoing acts of terror in the country, has heavy financial backing from within the country, a claim the Buhari administration itself, has acknowledged.
There were calls for the Buhari government to disclose the identities of those it claims to identify as sponsors of terror in the country, but in response, presidential aide, Femi Adesina, said the Federal Government’s focus would be on the prosecution of suspects, not shaming anyone.
“Naming and shaming won’t be the motive. Rather, bringing malefactors to justice would be it. Nigeria is not interested in naming and shaming anybody. Rather, it wants to bring them to justice,” Adesina said.
The refusal to name names wasn’t well received by the public however. While reacting to the development, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, in Bauchi State, Rev Abraham Damina, has said Nigerians deserve to know the very people who have aided the wanton destruction of lives and properties in the country over the years.
He said: “Since it is in every public domain that the sponsors and financiers are known, a development government has not denied, then, the names should be made official and public so that Nigerians will know the faces of those who have endangered our lives over the years”.
“Many innocent lives have been lost, valuable properties have been lost, we need to know those behind all these callousness and wanton destruction of lives and properties,” he added.
Similarly, former Kaduna State senator, Shehu Sani has wondered why the Buhari government won’t publish names of terror sponsors in the country, saying the only reason would be the fear of implicating itself.
Sani who made the statement in a tweet in reaction to the position of the Buhari government on the matter, said, “If the Nigerian Government can’t expose the sponsors of terrorism, then it can’t absolve itself from the horror and tragedy our people experience every day of their lives.”
Despite calls to disclose the said terror sponsors in the country however, the Buhari government could only identify leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu who is already in DSS custody, and Sunday Igboho who is also facing trial in Benin, two of whom Nigerians see as freedom fighters.
While it hesitates or chose to blackmail those it considers as threats to its government, the US based group however, would not play such games.
In it’s petition, high profile names of individuals it claims are behind terrorism in the country, most of which serve in the Buhari government, or are from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), where disclosed.
Although most names on the list would come as no surprise to Nigerians, the inclusion of a man nicknamed (Supreme Court Governor), would have many scratching their heads.
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, is the only name from the entire South East region, to make the list.
It is unclear how Uzodinma made it to a list that would without a doubt earned him a horrible image not only in the South East, but also in the eyes of victims of terrorism in the country.
Beside the Imo state governor, Tinubu who is the national Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is similarly the only name from the South West region to make the list.
Others include;Governor Nasir El-Rufai of kaduna State, former Chief of Army Staff and Current Nigerian Ambassador to Republic of Benin, Tukur Buratai, Director General of State Services, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, former Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Ministers of Communications, Justice and Information, Isa Pantami, Abubakar Malami and Lai Mohammed.
The group alleged that these individuals with the support of the Buhari government, were sponsoring terrorism by carrying out terrorist activities including training, funding, financing, and recruitment of terrorists using their offices as a safe haven, transit and operational base for terrorists and terrorist activities.