The Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has challenged the Nigerian government to take prompt action against the already identified 96 alleged sponsors of terrorism in the country rather than just periodically announcing the efforts it is making in combating the menace.
The government had through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had said the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) uncovered 96 financiers of terrorism, especially those backing Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP).
It also said NFIU unmasked 424 associates/supporters of the financiers, about 123 companies and 33 bureaux de change linked with terrorism.
Reacting, National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Comrade Jare Ajayi, urged the government to take prompt action against the terrorists and their sponsors.
The Pan-Yoruba group equally said the disclosure by Borno State governor, Babangana Zulum, that ISWAP was about taking over Nigeria should be a serious reason for concern.
“But other than occasional reports of bombardments of terrorists’ camps by the military, no concrete steps are seen to be taken by the government to tackle the roots of the problem.
“Indeed, the failure of the government to act decisively in this respect has emboldened the terrorists to be more daring – leading to the death of thousands of people and capturing of many communities particularly in the northern part of the country by the terror groups,” Ajayi said.
Speaking further, the group insisted that disclosures by the government no longer impressed majority of Nigerians as many of the claims and promises made in the past by the government were not followed up with necessary actions.
It recalled that six Nigerians listed last year by the United Arab Emirate to be among the 39 terrorists on its wanted list were actually tried and convicted in that country “for setting up a Boko Haram cell in the UAE to raise funds and material assistance for insurgents in Nigeria.”
According to Afenifere, the UAE found the affected Nigerians to have transferred up to $800,000 in favour of Boko Haram between 2015 and 2016, saying that the Federal Government was supposed to follow up on this but had not.
“Nigeria was supposed to follow up on this but has not. Meaning that foreign countries appear to be more concerned about insecurity and terrorism acts going on in Nigeria even more than our own government seems to be,” the group said.