France Is Aiding Boko Haram- Minister

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MINISTER of National Planning, Dr Abubakar Sulaiman, has
blamed continued onslaught of Boko Haram terrorists on
Nigeria on alleged animosity the country shares with
Francophone West African countries.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, at the
weekend, the minister, who said Nigeria should revisit its
Francophone policy, added that the issue of Boko Haram
insurgency was political and, fundamentally, military.
“First, the issue of terrorism is global, regional and sub-
regional. Second, the terrorism we have in Nigeria has
internal and external dimensions to it. Some of the terrorists
are not just Nigerians; they are not operating from Nigeria;
they are operating from Nigerian borders and they have
some back up from neighbouring countries.
“When you look at Nigeria’s history, we have been
consistent in the kind of animosity we share with the
Francophone West African countries. Nigeria should revisit,
for instance, its francophone policy. We should look at the
French policy on Nigeria. We should look at the position of
France to Nigeria security. We should look at what has been,
over the years, the strategy in the area of politics. What have
been the relation, attitude, orientation, conduct and posture
of France to Nigeria?
“Again, we need to go back to what had been the attitude of
France and French government to the Boko Haram issue in
our effort to fight terrorism.
“I don’t think Boko Haram is having its ways because
government is not working. It is having its way because we
are not getting enough support from the sub region. It’s
fundamental.
“Third, people should be mindful of one thing when they try
to criticise President Goodluck Jonathan on the issue of
terrorism. We should know that when it comes to fighting
terrorism, counter-terrorism and warfare, presidents do not
go to war. It’s the handiwork of the armed forces. It’s the
primary responsibility of the military. And let me say this, the
Nigerian armed forces today is being dominated by
Northerners and the Boko Haram spate is in the North. If
there is a problem there, we look at our tactics, military
operation and suspect some subversive tendencies in the
armed forces.
“The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) is from the North. The
National Security Adviser (NSA) is from the North. The Chief
of Defence Staff (CDS) is from the North. So, why must
anyone blame the president? I think we should appreciate
what the man is doing by mobilising all these forces.
“So, if there’s problem, we should ask questions from the
military and troops. Warfare or counter-terrorism is not just
about the president. A lot of factors come in military
strategy. And one of it is what I call Grand National strategy.
I think we should appreciate the president on what he has
done and see how we can collectively devise other
mechanisms to get solution to the problem, rather than
heaping blame on president.
“Yes, it’s a political issue, but fundamentally, a military
issue. And I am not saying they have not tried,” he said.
Troops kill terrorists in Ashaka raids
In another development, fleeing terrorists reportedly
managed to retrieve three truckloads of their dead members,
following defeat in Ashaka when they were engaged by
security operatives.
The defeated terrorists, who arrived in a large convoy of 30
vehicles, motorcycles and equipment, were on a mission to
take control of Ashaka.
The troops, it was gathered, were aware of the terrorists’
intention to take over Ashaka, after their operation in Bajoga
and its environs in Gombe State.
The terrorists, however, destroyed some equipment of the
troops before fleeing the location.
According to defence Twitter handle, “we lost close to a
dozen soldiers. We die; t is noble. Lest any form of terrorists
rejoice.”
Over 10 soldiers also died in the battle, while those who were
wounded are being treated in military hospitals.

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