Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
Leaders in Borno State have asked the federal government to ensure that all those involved in the $2.1 billion arms purchase scandal face the full measure of the law.
Speaking under the aegis of the Borno Elders Forum, leaders in the state, in a statement signed by the chairman, Usman Gaji Galtimari, said the people feel disappointed and betrayed that some Nigerians still support those that diverted funds earmarked for purchasing arms to prosecute the war against insurgents in the North east.
“We feel disturbed and even betrayed by some Nigerians who seem to justify the carnage perpetrated upon our people. The massive killing of our people, the wholesome destruction of our settlements, the massive humanitarian crisis faced by over two million internally displaced persons, the creation of hundreds of thousands of widows and orphans and so on, seem to be of no consequence to some Nigerians,” the elders stated.
The forum said that it regards as the same the sponsors of the Boko Haram terrorist group, “those who deliberately turned away from their official responsibilities on security issues”, “those who looted the funds meant for the prosecution of the war against Boko Haram” as well as Nigerians who support those involved in the arms purchase scandal.
“They all individually and collectively aided and sponsored the Boko Haram insurgency. They colluded to ensure the death of our brave soldiers, our innocent people and the near total destruction of our society,” the group said.
It said further that Nigerians should allow the Federal Government and its relevant agencies to investigate the arms purchase scandal properly without fear or favour, adding that nobody should be treated as being above the law.
Beyond ensuring the prosecution of those involved in the scandal, the elders said that the federal government should also beam its searchlight on the sponsors of the insurgents.
“Much has been said about the sponsors of Boko Haram. With the horrifying revelations about the ‘Arms Deal’, it is no longer necessary to continue delaying the search for the real sponsors of Boko Haram. Those who collected such huge sums of money from the national treasury and converted same for their unending greed and avarice should be regarded as part and parcel of the sponsors of Boko Haram. Get them and you will get the rest,” the elders stated.