Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria Risks Losing 19 States to Boko Haram Terrorism - Gen Olanrewaju

Former General Officer Commanding, GOC, Third Division of the Nigerian Army and ex Minister of Communications, Major General Tajudeen Olanrewaju, has called for an immediate declaration of a state of emergency in Borno State in view of the revelations involving the immediate past governor of the state and two serving senators over Boko Haram activities that have dragged the progress of Nigeria especially the Northern part of the country in the mud for over two years.He said Nigeria risks losing 19 States to Boko Haram.

Olanrewaju spoke following the killing of former GOC, 2nd Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Muhammadu Shuwa in the early hours of yesterday by gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect at his home in Maiduguri, the state capital. General Shuwa, a contemporary of General Benjamin Adekunle, was renowned for his strategic role during the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, which he fought on the Nigeria side.

Olanrewaju said with the alleged involvement of the former governor, Alli Modu Sheriff and the two serving senators with the sect, Borno State was under siege and no longer under control, adding therefore that the only option for peace in the North Eastern state was for Mr. President to declare a state of emergency in the area.

He warned of the consequence of the government's failure to do so even as he reminded the government of the fate that befell the neighbouring State of Mali, where the same Islamic insurgency had led to declaration of the Islamic State in Northern Mali.

"Two senators have been indicted or interrogated and a former governor is said to be involved. General Shuwa has just been killed at his home in Maiduguri. This is a strong pointer to a very unpredictable situation about to happen and Mr. President cannot be at peace with himself now. It is like when you kill a police man, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, will not be in peace. The best way to it is for President Jonathan to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency in that state of Borno and there will be peace. Theres no other way to it," he added.

Meanwhile, former governor of Yobe State, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, yesterday indicated his readiness to mediate in any talk between the Boko Haram sect and the Federal Government aimed at bringing about peace in the country.

The former governor, who is now a Senator, was one of the northern leaders named by the sect as possible mediators they would accept in any negotiation for ceasefire with the government.

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