A civil rights organization, Citizens Arise Movement of Nigeria, has given the Federal Government a 14-day ultimatum within which it should set up an independent panel to investigate the alleged involvement of former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. (Retd) Patrick Ihejirika and former Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Modu Sheriff in the sponsorship of Boko Haram Islamic sect and other demands.
Should the government fail to do this, CAMON threatened to commence a prolonged nationwide protest until its demands were satisfied.
The organization specifically said that the Australian negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davis and the Australian government should be invited to unravel the truth about financing of the terrorist Islamic sect.
The Convener of CAMON and former member of the House of Representatives, Otunba Dino Melaye, who stated these during a press briefing and public presentation of the group on Tuesday in Abuja, made 22 demands from the Federal Government including opening up on the $9.3 million impounded by the South African authorities.
“We declare that if within the next fourteen days, the Federal Government fails to respond appropriately to our demands, we shall commence and inspire nationwide protests which shall continue until our demands are met,” he threatened.
According to him, when the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan came into power both as an acting President and an elected President some six years ago, it was with great enthusiasm, expectations and co-operation that the Nigerian people, including the Save Nigerian Group and others, welcomed him.
He said, “However, six years down the lane, the confession from the mouth of every truthful Nigerian is that the Nigerian nation has never had it so bad. There is visibly lack of capacity, gross carelessness, ineptitude, incompetence, unholy romance with corruption and unwholesome disgrace of Nigeria’s sovereignty before the international ommunity by the cheap acts of lies and cover-ups as exemplified by the case where the Federal Government flaunted the laws of both Nigeria and South Africa, through the act of money laundering and arms black market racketeering.
“The Federal Government should constitute an independent panel to determine the involvement of the former Chief of Army Staff, Patrick Ihejirika, and former Borno State Governor, Modu Sheriff in the sponsorship of Boko Haram. Dr. Stephen Davis should be invited and the Australian government involved to unravel the truth.
“The Federal Government should come out clearly on the question of the $9.3 million impounded by the South African authorities since the laws of both South Africa and Nigeria have been expressly violated. So, the case of black market arms racketeering, money laundering and official corruption has been committed by the Federal Government of Nigeria having claimed ownership of the said $9.3 million. Those involved in the criminal act should be prosecuted and jailed for breaking our laws and the laws of a foreign country and bringing so much disrepute to our image as a nation.”
While condemning the provision of excessive military protection and security to Alimodu Sheriff who has been alleged to be a sponsor of Boko Haram, CAMON called on the Federal Government to ensure that the death sentence passed on the 12 soldiers accused of mutiny was immediately reverted “since the case of official corruption, perceived insensitivity and neglect has been established against the former Brigade Commander.”
Melaye said, “The government and military authorities should ensure adequate care and compensation for the families of our soldiers and men of other security agencies who have lost their lives in the course of defending the security, unity and integrity of our nation.
“The names of these our beloved fallen heroes should be published and their identities revealed so that the entire nation can honour them and show respect to their gallantry. They must not perish in obscurity and be reduced to mere numbers.”
CAMON insisted on good governance, accountability, transparency and demonstration of capacity.