Chris Steven, Abuja
The Good Governance Initiative (GGI) has described the release of Kaduna State Government’s White Paper on the Judicial Commission of Inquiry that investigated the clash between members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Nigerian Army as a welcome development.
The Initiative also congratulated the Nigerian Army which was exonerated by the White paper, saying Nigerians never doubted that it acted within its mandate of protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
According to a statement signed by GGI Co-ordinator, Uche Madu John, Nigerians will continue to support the army in its quest to protect law abiding citizens from any form of aggressor.
He urged the Federal Government to immediately issue a directive for all security and military services to treat the IMN as a terror group while anyone caught committing a crime in its name must be tried under the relevant anti-terror legislations.
“We laud the exoneration of the Nigerian Army, which was cleared of any wrongdoing as an institution and we see this as the removal of obstacles that terrorist sponsors had tried to place in the way of the army to reduce its ability to protect NIgerians.
“The White Paper has laid to rest the true nature and status of IMN as an insurgent group whose members bear arms and had refused to evacuate Gyallesu area of Zaria, Kaduna state ahead of the referenced military operation in the report.
“We hope that those that have been mounting propaganda on behalf of IMN, including international contractors like Amnesty International, would now accept the position stated in the document that the Nigerian Army abided by its Rules of Engagement in dealing with the terrorist organisation.” He said
He further urged judicial officers to familiarise themselves with this document especially since more IMN members could soon be charged to court over their role in the group’s decades of insurgency against the Nigerian state.
“GGI urges the Federal Government to immediately implement the aspect of the White Paper that fall within its purview to ensure that the menace of the IMN and any other groups they may mutate into can be holistically dealt with since it is not all the states of the federation that can marshal the political will to tackle insurgency the way Kaduna has done.” John added