Chris Steven, Abuja
Thousands of market women as well as non governmental organizations on Friday took to the streets of Abuja to celebrate the defeat of Boko Haram by the Nigerian Army.
The procession started at the Wuse market to Garki before moving to Farmers market and making a final stop at the Three arms zone where the leader of the group finally delivered a powerful appreciation speech to the President and the Chief of Army, Lt. General Buratai, the other service chiefs and all the officers and men of the Nigerian military for their relentless and selfless efforts.
In her address, the FCT Cordinator of the Africa Arise for Change Network, Lilian Cosmas who led the procession said Nigerians had never thought the day would come when “the blood sucking demons called terrorists” will take flight before the Army.
She said the street march was to show appreciation to the President Muhammadu Buhari and the entire military for the defeat of the terrorists.
According to Cosmas, the coalition will embark on a nationwide sensitization exercise to enlighten members of the public on how to remain vigilant and ensure that Nigerians assist the Nigerian Army to track every fleeing terrorist in the country.
She said the promises the President made while assuming office are already being fulfilled.
“Beyond the anti-corruption crusade, the war on terrorism attained a crescendo on December 24 of last year when the Nigerian Army, under your able direction defeated Boko Haram by clearing out its “Camp Zero” in Sambisa Forest.
Nigerians had never thought the day would come when the blood sucking demons called terrorists will take flight before the Army. It took your leadership for us to acknowledge the truism that action speaks louder than voice.
Mr President, we salute your directive that the fleeing terrorists should be tracked down and brought to justice. The implementation of this directive would send a clear message to insurgents in other parts of the country that there is always a price to pay for breaching the security of Nigeria. It is this reckoning that brought Boko Haram to its deserved end.” She said
She said Nigerians are convinced beyond every reasonable doubt that Boko Haram no longer exists. She therefore commended the President and the Nigerian military for achieving such feat
“Our appreciations go to the entire Nigerian Army, family members of troops and other partners in progress that contributed to liberating Nigeria from the grip of evil .
The presentation of Boko Haram’s black flag to your Excellency by General Buratai was symbolic for us as it marked the a new beginning for the country to focus on development issues even as the military continues to fish out the fleeing fighters and their collaborators.
“It is the start of when anyone caught committing acts of terror should be swiftly treated as a common criminal and dealt with accordingly.” She added
Cosmos expressed as sad the existence of “the people who wanted the anti-terror war to fail simply for them to be able to exonerate the historic failure of the past administration.
She however described them as “a few saddistic parts of the population, who while not being Boko Haram sympathizers or sponsors nonetheless derive a perverted pleasure from seeing the group unleash terror on the populace simply to denigrate Mr President’s efforts at ending the insurgency.”
The market leader assured that the coalition will back the ‘thank you’ march with action by partnering and assisting the Federal Government to make sure that the country gets relief from the menace of Boko Haram with 2016 and it does not rear its ugly head in our nation again.
She said the coalition will embark on sensitization exercise will involve its members going into major markets, transport hubs and public places in Kaduna, Kano, Yola, Jos, Minna, Sokoto, Birni-Kebbi, Ilorin, Lokoja, Okene, Ibadan, Enugu, Port Harcourt and other major cities during the week with fliers to share to everyone to educate them on how they can contribute towards preventing a resurgence of terrorism.