Thousands of youths on Thursday thronged the streets of Maiduguri protesting against the increasing spate of attacks on Borno State by Boko Haram. The youths, who first assembled at the popularly Ramat Square Ground, later moved to the palace of the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Elkanemi, saying they were willing to confront the terror group if given the go ahead.
They said they were at the palace for Elkanemi’s blessings which, according to them, would give them success when fighting the terror sect. The youths comprising mainly members of the Civilian Joint Task Force, said they had resolved to enter the Sambisa Forest and other hideouts of terrorists to hunt them down and bring an end to the attacks.
The Shehu commended the over 10,000 protesting youths and advised them to always abide by the law. He also appealed to them to always follow the directives of the military and other security agencies while discharging their duties.
The monarch said, “I want to thank you for this visit and the efforts you are collectively and voluntarily putting in in order to fight Boko Haram which bent on not only destroying our social and economic structures, but also killing innocent people.
“I want to also appeal to you that you should desist from politics, religious or ethnic considerations while discharging your duties to your fatherland.
“In anything you are doing, you must make sure that you consult all other security agencies so that you work hand-in-hand to end this terrorism that has been destroying us as a nation.”
The Coordinator of the Civilian JTF, Mallam Abba Kalli, told journalists that they were at the Shehu’s palace to seek for his fatherly advice. He added that they were optimistic that with their sticks (Gora ) and local arms, they would raid all terrorist hideouts and kill the insurgents if given permission.
Kalli also said, “The Civilian JTF is now more motivated with the support and assurance they received from retired military men, local hunters and other patriotic citizens who have expressed their willingness to join the group to end the madness being perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in the North- East.”
He however expressed dismay that President Goodluck Jonathan was not supporting the Civilian JTF whose members “were sacrificing their lives in the fight to end insurgency in the North-East.”