Nigeria civilians want arms permit to fight Boko Haram — AA News, Turkey

27th April, 2014

In a letter to the president, the Every Nigerian Do Something (ENDS) said they have nearly 25,000 volunteers boko-andalouready to fight
Anadolu Agency

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS 

A Nigerian NGO has written to President Goodluck Jonathan requesting permission to recruit, train and arm thousands of civilian volunteers to fight the Boko Haram militant group, according to the group’s leader.

“We have allowed the crisis to become more complicated. We have been too slow; we have been sleeping,” Peregrino Brimah, a popular social activist and public intellectual, told Anadolu Agency.

In the letter, dated April 26, the Every Nigerian Do Something (ENDS) told the president that nearly 25,000 Nigerians – including retired soldiers and policemen – had volunteered to take the battle against Boko Haram to the insurgents’ hideouts provided they are allowed to carry arms.

“This commitment will require funding, it will require training and it will require collaboration and cooperation with the security services,” read the letter, a copy of which was obtained by AA.

“We hereby request that you give approval and direct the corresponding arms of government to act necessarily,” it added.

Boasting of massive support from Nigerians and friends of Nigeria, ENDS said it was not asking the government to fund the initiative.

“We…are capable and ready to arm this civilian force and sponsor all logistics of the operation,” it added.

Brimah said they are seeking the president’s approval to carry arms so that government troops would not kill their volunteers and advertise them as Boko Haram fighters.

The request to carry arms follows criticism of the government’s handling of the abduction of scores of schoolgirls in Borno by suspected Boko Haram militants.

Two weeks after, neither the government nor the military has given answers to the mystery surrounding the abduction or the fate of the schoolgirls.

More than 1500 people have been killed this year alone in attacks blamed on Boko Haram insurgents.

Boko Haram first emerged in the early 2000s, preaching against government misrule and corruption. The group later became violent, however, after the death of its leader while in police custody.

In the years since, it has been blamed for attacking places of worship and government institutions, along with causing thousands of deaths.

More than 1500 people have been killed this year alone in attacks blamed on Boko Haram insurgents.

-Underexploited-

The Nigerian NGO assured the president that their plan of engagement will be in league with the Nigerian military.

Read full: http://www.aa.com.tr/en/news/318943–nigeria-civilians-want-arms-permit-to-fight-boko-haram