Probe Terrorism Financing Now

A recent call by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and civil society organisations (CSOs) for a probe into terrorism financing amid the high spate of insurgency and kidnappings across the country, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, should galvanise the government into action.
The scourge of terrorism has reached alarming levels, threatening lives and livelihoods across the nation.
Reports abound of frequent attacks by Boko Haram, ISWAP, and so-called bandits, with countless innocent civilians killed or maimed. The economic toll has also been severe, as farmers flee their fields and food prices skyrocket. Bold action is needed to confront this menace decisively.
As Northern Elders Forum spokesperson Abdul-Azeez Suleiman rightly argues, investigating terrorism financing must be a top priority.
Tracing the money trails that sustain extremist networks is crucial to unraveling their roots and severing their lifelines.

It is instructive to note that Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) states that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the government, and the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this constitution.
In the wake of the persistent threat of terrorism in Nigeria and the recent revelation by Major General Danjuma Ali-Keffi (rtd) – that the plane crash which killed a former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, was caused by terrorism sponsors, we urge President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to sweep the matter under the carpet.
The call by Ali-Keffi for President Tinubu to investigate terrorism financing in the country is a justified and necessary step towards unraveling the truth behind the heinous acts of terrorism.
In the considered opinion of this newspaper, by probing terrorism financing, Nigeria can effectively dismantle the networks that perpetuate violence and restore peace and security to its citizens.

We recall that on September 15, 2021, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) designated six Nigerians and 47 others as ‘terrorism sponsors,’ and six months after, in March 2022, the United States of America went ahead to place those six Nigerians on its terror list as a result of what it described as their involvement in “sponsoring terrorism.”
Though the former administration under President Muhammadu Buhari promised to name and prosecute terrorist financiers, it failed to do so.
Terrorism is affecting Nigeria negatively as it discourages foreign investments, tourism, or assistance programs that can affect the country’s economy and support of the government in power, as it is currently happening in Niger Delta.
Meanwhile, previous administrations spent over $20 billion to deal with Boko Haram insurgency, but nothing tangible has been achieved.
We’ve talked about arms trafficking and drug trafficking, but we have not talked about how terrorists are dominating ungoverned spaces and how terrorists are imposing illegal taxes and making multi-millions of naira from the people they are terrorising, and the government appears to be helpless.
We are deeply worried by the assertions made by Ali-Keffi regarding terrorism sponsors within the military, with its potential implications, which, if proven true, would expose a deeply rooted problem within the military, compromising its ability to effectively combat terrorism.
President Tinubu must act swiftly to commission an independent inquiry into terrorism financing and root out any corrupted elements found colluding with terrorists.
This will send a clear signal that such betrayal of the country will not be tolerated. The probe should be transparent and follow the money wherever it leads.
This will admittedly not be easy. Nigeria’s informal cash economy enables anonymity that can cloak illicit transactions.

Beyond that, Nigeria lacks a comprehensive citizen identity and information data to track individuals, and one can operate in this country, spend a lot of money, without a footprint, making it more difficult.
The security agencies must live up to their billing and dig deep to find the leakages and focus on tracing the movement of funds outside the formal banking system.
The rewards of decisively confronting terrorism financing make action urgent. Only through bold steps to follow the money, investigate leads thoroughly, and prosecute any enablers uncovered can Nigeria hope to break the recurring cycle of violence.

It is time to hold the paymasters and their accomplices accountable.
No cover-ups. President Tinubu must lead the charge before terror’s deadly toll rises further. Nigeria’s future depends on unmasking and dismantling those financing mayhem for their own profit.
A few criminal elements should not be allowed to continue to hold the nation hostage by their activities, and it’s high time we hold them by the jugular and say enough is enough.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*