The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has lambasted the Nigerian Army for poorly managing information about President Muhammadu Buhari’s proposed trip to Sambisa forest.
Nigerian Army last week disclosed the proposed visit of the President to Sambisa forest, Borno State, to declare open this year’s Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship.
MURIC Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement said although the President was represented by a high-ranking Nigerian official, “the way and manner the Nigerian Army made the president’s movement public ahead of the time in a zone that is yet to become completely secure” was commendable.
“That publicity blitz on the president’s proposed visit to Sambisa was, to say the least, naïve, infantile and ill-advised.
“While it is true that presidents of countries who dispatched soldiers to war zones usually visit such dangerous places as the commaders-in-chief of the army, such visits are usually clandestine for obvious reasons.
“This explains why US President Lincoln’s visit to Antietam on October 3, 1862 was unannounced. The same Lincoln was protected by more than 100 US soldiers when he paid another surprise visit to Richmond on April 4, 1865.
“Neither British nor American authorities announced Winston Churchill’s rendezvous with Franklin Roosevelt in Casablanca during World War II in January 1943.
“On Sunday, 25th May 2014, former US President Barrack Obama slipped into Afghanistan under cover of darkness.
“So why should Buhari’s visit to Sambisa be different? This is a notorious Boko Haram stronghold that was held in awe for years. We cannot afford to underestimate the enemy.
“Although Boko Haram has been defeated, bombs are still exploding in Borno State. Villages are still being attacked. Innocent people are still being killed. That shows how desperate the insurgents are.
“We should not play into their hands, at least not with the life of the president.
“MURIC therefore pleads that future movements of President Muhammadu Buhari and that of senior government officials around Borno State should be shrouded in secrecy until the remnants of insurgency have been totally eliminated.”