Chairman of the just inaugurated Presidential Victims Support Fund, Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.) has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to lead the way to Sambisa forest where the female students of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state were believed to be held by members of the deadly Boko Haram. He made it clear that members of the committee are ready to visit the forest only if the President is ready to take the lead.
Danjuma, a former Minister of Defence, spoke while responding to Jonathan’s inauguration speech in which he tasked members of the committee to be ready to visit all parts of the country including the dreaded forest.
“Mr. President, we won’t go to Sambisa Forest. As the Commander-in-Chief, you should take the lead and we will follow,” he said amidst laughter from those who attended the inauguration.
Danjuma also shocked those in attendance when he told the President that the insurgents, who were wreaking havoc in parts of the country, are having the upper hand even as he insisted that the war must be won quickly.
The National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), agreed with Danjuma that the war must be won quickly.
He said the government had realised that it was time to draw the line.
“We have realised that the time has come to draw the line. We will win the war and do so quickly,” he promised.
Jonathan, in his inauguration speech, said the days of the Boko Haram sect are numbered and that it is a matter of days for their violent campaign to come to an end.
He regretted that members of the sect had wasted unimaginable human and material resources since they started their campaign of violence.
He noted that the sect members had been brainwashed into believing that they were doing God a favour, describing them as enemies of humanity.
While saying that there would be no hiding place for the sect, Jonathan said his government would expose them.
The terms of reference of the committee are:
a. To identify sources and ways of raising sustainable funding to support victims of terror activities;
b. To develop appropriate strategies for the fund raising;
c. To ascertain the persons, communities, facilities and economic assets affected by terror activities;
d. To assess and determine the appropriate support required in each case;
e. To manage, disburse and/or administer support to the victims as appropriate;
f. To address related challenges as may be appropriate;
g. To advise Government on other matter(s) necessary or incidental to support victims of terror activities;