The youths also commended the army for its resilience and sacrifices that led to the victory over the insurgents.
Speaking during a press conference in Kaduna, National President of NYLF, Alhaji Adadu Adadu said the defeat of the terror group united Nigerians of conscience along religious and ethnic lines.
He said the defeat of Boko Haram is an event that has brought 2016 to a close on a positive note irrespective of any other unpleasant experiences we might have had as a people during the year.
“The Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) heartily thanks the Nigerian Army, all the other military services, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Tukur Buratai and other military chiefs for defeating the enemies of Nigeria.”
“Boko Haram killed without thoughts for their victims’ ethnicity, creed or geographical origin.
It was a thorn in our flesh collectively and the Army has therefore brought relief to us all and not just a particular location or people. The joy from this act of valour is across board.”
“It is remarkable that Boko Haram was defeated against all odds. NYLF had at some point in the past appealed to the Nigerian Army not to be distracted by those reading political meanings into its action. We had also in the past urged the COAS not to slow down in his zeal on account of propaganda mounted against him by Boko Haram sponsors and sympathisers.”
Speaking further, he said, “There were other occasions when we acknowledged the progress being made in the war in spite of propaganda to the contrary. We are happy that our counsel was not in vain and the Army has gone on to demonstrate that the state is supreme above crises entrepreneurs.”
“That the army and the COAS hearkened to our appeals and those of like-minded Nigerians in the past to keep up the fight gives us great joy.
It showed a leadership and institution that is responsive to the populace it is securing. For this we say thank you the Nigerian Army and the COAS.”
He lamented that the Boko Haram insurgency killed economic activities same way it killed many enterprising young minds, sating incidence of unemployment and poverty became more acute in the north as the madness of this murderous group drove off existing investors while making it impossible to attract new one.
He said, “youths that were not killed in attacks were forced to flee to other parts of the country for safety before considering how to eke out living.
General Buratai has restored the hope that Nigeria but particularly the north in this case can again return to being an investment hub. “We realise that this cannot happen overnight but the defeat of Boko Haram terror group is a new beginning towards this goal.”
Adadu however appealed to Nigerians to speak against any attempt by fleeing Boko Haram fighters who would still attempt to cause outrage if only to provide openings for their sponsors to start casting doubts on their group’s demise.
He said Nigerians must also be vigilant to furnish security agencies with information that could assist in the capture of fleeing Boko Haram members.