The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, has hinted that the attacks on villagers and farmers in many parts of the country by herdsmen may be due to likely affiliation with members of the Boko Haram terrorists.
Buratai urged Nigerians to be security conscious and to report to the security agencies, any suspicious persons or group of people roaming about in their communities.
The Army Chief of Staff, who gave the hint in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when he visited Governor Ibikunle Amosun on Thursday, said the army is investigating the herdsmen and also pursuing them so that their menace could be addressed.
“We want to call on all Nigerians to be security conscious and to report any suspicious persons or group of people that are roaming about in their communities.
“One may not be too far from the fact that some of these herdsmen that are attacking communities across the country may have some affiliation with the Boko Haram terrorists. “This we are further investigating and also pursuing them so that we can address the situation, so let’s be security conscious. Let’s report quickly movement of suspicious persons carrying arms especially. “If you suspect any individual within your community, we should be able to report immediately. Timely information is very important. We have our troops deployed in certain areas and I believe the Police are working with them to be able to tackle any challenge that comes in from them,” Buratai said.
He also revealed that members of the Boko Haram sect did not capture any village when they attacked a small community in Borno state few days ago, saying Nigerian troops responded swiftly and chased them away.
He noted that troops are patrolling all places in Borno and coordinating with the multinational joint task force to ensure that the nation’s borders are well secured and are blocked from any infiltration. He said: “they didn’t capture any village. They went and attack a community, small community in Borno State and our troops responded appropriately and we will continue to pursue them wherever they are.
“This situation may continue for some time, this is just pocket of them that sneaked out to go and commit such atrocities. Our troops are on top of the situation and we will continue to address such challenges. “You know generally terrorism has no specific phase, they mix among the people anytime they want to strike, they sneaked out and commit such atrocities, so I want to tell you that no community is under Boko Haram as at now. “No local government or any ward that we can say is under any Boko Haram seige. Our troops are patrolling all those places and we are coordinating with the multinational joint task force to ensure that the borders are well secured and are blocked from any infiltration.”
Earlier, Amosun Called for Creation of Army Division in Ogun State.
The Governor said Ogun State population has increased to over 7 million just as the economy of the state has also expanded to the point where the state can be said to be ripe for an Army Division of its own. “We want our own Army division here in Ogun State,” Governor said.
He also lauded the Nigerian Army for the successes it has recorded against insurgency in the North East region of the country and cases of insecurity in other parts of the country.