Hours after 43 farmers murdered by Boko Haram in Borno state were buried, the Nigerian Army has attributed the surge in insurgency across the North-East to sabotage from the citizens.
The military added that the civilians, who were expected to assist the army to end insurgency within the axis, have allegedly stopped providing information on Boko Haram and others’ activities in their communities to the army
These allegations came as controversies had continued to trail the number of casualties recorded after the insurgents attacked farmers in Zabarmari, Borno state 48 hours ago, while the military claimed that 43 died, the United Nations (UN) has said the death toll is as high as 110.
Addressing pressmen on Monday, military spokesman, Major-General John Enenche, disclosed that some local residents reduce the military’s effectiveness to combat the insecurity scourge in the region by not providing relevant information.
“That has been our worry. It’s a concern for us. You need a guide, you need information. Will they tell us? That’s a question that we have to ask. Yes, sometimes. And most times, no. And that was one of the issues we have been ensuring to overcome, with civil-military cooperation activities, reaching out to them, even sending people by proxy to talk to them.
“Those are the things that have been one of the banes of the final success in the whole of this operation. Our patrols will pass through a route, in a village. By the time you are going, some people are looking at you. When you are coming back, the next thing is that you meet an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted on the road. And people saw them, they won’t tell you. So that’s the area I think we are all working together as stakeholders.
“And it is not possible to force information out of people. It’s not possible, just like they say you force a horse to the river, but not to drink water. So all we are trying to do is to build up their confidence in the system and encourage them that look, this is not good for you. Now they do not expect that this will happen, even those ones that they deceived, that they are preaching to them”.