The military on Monday disclosed a rising trend amongst residents in the north-east. They reported that there’s been a high rate of refusal within the locals in the area to cooperate with security agencies.
According to reports, at least 43 farmers were killed in a gruesome way in Zabarmari, Borno on Saturday by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
But reports from the United Nations states otherwise, the UN report puts the death toll at 110.
The attack is just one of the numerous attacks that has been reported across several local government area in the North-East.
The Major-General John Enenche, disclosed that reason why the effort of the Military hasn’t been effective is because some of the locals have refused to provide necessary information when quizzed.
“That has been our worry,” he said. “It’s a concern to 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 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.”
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As at the time of this report, 43 bodies were counted by DHQ…
In response to the reports of the United Nation, stating that 110 people were killed in the Zabarmari attack, Enenche said the military’s casualty count still stood at 43.
“I have to respond, it is coming from the United Nations,” he said. “This is a source that identified itself that 110 persons specifically were killed.”
According to him, military officials accompanied Governor Babagana Zulum to the site of the killings where the 43 bodies were counted.
They also reported that some farmers ran away from the scene before they could be murdered by the men.
The spokesman also added that the military is still searching for more victims of the attack.
“Probably we may count up to the figure he gave in the future,” Enenche said. “But as it is, up till the time I came here, what we have counted with the locals is still 43. And we are hoping that we don’t get beyond that. So that’s the real situation.”
On replacing the Service Chiefs
The Zabarmari attack has given rise to the call for the nation’s service chief to be sacked.
The hashtag #SackTheServiceChiefs was one of the top trending topics on the social media site Twitter on Monday morning.
When asked what the Military’s position was on the issue of refreshing the military top hierarchy, Enenche declined to respond.
“You are not being fair to me, asking me that question about change of service chiefs,” he said. “It is beyond me.”
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