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Borno governor decries comments linking soldiers to insurgents

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has described the recent allegation that the Nigerian Armed Forces were supporting the outlawed Boko Haram sect as unfair.

He described the comment made recently in an international media by a Nigerian soldier as most ‘unhealthy and unhelpful’ in counter insurgency operations.

The Governor reacted to recent international media reports which quoted an unknown soldier that some ‘top military leaders’ were working in tandem with Boko Haram elements to prolong the lingering insurgency crisis in the north.


According to a statement released by his spokesman Isa Gusau to newsmen in maiduguri,”Of all theories being alleged in connection with the Boko Haram, the most dangerous as far as I’m concerned is to raise such grievous suspicion around our security forces.

“When citizens grow such suspicion and believe in it, I’m afraid, Boko Haram will light fireworks to celebrate a grand victory of setting up citizens against the security agencies.

“Since last week, I have listened and read these media reports with the hope that the issue will not be getting out of hand but it appears the matter is growing and I find it very disturbing. I do not want to bother about the credibility or otherwise of the soldier in question. I’m sure the security forces take this allegation seriously and they are investigating it as they should.


The Governor went on: “I am not holding brief for the armed forces but as Governor of Borno State,whose area is unfortunately the worst hit, who has been working closely  with security agencies, I would rather encourage confidence building between citizens and the armed forces so that intelligence sharing can rise continually and we don’t loose focus in the counter insurgency.


“The day citizens grow the suspicion of regarding security agencies as collaborators of insurgents whereas the security has the constitutional mandate of protecting citizens, then we will be drifting towards chaos as a Nation, we cannot afford that unhealthy development. Unless it becomes unquestionably evident, we must work as individuals, groups and institutions to promote public trust in our armed forces so as to encourage cordiality between citizens and security agencies.


“We must recognize that at the moment, the security agencies are all we’ve got, we should preserve their integrity by at least giving them the benefit of doubt. As the one working with them in Borno since 2011,I know the number of military men, police men and women as well as Para-military men and women, among them commanders in the military and senior police officers that sacrificed their lives in the fight against our unfortunate insurgency problems in Borno which also obtains in some parts of Nigeria.


“Insurgents will do everything to cause confusion, to manipulate us so that we don’t trust each other as citizens and as establishments, let’s not fall into their trap, loose focus and become their mass victims. The military has in the past arrested, made public and court-marshaled soldiers found to be collaborating with insurgents.

“Such patriotic efforts by the military establishments should be intensified by all security agencies. I must acknowledge and very well appreciate the important roles played by the media in the fight against insurgency. The media should kindly and very importantly, too, help in fighting any suspicion that can grow between citizens and armed forces.

“The armed forces rely on information from citizens, the citizens rely on the armed forces for protection, this therefore means, that suspicion between them will help no one but insurgents who would take advantage of such a situation at the end to wreck more havoc on already traumatized citizens.

Governor Shettima called on the people to continue to pray and work for peace using whatever platforms at their disposals so that they can happily live, freely worship, associate and move around all parts of Nigeria as we should in their fundamental rights.

AmarSim Associations Development Consultants

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