The Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE Major General Faruk Yahaya has issued a strong warning to Borno communities, warning them to stop collaborating with Boko haram elements wagging an Islamist war against the Nigerian state.
The warning was contained in a press release issued by a spokesperson for the Theater Command, Colonel Ado Isa after a meeting with components of the Multi-National Joint Task Force in Maiduguri.
“We also wish to warn all groups or communities hobnobbing with Boko Haram/ISWAP to sever such relations or the military will take drastic action against such communities.” The Theatre Commander declared.
The level of collaboration and support ranged from providing information and intelligence on troops and law-abiding citizens to logistics supply and trading with the terrorists, the statement alleged.
This is in spite of “obvious implications and the dangers of collaborating with Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists and other criminal elements in the society” Yahaya stated.
Benisheik, Jakana, Mainok, Magumeri, Gajiram, and Gubio, all in Borno State were indicted in the statement for allegedly harboring “unpatriotic and heartless criminal elements.”
The theatre commander attributes this to what he describes as the high level of terrorist activities and general insecurity that results in casualties in those areas.
“Anyone caught will face the full wrath of the law as we will not tolerate anyone sabotaging our concerted counterterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts through collaboration with the Boko Haram terrorists.”
According to the statement, the army may also be compelled to come out hard on any community or groups that support or collaborate with terrorists in any way or act as a buffer or harbor zone for them.
The statement made no direct mention of the Zabarmari farmers killed in Koshobe village, and their location is not listed among defaulting towns.
The military has been tight-lipped since the attack occurred, amidst outcries for engagement of mercenaries and sack of the country’s service chiefs.
The Multi-National Joint Taskforce has however been meeting at the Headquarters of the Theatre Command with Commanders of its components from Chad, Niger and Cameroun in attendance.
They also met with the Borno state Governor, Babagana Zulum in a closed session; the agenda/outcome of their meeting was not made public.