Military to close markets aiding Boko Haram operations in Borno, Yobe
The Nigerian Army has announced plans to close designated markets in Yobe and Borno where traders have been found to be aiding Boko Haram terrorists with logistic supplies.
The acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, who disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, did not name the markets.
Usman said the planned closure was part of measures to contain attempts by some unscrupulous elements to sabotage recent gains recorded by the military in the North-East.
According to the spokesman, any breach of the order will be dealt with accordingly.
He appealed to residents of the affected areas to support the new measures, stressing that they were aimed at permanently ending the insurgency.
“It has come to the knowledge of the Nigerian Army that as concerted efforts are being made to finally clear all remnants of Boko Haram insurgents in the Nort-East, some unscrupulous elements have been thwarting that efforts for pecuniary gains.
“They engage in all manners of illegal commercial activities such as trading and smuggling, especially during late hours; all aimed at sustaining terrorism and insurgency.
“Consequently, the Nigerian military and indeed the Nigerian Army is highly concerned with these unpatriotic acts .
“The Army is therefore taking drastic steps to curtail this illicit trading with terrorists; from now on, some markets identified to engage in this illegal trade with adversary in Borno and Yobe will be closed,’’ he said.
Usman said the military was making efforts to consolidate on the gains recently recorded in the war against terrorists in the North-East.
Usman also announced the arrest of two Nigerian Army Explosive Device personnel at Yola park with different kinds of ammunition and military hardware.
He said the soldiers were arrested on Sunday with the unathorised military items to unknown destinations.
“ The items include smoke grenade, over 2,000 live rounds of special ammunition, 50 live rounds NATO ammunition, five magazines of AK47 rifles, two browning machine gun live rounds of ammunition.
“Others include one jack knife, nine junugle hats, 11 pairs of camouflage, one green beret, two general duty belts and two rain coats,’’ he said.
Usman said in spite of the setbacks, the military had recently recorded successes in its determination to flush out the elements.
Usman said troops in different operations in the North-East killed many of the terrorists, rescued hundreds of persons held hostage and recovered several arms.
He said several hideouts of the insurgents in remote villages in Borno and Yobe had been destroyed in the operations carried out by troops under the `Operation Lafiya Dole’.