Military laments lack of co-operation from community in Borno towns
• Suspects moles in government circles
• B’Haram has killed 360 teachers,
displaced 34,000 in five states
• FG alerts on sect’s new strategy to attack
AS war against insurgents intensifies and the mop-up operations continue after the series of recent attacks on Maiduguri and some towns in Borno State, the military has lamented the seeming lack of co-operation from the locals in the affected communities. It also suspected that moles in high places betrayed the planned operation that would have stopped the insurgency.
A source within the military Thursday said that the manner in which the terrorists have responded to attacks on their strongholds and the seeming concentration on Maiduguri, Konduga and Monguno to over-run the towns is a clear indication that something is amiss.
It said: “It is a common knowledge that the military were preparing a comprehensive onslaught on the Boko Haram terrorists in an operation meant to rid the entire region of insurgency in time for the February general elections.
“Some residents of the affected community were also blamed for aiding and abetting the terrorists by providing information about troops’ movements and wonder how the military can succeed in the fight against terrorists when those they are supposed to be defending are the real enemies.
“The recent retreat of soldiers from Mongunu occurred following betrayal of the troops by some locals who leaked some information to the terrorists and subsequent attacks from strange locations within the community.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government yesterday warned that the Boko Haram insurgents may carry out their deadly attacks using livestock.
It also said there was an intelligent report that the terrorists want to use male suicide bombers disguised as cobblers (shoe-makers) to carry out attacks.
This was disclosed in Abuja by the Co-ordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri while briefing journalists on the security situation in the country.
Omeri said: “There is indication of a plan by this group to use livestock, such as goats, cows, donkeys and camels laden with explosives to attack chosen targets.
“Available intelligence reports indicate a plan by Boko Haram to use young male suicide bombers disguised as cobblers (shoemakers) to hide explosives in their tool boxes and detonate them in soft target areas such as markets, restaurants, ATM locations, political rallies, worship centres as well as other public places.”
The government, therefore, said: “In view of this, the general public, including all persons operating within and around the aforementioned places, is advised to be vigilant and mindful of suspicious activities in their environment.”
In another development, Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Alhaji Bulama Abiso, has said that no fewer than 34,000 teachers with the Borno Teaching Service Board (BTSB) and Local Education Authorities (LEA) from 25 local council of the state are displaced by Boko Haram insurgency.
Abiso, who spoke yesterday in Maiduguri while distributing relief materials to families of 70 slain teachers at three IDP camps of Maiduguri metropolis, said NUT has successfully registered 36,000 members in the state; but 34,000 of them were however; displaced while most of them are taking refuge in five other camps on Airport and Bama roads.
He also said that “no fewer than 360 teachers were killed in separate incessant attacks across the 27 local councils of the state in the last three or four years.
The source further alludes that attack on the communities is a diversionary tactic employed by the terrorists to create avenue for escape for insurgent commanders.
According to the source, the pattern of the attack was also common to the terrorists who embark upon such desperate and unlikely to succeed attacks just to create room for terrorists’ commanders to escape from their camps in view of impending military raids in the areas.
“Weekend’s multiple strike by the insurgents was meant to slow down or even prevent and divert the attention of the military from commencing the determined operation against them. The pattern of the attack was also common to the terrorists who embark upon such desperate and unlikely to succeed attacks just to create room for terrorists’ commanders to escape from their camps in view of impending military raids in the areas”, the source added.
The NIC co-ordinator also said that the security agencies may arrest persons who graze their livestock in the city centre as it has posed a security threat following the recent security alert.
Omeri said that some IDP camps had been infiltrated by agents of the Boko Haram sect and had been giving false and inaccurate reports of the situation in the camps.
“Unfortunately, these reports have been adopted as true situation by international organisations and media. We hereby alert these organisations of these trends and strongly advise that they make effort to visit the camps to verify the issues”, he further said.