Rising from a meeting with components of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, the Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE Major General Faruk Yahaya has issued a strong warning to Borno communities collaborating with Boko haram elements to desist from it.
The warning was contained in a press release issued by a spokesperson for the Theater Command, Colonel Ado Isa.
“We also wish to warn all groups or communities hobnobbing with Boko Haram/ISWAP to sever such relations or the military takes drastic action against such defaulters.” 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 inspite 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 harbouring “unpatriotic and heartless criminal elements.”
The theatre commander attributes this to what he describes as the high level of terrorists 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 buffer or harbour 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 occured, amidst outcries for engagement of mercenaries and sack of the Army Chief and his colleagues.
The Multi National Joint Task force has however been meeting at the Headquarters of the Theatre Command with Commanders of its components from Chad, Niger and Cameroun in 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.