The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, yesterday asked the troops fighting the Boko Haram to look out for traitors in the ongoing war against insurgency.
This is even as four persons were killed and 12 others missing when suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked Gajiram, the headquarters of Nganzai Local Government Area of Borno State at the weekend.
Vigilante sources said the attackers also burnt some vehicles belonging to the local government authority and carted away foodstuffs. It was also learnt that nine women who had been abducted during the siege escaped and returned yesterday, while 12 others were still missing. “They (Boko Haram) came at about 8:30pm and started shooting sporadically. Four people were killed including an old woman. Initially, they forcefully took away 21 women but nine escaped,” a credible source told the Daily Trust yesterday. “We have since buried the victims according to the Islamic rites; we still hope those in captivity will soon return,” the source said. He said the incident had been reported to the military “and they are still searching for the missing women.” Addressing troops in Gubio and Magumeri, the two towns in northern Borno that came under attack last week, Gen. Adeniyi told them to “hold your grounds” as they could be moved from one base to another. “So, it is an insult for you to be here and someone says there are no soldiers. What we have discussed, implement it. If you have any issues, let your commander know and look out for traitors, set up a checkpoint and be checking. If we don’t stop Boko Haram logistics, this war will never finish. “Please, let us finish this war and go home. If you have been unserious, get serious; if you are serious, get more serious. You are in war today, you will be at peace in another unit tomorrow. Above all, we must make up our minds that we are ending this war,” he stated. Adeniyi also appealed to the troops to respect all their partners, including the police and the civilian joint task force to enable them to get desired results in the counter-insurgency operation. “Civilian JTF is our partner; if you are working with them, respect them and treat them well, they are our partners. You don’t attack your partners, be diplomatic with them. Also, police are your friends here, respect them, they are working with us, we all have a common enemy which is Boko Haram. “I urge you to make up your mind to end this war. Like I said, your commanders have plans, help them to execute them. Please, I am counting on you; so, I want you to know that I appreciate you very deeply and I am trusting God no evil will happen to you,” he added. He warned that any commander who failed to provide food and water to his soldiers would be punished accordingly. “Nigeria is before Boko Haram, it will end and Nigeria will continue. That I am sure of. The entire country is behind you, you are not the rebel.” A member of Gubio community, Modu Alhaji Fanami, told theatre commander they were trying their best by giving accurate information to the military. “We are ready to do more to support soldiers because we still want to remain in Gubio, we have nowhere to go. All we want is to have soldiers around us; I can assure you that everyone of us is willing to support the troops,” he said.