By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The head of the counter-insurgency operation in the North East (Operation Lafiya Dole), Maj. Gen. Benson Akinroluyo, has warned the youth against being persuaded to join Boko Haram under any guise.
He said the group is nothing but the enemy of the people and should not be seen as “Good Samaritans” under any condition.
Akinroluyo, in a statement yesterday by the spokesman of Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, said the military has uncovered the employment of deception by Boko Haram terrorists to win the confidence and support of locals in the North-east.
The statement said “General Akinroluyo raised the alarm while addressing troops of Sector 2 Operation Lafiya Dole during a three-day operational tour of the sector’s area of responsibility that lasted from Thursday, January 31 to Saturday, February 2, 2019.”
It said: “The Theatre Commander disclosed further that Boko Haram terrorists now engage in cattle rustling and later return the rustled cattle to their owners, thereby deceitfully creating the impression of “the Good Samaritan” and presenting themselves as a “protector of the people”.
Akinroluyo, was said to have described the gimmick as a dangerous ploy that must be nipped in the bud, before it spirals out of control, urging the troops to prevent any form of cattle rustling by the insurgents, as it is now being used as a means of psychological warfare to make the locals see them in positive light and be receptive to their ideology.
He also called on all community and opinion leaders to educate members of their communities on the development, adding, that they must be vigilant and not fall for the wiles of the terrorists.
He added, that while cattle rustling has been earlier identified as a means of raising funds for Boko Haram terrorists, another use for cattle rustling has been invented by the terrorists, which they carry out by first stealing the cattle and later returning same to their owners to make the locals believe they are pious and possibly turn blind eyes to the nefarious activities of the terrorists.
He therefore urged the people of the North-east, particularly the youth, not to be persuaded to join the terrorists group describing it as the enemy of the people.
The Theatre Commander, who was accompanied by the Commander Sector 2, Brigadier General Mohammed Dala, also visited the troops in Nigerian Army Special Forces School and 27 Task Force Brigade both in Buni Yadi, as well as 159 and 233 Battalions in Geidam and Damaturu respectively, where he assured the troops that their operational challenges and welfare are getting adequate attention.