Borno Gov Meets Service Chiefs over Relocation of Jakana Residents

  •  El-Rufai attributes Kajuru killings to reprisal attacks

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja and John Shiklam in Kaduna

Following the relocation of thousands of residents of Jakana in in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State by the Nigerian Army ahead of a planned offensive against Boko Haram, Governor Kashim Shettima Wednesday had a closed-door meeting with the Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Mansur Dan Ali; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Yusuf Buratai; and the Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi.

This is coming as the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has attributed the killings and destruction of communities in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state to reprisal attacks.

The army reportedly herded residents of Jakana into trucks and ferried them 40 kilometres to a displacement camp in Maiduguri, a spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Abdulkadir Ibrahim , said.

The evacuated residents were relocated to the Bakassi IDP Camp for safety purposes to enable the military flush out insurgents from the area.

Shettima was accompanied by members of the National Assembly during his visit where he held separate closed-door meetings with the minister, army and intelligence chiefs.

The meetings discussed issues of security including the recent relocation of residents in to an IDP camp in Maiduguri which the military in Borno State said was for operational purpose in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram.

Shettima was accompanied by chairmen of the Senate and House of Representatives committees on Defence, Senator Abubakar Kyari and Hon. Betara Aliyu, respectively; the chairman, Senate committee on Rules and Business, Senator Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai; two House of Representatives members- elect.

Shettima said the meeting was informed by the issues arising from the relocation of communities in Jakana, Auno and Mainok located in Kaga and Konduga Local Government Areas of Borno State. He said at the end of the meetings, the Borno State Government and the Nigerian military had reached a common ground.

“We have accomplished our mission. The Chief of Army Staff has granted our request and some concerns raised by the Army will all be addressed. We all know that the relocation had raised dust but we felt consultation was the best approach.

“We have access to all the security heads, especially the chief of Army Staff here who is from Borno. We have met with the Minister of Defence as you have seen. We have all come to a consensus. We also have assurances on other matters relating to the military’s ongoing fight against Boko Haram and we must acknowledge that the military has recorded huge successes not withstanding some setbacks.

“As I have always said, anyone that wants to appreciate the efforts on ground should compare with the past. We have seen the difference. We will continue to cooperate with and support the military. We will also remain grateful and proud of them”, Shettima said.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has attributed the killings and destruction of communities in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state to reprisal attacks.

The governor urged the communities to stop taking the laws into their hands for peace to reign.

He spoke yesterday when he visited one of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Mararaban Kajuru.

Samuel Aruwan, spokesman of the governor, said in a statement that after visiting the IDP camp, the governor urged all communities in the state to reject an eye-for-an-eye stance in resolving differences.

The statement said the governor was saddened by the situation in Kajuru.

The statement quoted the governor saying: “What we saw is unfortunate, but we must speak out and tell our people the right thing to be done.

“An eye for eye is not a solution to the vicious cycles of killings and will complicate and undermine collective efforts.

“Our admonition, is simple. If Fulani or Adara communities have complaints of killings or attacks, they should report and allow security agencies and government to take up the administration of justice.

“ If these communities resort to taking the laws into their own hands, it will not work. That is not the solution.”