…Speaks on recent bombings
… Says because insurgents conceal identity, some residents may innocently associate with them
… Lauds parents who surrendered their children
.. Says support for insurgents is crime against humanity
… Says, “I know the weight of my duties”
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has said to the Military and other security agencies to ensure anyone with evidence of negative links with the Boko Haram insurgents is made to face to justice even if the accused happens to be any of his three biological children.
He said some insurgents living outside battle fronts as well as those supporting them mostly conceal their identity making it sometimes impossible for innocent citizens to identify them and as a result, the citizens may associate with them without knowing what they do behind.
The Governor made spoke in a seven-minute video clip released on Friday morning where he addressed citizens of his State from the Government House in Maiduguri. The Governor noted that any citizen who chooses to affiliate with insurgents for wrong reasons has committed a crime against humanity and as such needs to face justice no matter who the person might be.
“I know that majority of you, the good people of Borno State, have remained sincerely committed to fighting this insurgency.
I have met parents who exposed their insurgent biological children and handed them over to security forces to face justice.
I know that insurgents and their allies, often hide their identity so well that good citizens may innocently associate with them.
But the bold patriotism of parents who turn to their children has always strengthened our resolve. This is why I strongly say to security agencies, that anyone actually suspected of despicable links with the Boko Haram and other criminals should face justice even if that person happens to be one of my three biological children. Support for insurgents is a crime against humanity. I have met parents who encouraged their children to join the Civilian JTF and risk their lives to fight insurgents.
I have even met parents who remained contented and proud even after their sons died fighting under the Civilian JTF. I have seen elderly men and young girls organize themselves to join the fight as vigilantes and the Civilian JTF” the Governor said.
Shettima spoke about suicide bombings in the last couple of days, noting that while security challenges in the State were not yet over, attacks on soft targets by the insurgents confirm their weakness and desperation to attract the attention of their counterparts in the globe.
“In recent days and weeks, we have come under renewed attacks which horribly remind us, that our security challenges are still longing.
It is regrettable that this upsurge in cowardly suicide attacks came not long after the patriotic military forces of this country recaptured Sambisa Forest which used to be the operational zone of the Boko Haram terrorists.
It was from Sambisa that these mass murderers used to train, prepare and launch bold attacks on our communities.
Our gallant military and other security agencies have now denied them the use of their former high command. However, we must remind ourselves that the recapture of Sambisa Forest and the flushing out of the terrorists from most of their former enclaves does not mean that our struggle is over.
Instead, the terrorists have resorted in their usual cowardly fashion, to stepping up attacks on soft targets. Cowardly and vile attacks such as these on schools, places of worship, markets and other soft targets are signs of the terrorists’ weakness and of their desperation to tell their terror co-travellers around the world, that they are not yet finished.
In this criminal endeavor, they resort to the use of teenagers and children as young as seven years. More recently, they even strap babies on the back of their recruits in order to slip through our security dragnets.
They also use hard drugs on these innocent children who do not know what they are doing when they kill their own parents, relations, and fellow countrymen and women. Many precious lives have been lost, hundreds of citizens including school girls were abducted; many more people have suffered serious injuries as a result of these senseless acts of bloodthirsty enemies of peace” he said in the video.
The Governor charged citizens to rise up against the insurgents by stepping participation in surveillance of their neighborhoods and communities.
”Even though we are all saddened by episodes of attacks, as your Governor, I assure you that I serve as a constant reminder that the number one basis of Government is the protection of innocent lives and property.
I know the weight of my duties and the oath I took before you and God.
With your mandate, I have the privilege of first-hand security reports and I can share with you, that for every vile attack that the terrorists were able to carry out on innocent lives, much more were stopped by our gallant security agencies, our Civilian JTF, vigilantes, and hunters. As we know, the intention of terrorists is to demoralize us, make us live in fear and prevent us from going about our normal lives and worshipping our God in ways that differ from their ungodly violence. We will not allow them to succeed in their wish to make us live in the permanent slavery of fear.
In fact, they have failed in their mission because together, we have said no to them. And in saying NO, we must not let them cause us any more harm.
The Government of Borno State will continue to provide the necessary support to our gallant military and security agencies and volunteers in their patriotic effort to restore peace and security in our ancestral land.
We will continue to take preventive measures by working with community leaders across ethnic and religious divides in all our 27 local government areas to increase community policing. We all have roles to play.
I know the sacrifices many citizens have made and it is because of your devotion that I am urging all the people of Borno State to rise up as one and increase our community vigilance, especially around soft targets.
We must remobilize ourselves and step up vigilance and community policing around all our population and community centers like mosques, churches, markets, schools, hospitals, shopping complexes, football fields, social gatherings and motor parks. We must watch out for strange and suspicious faces, not for the purpose of taking the law into our hands but for reporting these suspicious persons to the nearest security agents for prompt action. I urge you, the good people of Borno State, not to despair but to rise as one and stand up to this murderous gasp of a dying insurgency” the Governor said.
The Governor thanked international and local humanitarian agencies and development partners for supporting the people of the State while also consoling families whose members were either killed, abducted or injured and those who lost property expressing determination that the State will rebind