Civilians hoarding information affecting northeast operations, says military
The Nigerian military on Monday said civilians hoarding information are making its security operations in the region less effective.
The military said while residents do not give them information on activities of insurgents, some of them work as informants to bandits and terrorists.
Military spokesman, Major-General John Enenche, in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said the local residents are reducing the military’s effectiveness to combat the insecurity because they do not provide relevant information.
“That (information) has been our worry,” said. “It’s a concern to us. You need a guide, you need information. Will they tell us? That’s a question that we have to ask. Yes, sometimes. And most times, no.”
“And that was one of the issues we have been ensuring to overcome, with civil-military cooperation activities, reaching out to them, even sending people by proxy to talk to them.”
About 43 rice farmers were killed in a deadly assault in Borno on Saturday by suspected Boko Haram terrorists at Koshebe village in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno.
The farmers were buried on Sunday amid wailing and tears by residents of the community.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the farmers were killed at about 11 a.m. as they harvested rice on their farms.
The incident is the latest in the unrelenting killing of farmers in the North-East by Boko Haram insurgents, who have been campaigning for a strict Islamic code since 2009.
While the killings and other security challenges continue in the region, the military said their operations have been successful except for the cooperation of locals.
“Our patrols will pass through a route, in a village. By the time you are going, some people are looking at you. When you are coming back, the next thing is that you meet an IED planted on the road. And people saw them, they won’t tell you. So that’s the area I think we are all working together as stakeholders,” Enenche said.
“And it is not possible to force information out of people. It’s not possible, just like they say you force a horse to the river, but not to drink water.”
He said the military is trying to do is to build confidence in the people that they can subsequently confide in the security operatives to curb insurgency activities.
Borno State governor and other governors in the northern region have condemned the killing and called for improved security architecture in the north.