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‘We want to take the war to the insurgents so that we can crush them once and for all’

11 May 2023
Reading time: 4 minutes

Five criminals, who have been pretending to be insurgents and have been terrorising residents in villages in the Kaga Local Government Area of Borno, were killed by soldiers and other security operatives on Monday, May 8.

Residents said the “fake” insurgents been terrorising them and collecting “tax” from them for their livestock for months. The villages targeted were Bori, Abukarti and Bula Bulin close to Benisheikh town.

Masa Gumsuyi, a resident of Bori, told RNI that the so-called insurgents – disguised as members of the Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’way Wa’l-Jihād (JAS), better known as Boko Haram – had used guns to terrorise villagers and had been stealing their “hard-earned” property for months.

“We thought they were real Boko Haram insurgents. They even forced us to pay tax on our livestock, especially those residents who have cattle, goats and sheep ranches in the nearby forests.

“When the stock theft and extortion became too much, some of us decided to alert the military and other security operatives from Damaturu in Yobe State and in Borno State.

“The military and other security operatives carried out a special operation and raided the hideout of these fake insurgents in Bori, Abukarti and Bula Bulin, which are villages on the outskirts of Benisheikh town.”

Gumsuyi said the soldiers had killed five of the fake insurgents and captured several others. They also confiscated a number of weapons.

“They turned out that the insurgents were actually criminals. It has been extremely frightening, especially when it came to light that some of the fake insurgents were members of our communities.”

Malam Modu Aji, a resident of Benisheikh town, said: “Some of the people who disguised themselves as Boko Haram insurgents are members of our communities but it did not stop them from terrorising us. They often asked for money and told us that if we did not comply, they would kill us.

“Since Monday when the hideouts were destroyed by soldiers, the situation is back under control and people are conducting their day-to-day business activities peacefully without threat or fear of being attacked by armed robbers or fake or real Boko Haram insurgents. The soldiers and other security operatives are working hard to ensure they protect our lives and property. And we are begging our gallant soldiers to continue on this path so that we can live in peace.”

In another incident on Monday, Wakil Husaini Umar, the traditional ruler and deputy ward head of Addamari town, the headquarters of the Jere Local Government Area in Borno State, urged the state government to deploy more security personnel after JAS fighters attacked the town at about 10pm.

Soldiers and other security operatives repelled the attack. One woman was hit by a stray bullet and is receiving treatment at a Maiduguri hospital.

Nasir Abdulaziz, a former councillor of Addamari town, said: “Boko Haram insurgents tried to infiltrate the town but they were successfully repelled and chased away.

“However, the insurgents burnt down two army tents on the outskirts of the town near the trenches.

“This is the first attack in recent years and that is why we are calling on the state and the federal government to deploy more security personnel. The attack frightened many of the residents.”

Umar said more security personnel were needed to protect Addamari town and its nearby forests, including some other villages, such as Khoshebe.

“We want to continue our farming and business activities peacefully. We all have to pray for sustainable security, peace and stability.”

A local hunter, who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons, said: “We already have some intel from the locals that the Boko Haram insurgents are grouping themselves in the forest.

“This is the reason we stayed alert and were prepared for them to come on Monday. They arrived in cars and on motorbikes. They started shooting and managed to burn down two army tents. But fellow hunters, soldiers and members of the civilian joint task force counterattacked and chased them away. Unfortunately, the insurgents got hold of a sophisticated gun belonging to a soldier who had run away in fear.”

The hunter said security personnel knew where the insurgents were hiding in the forests linking the towns of Gajiganna, Khoshebe, Mafa, Zabarmari and Addamari.

“If the government gives us adequate operational equipment, such as weapons and vehicles, we can take the war to them and crush the insurgents once and for all.”


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