13 December 2012

Nigeria: IG - FG to Deploy More Troops in Borno to Check Boko Haram

The Federal Government is to deploy more troops in Borno State, the epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency, notwithstanding clamour by some people in the state for their withdrawal.

Inspector General of Police (IG), Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, told the state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, Wednesday y in Maiduguri that beefing up the troops' presence in the state was one of the measures the Federal Government would adopt to effectively uproot Boko Haram from the state.

Abubakar was in the state with the Chief of Defence Staff(CDS), Admiral Ola Saad Ibrahim, to assess security situation in the violence-wracked state.

THISDAY gathered that the arrival of the two security chief, brought the troubled town to a standstill as human and vehicular movements were stopped along major routes.

The visit affected commercial activities in the town as no one was allowed to move along major routes leading from the airport to the town and all the expected routes the duo traversed while in the town.

Military vehicles were parked to block roads leading to the nerve centres of the town, security formations and the Government House, that were visited by the security chiefs and their team.

All movements on these routes were stopped from between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. when the security chiefs left the town.

This made it impossible for some workers to get to their offices even as some banks and major markets in the town were deserted throughout the period.

Some shops and business centres along the stretch of the closed route were closed as it was difficult for their owners to open them.

When asked by journalists why it had become a tradition during such visits by military top brass to close major roads and its attendant pains on the people of the town, Ibrahim said it was the personal opinion of journalists, insisting that he saw a lot of people going about their normal businesses.

He said: "In fact, myself and the IG were expressing our surprise about the level of freedom, that you almost put a finger on the CDS's car."

He added that: "You do not expect everyone to be on the road and everywhere becomes tight."

During the courtesy visit on the governor of the state, Shettima, the IG revealed that more troops and machinery would be brought to the city to withstand the insurgence.

He told the governor not to be deterred by the challenges, and that challenges do come to men but not made to be succumbed as "we will bring in more men and machinery and we will ensure that Borno is what it used to be, the most peaceful state in the North-east and the entire country."

Meanwhile, Ibrahim has called on the Boko Haram sect to form a political party, if they feel so strongly about their opinion.

He added that their crusade was 100 per cent sin as far as the Holy Qur'an and Hadith was concern.

Ibrahim, who stated this during a courtesy visit to the state governor, at the Maiduguri Government House, said he would have to toe the line of his predecessor who said if the terrorist group believe strong in their opinion and what to force it on the people they should go into politics and get the mandate to do it.

The CDS, who said he was in Maiduguri to assess military formation, told Shettima that he had studied both the Qur'an and Hadith and found out that there was nowhere in both where it sanctions such opinion that informed the decision of the sect members to carry arms against innocent people and established authorities.

Ibrahim said it was a sin for young people to channel their strength or put it into buying weapon to destroy lives, adding that they should instead put their resources into agriculture to yield twice in a year.

While responding, Shettima said it was not statesman-like to support the removal of the Joint Task Force (JTF) from the state.

According to him, "I would never support the removal of JTF from the state, but will continue to do our best by encouraging our young men to do what is right. As a responsive and responsible government we are investing in what would put a stop to this madness, employment and education of our people."

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