Maiduguri — The volunteer vigilante youth groups popularly known as Civilian JTF that trained on counter-insurgency operations and currently helping the military fight Boko Haram insurgency in Borno State and environs, has been supported by Governor Kashim Shettima alone since their inception six years ago.
Since 2013, the Civilian JTF fighters have been playing crucial roles in intelligence gathering, easy identification and arrest of suspected insurgents and supporting in the war fronts.
Shettima's Special Adviser on Communications and Strategy, Malam Isa Gusau said this during a live interview as guest of "The Morning Show" on Arise (cable) News International, in Ikoyi Lagos on Saturday.
Arise which airs on DSTV world-wide, is a sister organization to ThisDay newspapers.
He said despite efforts by political mischief makers to downplay his contributions on the fight against Boko Haram, Governor Shettima-led government has from 2013 to date, remained the sole financiers of hundreds of successful operations carried out by more than 20,000 volunteers of the Civilian JTF.
According to him, their contributions in the fight against Boko Haram has been roundly acknowledged by the military, all other security stakeholders, past and incumbent federal administrations as well as residents of Borno State.
The spokesman said it was a laughable irony that in recent days some "mischief makers are doing everything possible to smear Governor Shettima over the Boko Haram crisis, whereas the same mischief makers regularly acknowledge the roles played by patriotic members of the civilian JTF.
He, however, added that "They deliberately ignore the fact that in the last six years, Governor Shettima has been the sole person giving approvals for the operational vehicles and logistics, recruitment, training, payment of allowances, kitting and surveillance equipment to these over 20,000 heroes, under the Civilian JTF that have given everything to the fight against Boko Haram."