Borno Killings : Some Residents Sabotaging Millitary Efforts, Give Intelligence To BH Sect - Army - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Monday, November 30, 2020

Borno Killings : Some Residents Sabotaging Millitary Efforts, Give Intelligence To BH Sect - Army

... 43 Slain Farmers Had No Clearance To Do Farming In Lake Chad Basin Area, Says Presidency 

-The Daily Crucible

Coordinator of the Defence Media Operations (DMO), John Enenche, on Monday accused some Borno State residents of sabotaging the efforts of the military by providing intelligence on its movement and activities to Boko Haram.
Enenche disclosed this while featuring on the
Sunrise Daily, a programme of the Channels Television, regarding the killing of 43 rice farmers at Zabarmari village in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State by the insurgents.

He said information gathered from the attack had shown that some of the insurgents were already interacting with the villagers to the level of cohabitation before the attack took place.

On why the military had no prior knowledge of the attack, Enenche said the army needs information from locals to aid its operation.

“That has been our worry. 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,” Enenche said.

“Those are the things that have been one of the banes of the final success in the whole of this operation. 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.

“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. So all we are trying to do is to build up their confidence in the system and encourage them that look, this is not good for you. Now they do not expect that this will happen, even those ones that they deceived, that they are preaching to them.”

Enenche debunked the UN’s statement that over 100 farmers were killed during the attack, saying contrary to the UN's claims, the military has so far identified 43 corpses.

He said : "The field commandants gave me a synopsis of what happened. When the governor was to go and after they had recovered the dead, the troops had to move in there and they counted 43.

“Probably we may count up to the figure he (Kallon) gave in the future but as it is now, what we have counted with the locals is still 43 and we are hoping that we don’t get beyond that.

“This is the real situation. I did not sleep, we had to follow it because this is very relevant coming from the United Nations.”
He however gave insight into how to enhance the military’s performance and the role the service chiefs play accordingly, saying  the military was in need of fresh ideas and that could could come even from lower-ranking officers.

“Of course, we need fresh ideas. Like I was at the graduation ceremony of army war college on Friday last week. Incidentally, I was the commandant there before and what we do from time, we now play; there is what we call exercise star ride, we have the similar one at the national defence college even at the armed forces command and staff college, we now play real lifetime exercise to the participants and students. 

"They see where there are areas that they could improve upon and they bring out their reports. Those are fresh ideas because it is dynamic.

“So, we get input from the war colleges and then the NDC and also we have planning teams and those are the people that come up with these ideas. I can assure you that the things we do progressively are never in the past. So fresh ideas, that is how we generate them from the various components that I have mentioned.

“My training is bottom-up approach. That is the intercontinental system. It comes from the bottom-up then you will now look at it at the top. I have been a commander and I have been a commandant so that is the way it works. You don’t look down on your subordinates and junior commandants. Those are the people on the field. You’ll get it better with the bottom-up approach. That is better from my experience because if you now go and bear on them, that means you are lording it over your subordinates. They bring up their ideas then you now look at it.”

Meanwhile, the Presidency has come out to say that the 43 rice farmers killed by Boko Haram members on Saturday did not have military clearance to be on their farms at the time the insurgents struck.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in an interview with the BBC on Monday morning.

Garba said the victims should not be blamed for the fate that befell them, but they should have first sought military clearance to ensure their safety in a area under threat by the insurgents.

Garba said : “The government is sad that this tragic incident has happened. 43 or thereabout of innocent farm workers, most of them had their throats slit by a heartless band of terrorists. People need to know what it is like in the Lake Chad Basin area.

“Much of those areas have been liberated from Boko Haram terrorists but there are a number of spaces that have not been cleared for the return of villagers who have been displaced. So, ideally, all of these places ought to pass the test of military clearances before farmers or settlers resume activities on those fields.

“The truth has to be said. Was there any clearance by the military which is in total control of those areas ? Did anybody ask to resume activity? I have been told by the military leaders that they had not been so advised and certainly, therefore, it was a window that the terrorists exploited.

 “The military is not present in every inch of space in that area. Even if the people are willing to go back, a lot of those areas have been mined and mine clearance needs to be carried out and those areas must be cast as being ok for human habitation or agricultural activity.”

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