Army blames community over Adamawa massacre

June 20, 2016 7:19 AM

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The Nigerian Army yesterday, blamed Kuda community over the invasion of Boko Haram insurgents, where 18 persons were killed and several others wounded. In a statement through its Director of Army Public Relations, DAPR, Colonel Sani Usman, the Army attributed the successful attack to the non-cooperation of the people with the security forces. Usman said that following the Commander, 28 Task Force Brigade, Brigadier General Felix Omoigui has visited and also commiserated with the families of the deceased in the community.

He said that “the Commander was there on an assessment tour following attack by Boko Haram terrorists that claimed the lives of 18 persons with several others wounded.” Usman stated that the Commander also interacted with the community leaders and the vigilantes.

He was said to have assured them that the military and indeed, the security agencies were there to protect them.

He added that his command would do all that is possible to track and apprehend the assailants and also assured that remnants of Boko Haram terrorists hiding in the area would be found and routed out. He however stated that, that could not be successfully done without the active cooperation and support of the people.

The DAPR said that the Commander had “enjoined them to see the fight against terrorism and insurgency as a collective responsibility that require synergy of efforts and timely and accurate information sharing.” He further encouraged them to be more vigilant and security conscious and report any suspicious movement or persons immediately. Responding on behalf of the community, the District Head of Gulak, Alhaji Ijadi Bello, was said to have acknowledged that there was the need for closer collaboration between the security agencies and his people, promising to cooperate and support the military in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.

In a related development, Theatre Commander, ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ in the north east, Major General Lucky Irabor yesterday blasted the Chairman House Committee on Defence and other members over the motion raised at the floor of the House of Representatives seeking reopening of Madagali- Gwoza road that was closed down in the past three years due to boko haram attacks.

This is coming barely 24 hours when Kuda village of Madagali town of Adamawa State came under Boko Haram attack leaving 24 people dead and 10 critically injured. General Irabor said, he was worried that the House sometimes will pass a motion without looking at its consequences on the lives and safety of citizens, as according to him, the Madagali-Gwoza road is not the only major highways closed down by military, noting that until planted landmines by insurgents are cleared and some other security issues addressed by military, the road will not be accessible to motorists, stressing that the Maiduguri- Dikwa-Gamboru Ngala road linking Cameroon and Chad Republic, Maiduguri- Bama- Gwoza- Banki and other major roads remained closed due to peculiar security problems.

He stated this when Chairman House Committee on Defence, Hon. Ali Isa led other members of his delegation to Maimalari Barracks, Maiduguri on a courtesy call on the need to reopen the Madagali and other roads in Adamawa and Borno states. The Theatre Commander said: “It is not in the interest of the army to close down roads in its ongoing crackdown operation against Boko Haram under ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, but what matters most is to protect lives and property, defeat the insurgents and restore peace in its areas of engagement, and that when troops were able to do that and cleared all the affected roads against planted landmines and other Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), motorists and passengers would be allowed to ply the roads.

“As it is for now, some of these roads are still not safe. I want to also tell you that we are peoples’ Army, just like you are representatives of the people, and so, I want to assure you that we are doing our best to reopen the roads and restore peace in the land.” General Irabor stated. Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Isa Ali said, they were at the headquarters of the theatre Commander on the resolution of the House to meet with General Irabor and the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Major General Victor Ezekwu to inform them on the need to reopen the closed down roads, especially the Madagali-Gwoza road to enable people living in such communities have access and continue their normal businesses, stressing that continuous closure of these roads have impacted negatively on the lives and economic wellbeing of the people of the affected states.

He however commended the effort of the military authorities and the troops for their gallantry effort in the fight against Boko Haram, and urged them to sustain the tempo for peace to reign in the north east and the country as a whole.


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