Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, yesterday described as unfair the linking of armed forces to Boko Haram He said it was unhealthy and unhelpful, alleging that the army was supporting the terrorist group.
Shettima added that the development was bad for counter insurgency operations and dangerous to the survival of the nation.
The governor was reacting to some media reports which started making the rounds last week, quoting an unknown soldier that top military leaders were working in tandem with Boko Haram elements. “Of all theories being alleged in connection with the Boko Haram,
the most dangerous as far as I’m concerned is to raise such grievous suspicion around our security forces.
“When citizens grow such suspicion and believe in it, I’m afraid, Boko Haram can light fireworks to celebrate a grand victory of setting up citizens against the security agencies. “Since last week, I have listened and read these media reports with the hope that the issue will not be getting out of hand, but it appears the matter is growing and I find it very disturbing.
“I do not want to bother about the credibility or otherwise of the soldier in question,” Shettima stated.
His words: “I’m sure the security forces take this allegation seriously and they are investigating it as they should. “I am not holding brief for the armed forces, but as the Governor of Borno State, whose area is unfortunately the worst hit, who has been closely working with security agencies, I would rather encourage confidencebuilding between citizens and the armed forces so that intelligence sharing can rise continually and we don’t lose focus in the counter insurgency.
“The day citizens grow the suspicion of regarding security agencies as collaborators of insurgents, whereas the security has the constitutional mandate of protecting citizens, then we will be drifting towards chaos as a nation. We cannot afford that unhealthy development.
“Unless it becomes unquestionably evident, we must work as individuals, groups and institutions to promote public trust in our armed forces so as to encourage cordiality between citizens and security agencies.” he said.
By INUSA NDAHI