…Informants Give Out Information To Terrorists, Says Military
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum has donated 12 patrol vehicles, including one Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) to the military operation against Boko Haram in the state.
Zulum was in Damasak from Thursday to Friday, after the town was attacked on Tuesday, by Boko Haram insurgents, killing 20 persons and injuring 21.
Zulum traveled alongside Senator Abubakar Kyari representing Borno north, who hails from Damasak, and some officials.
The governor, according to a statement by his Media Aide, Isa Gusau, held operational meeting with soldiers and other security forces after which he presented 12 security vehicles which include an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and 11 patrol vehicles, to strengthen armed forces and volunteers made up of trained youths in the civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes, helping in the fight against insurgents.
Damasak, headquarter of Mobbar local government area in northern Borno, is located in the fringes of Lake Chad, and it shares border with communities in Niger Republic.
The town used to be producer and exporter of vegetables to target markets within Nigeria, Niger Republic and other neighboring countries.
Boko Haram had occupied Damasak in 2014 as one of their caliphate, and the insurgents seem interested in the town, apparently for strategic access to raising funds through agriculture and for land routes to Niger republic.
Zulum, spending the night at Damasak, ends speculation that the town had fallen to insurgents’ occupation.
During his stay in Damasak, Zulum had interactions with soldiers and other forces involved in counter insurgency operations.
The governor interacted with residents, empathized with them and assessed destructions caused by insurgents. Thousands of residents who had fled to border communities in Niger Republic returned on Friday.
Governor Zulum confirmed from residents that 18 people had died, 21 injured, and several properties destroyed.
The UN humanitarian hub, private residential houses, a police station, palace of the district head, a primary healthcare centre, and a GSM Village were among properties destroyed.
The insurgents attacked the town with three gun-trucks, residents told Governor Zulum.
Tuesday’s attack on Damasak was the sixth in two weeks, by the Boko Haram/ISWP groups, residents recalled.
Zulum assured of robust measures being put in place to avert future attacks on Damasak town by the insurgents.
Meanwhile, the constant assaults on Damasak by insurgents were possible with the aid of local informants
PRNigeria discovered that, in some communities, the informants not only leak vital information to the terrorists but harbour them in their houses and settlements.
They have also been found to assist terrorists in planting landmines against Nigerian troops.
An intelligence operative, who told PRNigeria that informants hint terrorists of troops’ movements, said the informants’ behaviour is aiding the infiltration of Damasak town and surrounding communities by insurgents.
“It is quite puzzling that while our gallant troops are manning specific locations and conducting patrols, the terrorists with the aid of their local collaborators would just appear from other locations and launch deadly surprise attacks on both troops and civilian populations.
“Though the military is reinforcing the troops with more equipment, the air supports have also led to the elimination of scores of Boko Haram and ISWAP, in the past few weeks,” he said.
Spokesperson of the Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Yerima, confirmed the activities of informants while debunking reports in a section of the media that the terrorists had overrun and were in control of Damasak town.
He said despite the setbacks occasion by the informants ‘vicious’ activities, troops have been able to surmount some of the obstacles.
Yerima who described some of the media reports as blatant misinformation said there was an attack by the terrorists on the town, but the terrorists were effectively repelled by the troops.