BY IBRAHIM ABDULHAMID, OCTOBER 19, 2023 | 03:51 PM
The Government of Borno has reacted to allegations of a resurgence of attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist group in the state.
Nigerian newspapers relying on an NGO, Beacon Intel, reported last Monday that over 252 killings occurred in the state in August alone.
However, Professor Usman Tar, the commissioner of Information and Internal Security in the state, said the government is unaware of the source of the information as ‘it is inaccurate’.
Tar said contrary to the information, the number of attacks has actually gone down.
‘Yes, there are isolated desperate attacks. The marauders are looking for food and supplies and they are doing this in desperation,’ Tar admitted.
‘The real situation which the state security council received on the 11th from security agencies, is that the number of attacks are declining, the velocity are also on the low side.
‘So we vehemently disagree with those who claim that the claims are on the rise.’
The reports also attributed the rise in the number of attacks to the reintegration of the repentant members of the terrorist group.
However, Tar said this is not true.
‘The repentant insurgents have been thoroughly processed. Those who are of very high risk are kept in detention. Those that are low-risk were reintegrated under controlled circumstances and they were well received back in the camps or communities where they were returned to.
‘So we are not aware of these claims,’ Tar said.
Over 100,000 members of the Boko Haram terrorist group have defected to the Nigerian side since last year and they are currently in the custody of the government, undergoing both profiling and rehabilitation.
The recent attacks have remained a recurring incident annually by this period as the terrorists go after farmers’ harvests in their farmlands.
Most of the attacks occur in farmlands or around farming communities.
Elsewhere the terrorists kidnap the farmers for ransom or seize their farm produces after harvest.
The scale of attacks, as well as their frequency, have greatly declined since the mass defections.
Beacon Intel’s report is not readily available to the internet.
The parts quoted by Nigerian newspapers did not provide the details of data used to make the conclusions or estimates.
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11 October 2021