•As it launches new B/Haram operation
•Police, Fulani leaders meet over clashes
By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Nigerian Army yesterday revealed the launch of “Operation Positive Identification” against fleeing Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in the North-east.
It would be recalled that the army and other security forces have been battling the Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria since 2009.
Currently, the terror group and its affiliate, ISWAP, are mainly in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
The new army operation was revealed by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole, Ado Isa.
Isa in a statement issued yesterday urged the public to always carry valid means of identification when moving or passing through Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
Mr Isa said the operation was aimed at searching for and arresting all suspected terrorists that currently roam some parts of the North East.
The Army said, “Operation Positive Identification” was necessitated by credible information that some criminals were taking refuge in some towns and villages of Borno and Yobe States in particular and the North East zone in general.
“Our troops have been instructed to strictly check valid means of identification such as National Identification Card, Voters Registration Card, Drivers’ License and International Passports, or other valid official identification, before allowing such person passage. We, therefore, once again enjoin all to fully cooperate with troops and security agencies in carrying out this exercise”.
The statement further cautioned persons who will not be positively identified that they will be subject to further investigation to determine the question of their possible involvement in activities with the insurgents or otherwise.
This, he said has become necessary following credible information that some of the fleeing criminals are hibernating in some towns and villages of Borno and Yobe states in particular and North-east in general.
Army spokesperson disclosed that the troops had been instructed to strictly check valid means of identification of persons before allowing them passage.
He advised people to always carry National Identification Card, Voters Registration Card, Drivers’ License and International Passports, or other valid official identification.
“We therefore once again enjoin all to fully cooperate with troops and security agencies in carrying out this exercise.
“The Theatre Command also wishes to state that anyone not positively identified will attract further scrutiny and comprehensive investigation to determine his or her activities with the insurgents or otherwise.
“The general public is please requested to bear with this measure as it is in their best interest and our national security, as well as efforts to end the madness called insurgency as perpetrated by the erstwhile Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters,” he added.
The statement also announced that the army has embarked on the sensitisation of communities in northern Borno and Lake Chad basin, to rout out Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters in the area.
He said sensitisation activities were in progress at Gajiram, Magumeri, Gubio, Kukawa, Gudumbali and adjoining villages of Borno.
“So far, over 20,000 copies of psychological operations and sensitization leaflets have been forwarded to the Headquarters of the Theatre Command for coordination with the Air Task Force (ATF), to air-drop the leaflets on selected locations.
“The airdropping of the leaflets, if conducted alongside ongoing air and artillery interdiction, would exert additional pressure on Boko Haram/ISWAP bandits and crouching terrorists’ leaders”.
Isa disclosed that normalcy had returned to Gajiram, headquarters of Nganzai Local Government Area, sequel to the successful and peaceful Juma’at prayer last Friday as well as the robust deployment of troops in the area.
Meanwhile, Bauchi State Police Commissioner, Habu Sani Ahmadu has met with Fulani leaders drawn from various groups across the state as directed by the Inspector General of Police in line with Police community based approach in tackling insecurity and crimes in the state.
Speaking during the meeting held at Police Officers’ Mess, the state Commissioner of Police said the participants were drawn from Fulani socio-cultural groups including Miyetti Allah, Miyetti Allah Kautal Kore, Sammeru Fulbe and Tabital Fulako among others.
CP Habu said Fulanis and other villagers who reside in remote areas face more security threats hence the need to enlighten them on security tips.
He called on them to be wary of the people they accommodate in their villages and report suspicious movements to the police.
CP Habu said community based approach is a global practice in policing urged his Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and area commanders to also adopt the system.
The Commissioner of Police opined that partnering with communities in crime management will help in ensuring peaceful society.
Some leaders of Fulanis who spoke with reporters identified ,extortion, lack of cattle routes, jungle justice by babeli group and various injustices against the Fulanis as some of the problems of Fulanis in the state.