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Published On: Tue, Apr 8th, 2014

Linking military with Boko Haram unfair, says Gov Shettima

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From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima yesterday described linking the Nigerian Armed Forces with support for Boko Haram insurgents as unfair.

Governor Shettima was reacting to series of media reports which began last week, quoting an unknown soldier, alleging that top military officials were working in tandem with Boko Haram elements.

Shettima, in a statement he personally signed and issued, said the allegation was most unhealthy and unhelpful in the on-going counter-insurgency operations and dangerous to the survival of the nation.

“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 am afraid, Boko Haram can light fireworks to celebrate a grand victory of setting up citizens against the security agencies”, he declared.

“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. I’m sure the security forces take this allegation seriously and they are investigating it as they should.

“I’m not holding brief for the armed forces, but as Governor of Borno State, whose area is unfortunately the worst hit, who has been closely working with security agencies, I would rather encourage confidence building between the citizens and the armed forces so that intelligence sharing can rise continually”, Shettima further added.

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