Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai said Nigerian Army was investigating the likelihood of the notorious herdsmen having an affiliation with the dreaded Boko Haram sect, thereby confirming News Punch's EXCLUSIVE Report titled; EXCLUSIVE: Deadly Fulani Herdsmen Are Dislodged Boko Haram Fighters - Investigation, published on the 5th of May 2016
News Punch had reported that an independent investigation by a freelance writer, Terfa Naswem suggests that the recent attacks believed to be carried out by some rampaging Fulani Herdsmen are actually done by the dislodged Boko Haram fighters from Borno, Adamawa and Yobe State,
Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, who was on a courtesy call on Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State yesterday, said the recent operation of the herdsmen across the country was suggestive of an affiliation with the Boko Haram insurgency, Nigerian Pilot says
Buratai, who advised Nigerians to be security conscious within their communities, assured that troops were working with police to ensure that the fleeing Boko Haram members were curtailed from further operation.
He said, “We want to call on all Nigerians to be security conscious and to report any suspicious persons or group of people that are roaming about in their communities. One may not be too far from the fact that some of these herdsmen that are attacking communities across the country may have some affiliation with the Boko Haram terrorists.
“This we are further investigating and also pursuing them so that we can address the situation. So let’s be security conscious; let’s report quickly movement of suspicious persons carrying arms, especially if you suspect any individual within your community, we should be able to report immediately.
“We have our troops deployed in certain areas and I believe the police are working with them to be able to tackle any challenge that comes in immediately.”
He added: “Some criminal elements now dress like Fulani herdsmen and go around the country committing crimes. In fact, they could be part of the Boko Haram elements that have fanned out and it seems like once they run out of supplies, what they do is to attack vulnerable communities around them, looting and killing.”
Buratai said that pocket of attacks might still continue for some time owing to the sneaking out of some of the members of the dreaded sect from the Sambisa forest, but assured that no community is under the control of the sect again.
“They didn’t capture any village. They went and attack a community, small community in Borno State and our troops responded appropriately, and we will continue to pursue them wherever they are.
“This situation may continue for some time; these are just pockets of them that sneaked out to go and commit such atrocities. Our troops are on top of the situation and we will continue to address such challenges.
“You know generally terrorism has no specific phase; they mix among the people anytime they want to strike; they sneak out and commit such atrocities. So I want to tell you that no community is under Boko Haram as at now. No local government or any ward that we can say is under any Boko Haram siege,” he said.
Governor Amosun commended the military for the recent return of one of the kidnapped Chibok girls while praying for the safe return of the ones still in captivity.