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  • Updated: November 30, 2020

Army Says Locals Refuse To Give Useful Information To Fight Boko Haram

Army Says Locals Refuse To Give Useful Information To Fight

The Nigerian military has blamed the unwillingness of locals to provide helpful information, describing it as the "bane" of the operation.

It was reported that 43 farmers in Zabarmari in Borno State were killed by suspect Boko Haram members, however, the United Nations' number of victims stood as high as 110.

Speaking on the subject, the Army's spokesperson, John Enenche, said that the unwillingness to cooperate is a "concern to us".

He said, “That has been our worry. 

“It’s a concern to us. You need a guide, you need information. Will they tell us? That’s a question that we have to ask. Yes, sometimes. And most times, no. And that was one of the issues we have been ensuring to overcome, with civil-military cooperation activities, reaching out to them, even sending people by proxy to talk to them.

“Those are the things that have been one of the banes of the final success in the whole of this operation.

“Our patrols will pass through a route, in a village. By the time you are going, some people are looking at you. When you are coming back, the next thing is that you meet an IED planted on the road. And people saw them, they won’t tell you. So that’s the area I think we are all working together as stakeholders.

READ ALSO: Zabarmari Massacre: Beheaded Farmers Were Not Cleared To Work On Rice Farm- Garba Shehu

“And it is not possible to force information out of people. It’s not possible, just like they say you force a horse to the river, but not to drink water. So all we are trying to do is to build up their confidence in the system and encourage them that look, this is not good for you. Now they do not expect that this will happen, even those ones that they deceived, that they are preaching to them.”

Body Count

Enenche disagreed with the number of the UN, stating that as at the time the bodies were being counted, the military counted only 43 bodies.

“I have to respond, it is coming from the United Nations. 

“This is a source that identified itself that 110 persons specifically were killed.

“Probably we may count up to the figure he gave in the future. 

“But as it is, up till the time I came here, what we have counted with the locals is still 43. And we are hoping that we don’t get beyond that. So that’s the real situation.”

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