Borno community leaders’ve contact with B/Haram – Army

The Theatre Commander of the counter-insurgency operation in North-east, Maj.
-Gen Nicholas Rogers, has said the military is aware that some local community leaders in Borno have communication contacts with the outlawed Boko Haram group.
Rogers said the local community leaders should try and leverage on their link with the insurgents in talking them into giving up their hostility and embracing government’s offer of amnesty.
The Theatre Commander made this remark during the official reopening of the major Maiduguri-Bama-Banki road that links the two local government headquarters on Saturday.
The road was being reopened four years after it was seized by Boko Haram.
Rogers addressed a gathering of returning residents of Bama and Banki communities before the road was reopened.
He said with the degrading of Boko Haram in the Sambisa forest axis which is closer to Bama, he believed the people’s return to their reclaimed communities would help revive the once bustling economy of the area.
He also implored the people using the reopened road to abide by the code of conduct read out to them in order to avoid falling on harm’s way.
Rogers implored the people to continue using the road, saying their regular plying of the road would wear out the Boko Haram.
He then called on the community leaders to also help the military with credible information or preferably use the communication channel, which he said he knew they have, to help convince the Boko Haram to give up their hostility.
“The continuous usage of the road will also scare them out and also make them to come back home,” he said.
“We want them to come back home; they are Nigerians and our brothers and that’s why we have been pleading to them to leave the forests and come back home and get integrated in the larger society.
That is the message to them; we are not here to kill them, but also to bring them back home so that they can also contribute to the development of the state and Nigeria at large.
“And those of you that have access to them, please talk to them, especially those of you who are local community leaders; please talk to them.
“It is true that we know that some of us have access to them; they are our brothers and sisters.
So if you have access to them, it is good that you ask them to come home, surrender themselves and the federal government is ready to grant them all forms of amnesty as long as they are ready to give up their arms.

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