Linking military with Boko Haram unfair, unhealthy, dangerous – Shettima

Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima, has said that linking the Nigerian Armed Forces with Boko Haram was not fair “most unhealthy, unhelpful and dangerous to the survival of the nation.”
Shettima stated this in a reaction to series of media reports which began since last week, quoting an unknown soldier saying that top military leaders were working in tandem with Boko Haram elements.
He said: “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’m afraid, Boko Haram can light fireworks to celebrate a grand victory of setting up citizens against the security agencies.

“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 am 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 citizens and the armed forces so that intelligence-sharing can rise continually and we don’t lose focus in the counter insurgency.”

Continuing, he said: “As the one working with them in Borno since 2011,I know the number of military men, police men and women as well as para-military men and women, among them commanders in the military and senior police officers that sacrificed their lives in the fight against our unfortunate insurgency problems in Borno which also obtains in some parts of Nigeria. Insurgents will do everything to cause confusion, to manipulate us so that we don’t trust each other as citizens and as establishments; let’s not fall into their trap, lose focus and become their mass victims. The military has in the past arrested, made public and court-marshalled soldiers found to be collaborating with insurgents. Such patriotic efforts by the military establishments should be intensified by all security agencies.”

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