The Operation LAfiya Dole of thé Nigeria Army has uncovered new deceptive means of wining thé confidence of locals in thé North-East .
Thé theater commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Benson Akinroluyo, disclosed this in a statement signed bY the spokesman of thé Command, Col Onyema Nwachukwu and made available to our correspondent in Maiduguri on Sunday.
The statement said: “Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Major General Benson Akinroluyo, has uncovered the employment of deception by Boko Haram terrorists to win the confidence and support of locals in the North East.”
“General Akinroluyo raised the alarm while addressing troops of Sector 2 Operation Lafiya Dole during a three-day operational tour of the sector’s area of responsibility that lasted from Thursday 31 January to Saturday 2 February”.
Col Nwachukwu further said:, “Theatre Commander disclosed further that Boko Haram terrorists now engage in cattle rustling and later return the rustled cattle to their owners, thereby deceitfully creating the impression of ” the Good Samaritan” and presenting themselves as a “protector of the people”.
Urging the troops to prevent any form of cattle rustling by the insurgents, as it is now being used as a means of psychological warfare to make the locals see them in positive light and be receptive to their ideology, thé Theater Commander described the gimmick as a dangerous ploy that must be nipped in the bud, before it gets out of control.
General Akinroluyo also called on all community and opinion leaders to educate members of their communities on the development, adding that they must be vigilant and not fall for the wiles of the terrorists.
The Theater said while cattle rustling has been earlier identified as a means of raising funds for Boko Haram terrorists, another use for cattle rustling has been invented by the terrorists, which they carry out by first stealing the cattle and later returning same to their owners to make the locals believe they are pious and possibly turn blind eyes to the nefarious activities of the terrorists.
The Army, therefore, urged the people of the North East, particularly the youths, not to be persuaded to join the terrorists group, describing it as the enemy of the people.
The Theatre Commander was accompanied on the visit by the Commander Sector 2, Brigadier General Mohammed Dala, also visited the troops in Nigerian Army Special Forces School and 27 Task Force Brigade both in Buni Yadi, as well as 159 and 233 Battalions in Geidam and Damaturu, respectively, where he assured the troops that their operational challenges and welfare are getting adequate attention.
He also paid a visit to in-patient troops undergoing medical treatment at the Sector 2 Field Ambulance.