One of the survivors of the recent attack on farmers in Borno state has alleged that the villagers alerted the military about an imminent attack but “nothing was done”.
At least 45 farmers were murdered by members of the Boko Haram sect in Zamarmari area of Jere local government area of Borno on Saturday.
The UN had placed the number of those killed above 100 but military authorities said 43 farmers were murdered.
In a report, Daily Trsut quoted Abubakar Salihu, one of the survivors, as saying they envisaged the attack after they caught one of the Boko Haram members.
“We informed the military beforehand that our members sighted Boko Haram in large numbers but nothing was done about it,” Salihu was quoted to have said.
“It was a sad day for us in Zabarmari; it could have been averted but the military failed to act on the information we gave them.”
But speaking on the issue when he was asked how the army did not get wind of the attack, John Enenche, defence spokesman, said the reluctance to provide information on the part of the locals in the northeast is one of the issues the military is contending with in the fight against insurgency.
Enenche spoke when he featured on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Monday.
“That has been our worry. It’s a concern for us. For instance, 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,” he said.
“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.
“But gradually we believe from the moves made from all stakeholders we are going to overcome that finally, it will become normal criminality that can be handled easily.”