The Borno Government has warned fishermen and fish merchants against aiding Boko Haram insurgents so as to fast track successful implementation of the counter insurgency campaign.
The state Governor, Kashim Shettima, gave the warning during the hand-over of seven trucks seized by the military to the state government at Maimalari Cantonment on Wednesday in Maiduguri.
The trucks were seized while conveying suspected fishery commodities to the insurgents.
Shettima, represented by Mr Kaka Shehu, the Commissioner of Justice, said that the call was imperative to ensure that fishermen and traders did not aid and abate insurgency.
He tasked the fishermen association to sensitise its members on the need to support the military to enable them to defeat the insurgents and restore peace to the state. The governor said “government will not condone acts by fishermen to sympathise, aid or abate insurgency.
“The campaign against insurgency is a collective responsibility and we must work together to defeat the terrorists. The fishermen signed undertaking not to support the insurgents and also promised to expose members with suspicious character.
You must ensure that only registered members with proven character are allowed to practice the trade in the state.”
The governor commended the efforts of the military toward tackling the insurgency, noting that activities of the group had caused monumental damage to the state.
He also lauded the military over the successes recorded so far and pledged government’s support to the military and other security agencies in the fight against insurgency and peace building process.
Brig.-Gen. Bulama Biu, the acting Commanding Officer (GOC), 7 Division and Commander Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole, disclosed that the trucks were suspected to be conveying fishery commodities to insurgents.
Biu disclosed that the trucks were seized in the past seven months, adding that the military authorities had authorised its release sequel to thorough investigations.
“Intelligence reports indicated that insurgents engage in fish trade to fund their activities. I call on genuine fishermen and traders to desist from aiding insurgents.
We had met with various fishermen and traders’ organisations to galvanise the desire to work together to achieve peace and security.
Consequently, authorities imposed a ban on fishery activities in Lake Chad region.”
Biu called on the people to support the military and provide useful information on suspicious persons and movement in their communities.
Alhaji Abubakar Gamandi, the Chairman, Lake Chad Fishermen Association, said that the association had adopted modalities to enforce compliance with security directives and to guide the operations of members.
Gamandi disclosed that the association had issued Identification Cards (IDs) to over 25, 000 registered members to guard against infiltration and to enable them to practice the trade in accordance with laid down rules.
According to him, fishery items are being supplied to Maiduguri from Gamboru, Yola and Diffa in Niger Republic.(NAN)