A Nigerian commander urged troops in the African country on Sunday to “look out for traitors” as Boko Haram jihadis continued to wreak havoc.
Maj. Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, the theater commander of an anti-Boko Haram operation, made the call on Sunday soon after a Boko Haram attack that day on the town of Gajiram in Nigeria’s Borno state, the group’s birthplace, local news outlets report.
The jihadis killed four people and kidnapped at least 11 others, Nigeria’s Legit news outlet points out.
Last week, separate violent assaults by the terrorist group killed 14 people and resulted in the kidnapping of eight others, the Premium Times reports.
Boko Haram jihadis also temporarily seized at least two towns in Borno last Wednesday: Gubio and Magumeri. Some news outlets noted that Nigerian troops had pulled out of the area amid relentless attacks by Boko Haram and its Islamic State (ISIS/ISL) offshoot.
The Nigerian military denied the reports.
Addressing last Wednesday’s terrorist attack, Gen. Adeniyi urged the Nigerian troops to “hold your grounds,” adding:
So, it is an insult for you to be here and someone says there are no soldiers. What we have discussed, implement it. If you have any issues, let your commander know and look out for traitors, set up a checkpoint, and be checking. If we don’t stop Boko Haram logistics, this war will never finish.
Please, let us finish this war and go home. If you have been unserious, get serious; if you are serious, get more serious.
You are in war today. You will be at peace in another unit tomorrow. Above all, we must make up our minds that we are ending this war. … [Boko Haram] will end, and Nigeria will continue [of] that I am sure.
The attacks and the general’s response came after Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration falsely claimed again that his government had “defeated” Boko Haram.
Under Buhari, the Nigerian government and military have repeatedly claimed victory over the terrorist group, but the group continues to carry out attacks.
On Monday, Borno Gov. Babagana Zulum attributed the latest attacks by Boko Haram terrorists to an alleged change of military strategy in Nigeria, namely the establishment of “super camps,” This Day notes.
The governor reportedly blasted the much-touted new war strategy introduced by the Nigerian Army in northeastern Nigeria, saying it was “unwise and not working.”
Referring to the “super camps” strategy, Zulum proclaimed:
That entails that all other smaller units in various villages and towns shall be collapsed to form part of the super camps. … In our thinking as laymen, not as military personnel, we thought this decision is not wise.
We must ensure there is [a] military presence in all the locations. We are very much aware of their numerical strength, but nonetheless, their absence can create [a] serious vacuum, and that has informed the recent attacks.
The Nigerian military disagreed with the governor, saying the so-called “super camps” approach has thwarted attacks by the Islamic State West Africa Province in Nigeria.