The Director General, Centre for Justice on Religious and Ethnicity in Nigeria, Kallamu Musa Ali, has urged the military to verify claims before making them.
On Monday, the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, John Enenche, said the Nigerian government and the military had since 2015 checked the intensity of terrorist activities across the country — particularly in the North-East.
He said the open display of power and authority by Boko Haram no longer happens in the North-East, and that no single district or community could be said to be under the control of the insurgents.
But Ali countered these claims, noting that his own town, Dikwa, is under siege from Boko Haram members.
He said, “Any military man who says there is no single territory under Boko Haram is a liar. They are staying in Abuja, they don’t know what is going on here, they just issue statements. Who are they deceiving?
Our people cannot go out like people do in other places. If they come out, they either get arrested by military men or risk being killed by Boko Haram. Enenche should come to Borno and see what is happening.”
Ali said the people of Dikwa town live like people in cages as military men arrest those without the National Identity Number (NIN) slips, “whereas officials of the National Identity Management Commission cannot come in to get them registered because of Boko Haram.”
The cleric said his nephew was arrested on this basis and is still with the soldiers.
“The military men only want to see women, they don’t want to see any man, or else they will arrest him. Even women, they arrest them and keep them. My elder brother’s wife, they kept her for about five days.
The military men are harassing innocent people. If they want to see Boko Haram members, they should go to Sambisa forest, after all, they said no single territory is under Boko Haram, who took over Sambisa?”
Ali told SaharaReporters that virtually everyone in the town has retired to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp, due to fear of being killed or kidnapped by the notorious Boko Haram.
He said, “Our territory, districts and villages are under Boko Haram. Our people have left Borno for IDP camps and military operatives are dealing with them.
“If you move 10 kilometres from the local government area, if these bandits see you, they will warn you not to come to the local government again. But if you are not lucky, they will kill you and the military knows this. The Nigerian government knows all these things, we are tired of this country, we are in terrible pains.”
The cleric said he was concerned about the issue of insecurity because he was afraid for southern Nigeria that might be a target soon.
“I am talking now because I don’t want this thing to affect another area. The people they are targeting are those in the South. Before now, insecurity was for the North-East but now, people in the North-West are also suffering.”