Boko Haram: 'Civilian JTF' Seeks To Carry Arms


BEVERLY HILLS, CA, May 14, (THEWILL) â€' As counter-terrorism offensive against Boko Haram insurgency continues in the North Eastern States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, the youth vigilante volunteer group, popularly called the Civilian JTF, has called on the Federal Government to allow its members carry arms and ammunition in order to do its work well in Borno State.

Making the call after an emergency meeting of the group in Maiduguri on Wednesday, the Legal Adviser of the group, Barrister Jibrin Gunda, and spokesman, Bello Dambatta , also urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to renew the state of emergency imposed on Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, saying it was needless without first equipping the Nigerian troops properly.

'The state of emergency just lapsed and as far as we are concerned, it should not be extended any longer. Troops on ground are doing their best but they don't have the sophistication of the terrorists. 'The President should provide modern fighting equipment and surveillance facilities for the soldiers to do the right thing. We believe that even without emergency, troops can be deployed to any part of Borno and other states,' Gunda said.

On his part, Danbatta, while explaining the call for the group to carry arms, said: 'The Boko Haram insurgency is assuming a new dimension everyday. We used sticks and knives and worked closely with soldiers and fought the Boko Haram members out of Maiduguri. They are now killing civilians in the villages.

'The Borno State Government had done its best in supporting us through training and payment of our allowances which runs into millions of Naira. We have structures in all the 27 Local Government Areas and our members are highly disciplined. We want arms so that we can take the fight to the insurgents in the bushes.

'We also need arms for our members to protect vulnerable civilians who are being attacked everyday. In the South-South, youths have been empowered to protect oil installations. We want similar gesture to protect our people here.' According to Danbatta, the Civilian JTF has been doing a lot in containing the Boko Haram insurgency but the Federal Government did not show any appreciation.

'We actively participated in the arrest of the latest Nyanya bombers.

In fact, we are the ones that sent our members to Abuja and worked with the SSS in arresting the suspects. Unfortunately, our name was not mentioned in the whole thing.

'The President had ones called us heroes but has never granted any financial or logistic support to our members who are rescuing their lives to keep the country one. We want Federal Government to assist us,' he said.