You Are Acting Like Boko Haram Spokesman, Northern Group Blasts Senator Garbai 

By Kenneth Orusi, Asaba
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The Northern Inter-Faith Religious Organizations For Peace (NIFROP) has accused the Senator representing Borno Central, Baba Kaka Garbai of acting like a spokesman for the Boko Haram terrorists following his claims that Boko Haram still controls 50 percent of the state.

Speaking at a press conference, National Spiritual Leader of the group, Bishop Musa Phomson said beyond spreading terrorists’ propaganda, the kind of utterances from Senator Garbai and others who may take this kind of dangerous descent with him have strong impact to emotionally terrorise IDPs and take away the last thing they hold unto, the hope that they will be able to return to their homelands.

He said this must not be allowed to happen, adding that the IDPs are not just in need of relief materials, but are in need of reassurances that all is being done to return their lives into balance.

He however said the comment by Garbai must be investigated by the Department of State Security and the police as it shows that Garbai is sympathetic to the terror group.

Thomson said it is obvious that following the annihilation of the terrorists by the military, the political wings have now stepped up their attacks in an attempt to demoralise the gallantry of the troops

He said, "The fallout of the political Boko haram is the on-going vituperation by those acting the script. We have read what they put out in the public space to mislead the public by suggesting that ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, the Army operations against the insurgents is at variance with the overall military command as embodied by the Defence Headquarters. They even went as far as insinuating rivalry between the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Defence Staff to make things look like the CDS is being outshined by the successes of the Army in curtailing the war against terrorism.

"There are even the outrageous speculations that there are arrangements to use the present crop of soldiers on the battle field, who are being coordinated by the Army leadership, to visit the President with all sorts of negative stories just to disconnect the President/Commander-in- Chief from his Service Chiefs and when it was not forthcoming one of them rushed to town with the story that Borno is under the control of Boko Haram.

"To us, the Senator’s conflicting information is not the product of error but a desired trajectory meant to be part of a campaign of disinformation in support of Boko Haram’s propaganda. This is proof to those fighting the insurgency that the political content is still active and growing strong even when those fighting terrorists are being degraded. This clearly indicates that the fight must again scale up on intelligence gathering."

He commended the Nigerian Army under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai as their gallantry made it possible for the liberation of the communities formally under the control of the terrorists.

He further commended General Buratai’s prompt inquisition into the attacks on Dalori, Mairi and Malari communities in Konduga area of Borno state, saying it demonstrated that the Army acknowledges attempts by the terrorists to regroup.

He however expressed concern thar while the terrorists are being decimated at the war front, the political content of the insurgency has stepped up its attacks that come in form of media propaganda, planting of stories to divert attention from the war scenes and hijacking legitimate platforms and assets to attempt creating panic and public hysteria.

He urged the DSS and Police to wade in and investigate individuals and groups whose allegiance and support for Boko Haram borders on a cult like followership as this could well be one of the strategies used in building new cells and recruiting young persons into the ranks of the terrorists.

He said, "The military, particularly the Army must work on the intelligence so gathered to nip the activities of these political collaborators of Boko Haram in the bud.

"May we also appeal to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin to debunk the damaging rumour that these Boko Haram political elements have put in the public space since such stories about cracks in the military constitute recruitment marketing for the terrorists."