The Civilian JTF, foot soldiers of the Army in war against Boko Haram

By Abankula

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday officially absorbed 400 members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) into its fold, to assist in the 11 year-old war against Boko Haram terrorists.

The men, among whom are hunters are being enlisted into the Nigerian Army’s supper camp strategy in Borno, the worst hit state by the terrorists.

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum, who commissioned the 400 men, in the presence of Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, said they are the first batch to be recruited by the army.

He said there will be other batches of the Civilian JTF joining forces with the army.

Governor Zulum at the event

Buratai in Maiduguri

Zulum, with Buratai, commissions some motor-cycles for army’s use

The CJTF, a local group which emerged in 2013 to support the Nigerian security forces in the fight against Boko Haram and to protect local communities from attacks by the insurgents was formalized by the Borno State Government through a collaboration with the military.

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The CJTF members were recruited, trained, kitted, deployed and paid monthly allowances to motivate them.

Zulum promised to continually support the Nigerian Military, and volunteers in sustained effort to attain peace and security.

Zulum also approved the donation of 100 motorcycles for army’s remote operations in the state.

He directed the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Barr. Kaka Shehu Lawan to provide the motorcycles immediately.

The soldiers use the bikes in chasing insurgents who use motorcycles to escape through remote corners in the bush and some tough terrains that vehicles do not easily access.

Zulum announced the intervention at a brief ceremony in Maiduguri which was attended by military commanding officers from operation Lafiya dole, leading the fight against Boko Haram.

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The Governor noted that his administration is planning the reconstruction of more towns and villages, which he noted cannot be possible without adequate security.

Zulum renewed his call on Boko Haram insurgents who are hiding in Sambisa Forest and bushes, in the fringes of the Lake Chad to lay down their arms and surrender.

“For those that are still in the bush, terrorising innocent lives and destroying properties, I call upon all of them to surrender.

“You are killing your brothers and sisters, destroying your own infrastructure that were built using money generated through tax from your forefathers.

“Today we have all seen the level of devastation, nobody is been left, we are all affected in one way or another.”

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Zulum, along with Buratai also launched a big poster of wanted terrorists, the 4th to be issued by the army.

The Chief Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai called on the members of the public, who knows the whereabouts of any of the wanted terrorist to report to the nearest security outpost.

Top on the list of wanted terrorists are Abubakar Shekau and Abu Al-Barnawi, son of the late founder of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf.