The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima has called on the fishermen and fish merchants in the state against aiding Boko Haram insurgents to speed up successful implementation of the counter-insurgency campaign.
Shettima stated this while receiving seven trucks seized by the military at the Maimalari Cantonment on Wednesday in Maiduguri.
According to reports the trucks were reported seized while en route to deliver suspected fishery commodities to the insurgents.
The governor who was represented by the Commissioner of Justice, Kaka Shehu stated that the call was drived at ensuring that fishermen and traders do not aid insurgency.
He took the opportunity to call on the association of fishermen to educate its members on the need to support the military so as to defeat the insurgents and restore peace to the state.
“Government will not condone acts by fishermen to sympathise, aid or abate insurgency.”
“The campaign against insurgency is a collective responsibility and we must work together to defeat the terrorists.”
“The fishermen signed undertaking not to support the insurgents and also promised to expose members with suspicious character.”
“You must ensure that only registered members with proven character are allowed to practice the trade in the state.”
The governor while speaking on the damage that has been caused to the state by the insurgents commended the efforts of the military towards tackling the insurgency.
He pledged the government’s support to the military and other security agencies in the fight against insurgency and peace building process.
Brig.-Gen. Bulama Biu, the acting Commanding Officer (GOC), 7 Division and Commander Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole, disclosed that the trucks were suspected to be conveying fishery commodities to the insurgents.
Biu disclosed that the trucks were seized in the past seven months, adding that the military authorities had authorised its release sequel to thorough investigations.
“Intelligence reports indicated that insurgents engage in fish trade to fund their activities.”
“I call on genuine fishermen and traders to desist from aiding insurgents.”
“We had met with various fishermen and traders’ organisations to galvanise the desire to work together to achieve peace and security.”
“Consequently, authorities imposed a ban on fishery activities in Lake Chad region.”
Biu called on the people to support the military and provide useful information on suspicious persons and movement in their communities.
Alhaji Abubakar Gamandi, the Chairman, Lake Chad Fishermen Association, said that the association had adopted modalities to enforce compliance with security directives and to guide the operations of members.
Gamandi disclosed that the association had issued Identification Cards (IDs) to over 25, 000 registered members to guard against infiltration and to enable them to practice the trade in accordance with laid-down rules.
According to him, fishery items are being supplied to Maiduguri from Gamboru, Yola and Diffa in Niger Republic.