Govt may bring back JTF in Borno
…Protest in Maiduguri over checkpoint killing
The Federal Government may rejig the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State to boost counter-insurgency war in the North-East.
This is coming when the government has started reviewing the war against terror, to assess why much success has not been recorded.
It was also gathered that the continuous high casualty figures, poor working relationship with troops and welfare issues, among other sensitive matters, are some of the things the government is determined to unravel.
Another area the government may be taking a critical look is equipment and from where they are purchased.
The arrival of foreign support against the war against Boko Haram insurgency as well as the outcome of consultations with top retired military, police and security officers were said to have prompted the Presidency to review military operations in the North-East.
Top security sources revealed that the review has become necessary, as there are fears that the newly-established 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, Borno State may be overwhelmed with the anti-terror war.
The JTF used to coordinate security operations in the North East, but under a repackaged JTF, there would be more troops on ground, from the military, Department of State Security (DSS) and other security agencies, for the operation, while 7 Division will supervise. Similarly, government is also looking at the incessant complaints by soldiers over equipment.
Meanwhile, angry youths yesterday took to the streets of Maiduguri, protesting the killing of a civilian allegedly by a soldier at a military check-point.
A tricycle operator was said to have violated traffic rules by riding along the road blocked by the soldiers at a check-point around West End area of the city at about 11am, prompting a soldier to shoot at the tyre of the Keke NAPEP apparently to stop the operator. “Unfortunately, the bullet killed the man selling kola-nut (Mai goro) opposite the check-point,” eyewitnesses said.
The incident, according to residents, attracted the attention of youths, who expressed their displeasure over the tragedy. Sources said the youths’ anger grew when it was alleged that the killer-soldier was not remorseful.
“People got annoyed because after the shooting, the soldier did not show any sympathy. The youths who came to the area started protesting the killing,” one Bukar Mohammed, an eyewitness said.
Sources said the soldier was nearly lynched by the youths, but for the quick intervention of his colleagues who came to his rescue and shot into the air to disperse them. The youths, however, barricaded the highway with burnt used tyres in protest.