The Nigerian Army has announced plans to close designated markets in Yobe and Borno where traders have been found to be aiding Boko Haram terrorists with logistic supplies.
The acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, made the disclosure at a news conference in Abuja on yesterday.
He said the plan was part of measures adopted to contain attempts by some unscrupulous elements to sabotage recent gains recorded by the military in the war against insurgency in the northeast.
Usman said any breach of the order of the closure of the markets would be punished and appealed to residents of the affected areas to support new measures, aimed at ending the insurgency permanently.
“It has come to the knowledge of the Nigerian Army that as concerted efforts are being made to finally clear all remnants of Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast, some unscrupulous elements have been thwarting the efforts for pecuniary gains.
“They engage in all manner of illegal commercial activities, such as trading and smuggling, especially during late hours, all aimed at sustaining terrorism and insurgency.
“Consequently, the Nigerian military and, indeed, the Nigerian Army are highly concerned with these unpatriotic acts .
“The Army is, therefore, taking drastic steps to curtail this illicit trading with terrorists, from now on, some markets identified engaging in this illegal trade with adversary in Borno and Yobe will be closed,’’ he said.
Usman said the military was making concerted efforts to consolidate on the gains recently recorded in the war against terrorists in the northeast.
Usman also announced the arrest of two Nigerian Army Explosive Device personnel at Yola Park, Adamawa, with different kinds of ammunition and military hardware.
He said the two privates were arrested on Sunday with the unauthorised military items to unknown destinations.
“ The items include smoke grenade, over 2,000 live rounds of special ammunition, 50 live rounds NATO ammunition, five magazines of AK47 rifles, two Browning machine gun live rounds of ammunition.
“Others include one jack-knife, nine jungle hats, 11 pairs of camouflage (nine desert and three woodland green camouflage), one green beret, two general duty belts, 12 Army T-shirts, two raincoats and five pairs of desert boots,’’ he said.
Usman said that in spite of the setbacks, the military had recently recorded successes in its determination to flush out the remainder of the Boko Haram elements.
Usman said troops in different operations in the northeast had killed many of the terrorists, rescued hundreds of persons held hostage and recovered several arms, ammunition and vehicles in the operation.
He said several hideouts of the insurgents in remote villages in Borno and Yobe had been destroyed in the operations carried out by troops under `Operation Lafiya Dole’. (NAN)