The Nigerian Army has dismissed reports that Boko Haram insurgents are sharing Ramadan gifts and cash to residents of Yobe and Borno states.
According to the Army, the reports are mere propaganda, coined to mislead the public, adding that they were directed at playing down on the recent defeats suffered by the terrorists.
“It is a notorious fact that the terrorists at various times have made several attempts to make the lives of the residents of these states miserable through the Ramadan season which were met with overwhelming response from the troops of Operation Hadin Kai”, Army said in a statement by it spokesman, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima.
The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Nigerian Army (NA) has been drawn to an ill-informed publication by an online news medium Sahara Reporters of 11 May, 2021 where it was alleged that Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province had distributed Ramadan welfare packages to some residents of Borno and Yobe States.
“The article went on to give breakdown of the food items distributed including cash which the publisher alleged was meant to entice the locals to join the terrorists ranks. The article then switched to speak on the 2019 report of International Crisis Group which tended to pour encomiums on the terrorists recruitment system since breaking away from the Abubakar Shekau’s faction. Unfortunately the article did not mention any specific location where the alleged distribution took place.
“The NA being a professional organisation decided to look at the article with every seriousness with a view to making intelligence out of it. However, our analysis established that there was nothing substantial about the claim except that it was a hurriedly packaged piece of propaganda that was meant to distract the populace from the recent defeats being suffered by the terrorists.
“It is a notorious fact that the terrorists at various times have made several attempts to make the lives of the residents of these states miserable through the Ramadan season which were met with overwhelming response from the troops of Operation Hadin Kai. The most recent of such being their failure to sneak into Maiduguri on 11 May, 2021 same day this ill-conceived article was published. The fate of the terrorists that made that audacious attempt is already a public knowledge.”