Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) members, together with local hunters, retired soldiers and policemen on Thursday, September 4, 2014 declared their readiness to take on Boko Haram insurgents head on in Sambisa forest, where the group has held over 200 schoolgirls hostage since April and Gwoza town, where the insurgents have declared an Islamic caliphate after taking over the town.
The coalition said they have resolved to tackle the insurgents squarely over fears that the group might take over the Borno state capital, Maiduguri after attacking the states 2nd biggest town, Bama recently.
The group made the assertion when they sought the blessings of Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Elkanemi.
Premium Times reports:
The state coordinator of the Civilian JTF, Abba Aji Kalli, stated, “We are at the Shehu’s palace to seek for his blessings and fatherly advice, because we have all vowed to go after Boko Haram even if we are not well armed. We are optimistic that with our sticks and other local charms, we will raid all terrorists’ hideouts and kill them when given permission by the federal government.
“We in the Civilian JTF are now more motivated with the support and assurances we have now received from retired military men, local hunters and other patriotic citizens who have expressed their willingness to join us and help end the madness perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State and northeast in general.”
However, the Shehu implored the battle-ready volunteer soldiers to exercise restraint even in their shared patriotism.
He insisted they must act within the law, even as he hailed their patriotism.
“I want to thank you for this visit and all the efforts you been are making collectively and voluntarily in order to fight the Boko Haram terrorists who are bent on not only destroying our social and economic structures, but also killing innocent citizens.
“I want to also appeal to you that you should desist from political, religious or ethnic considerations while discharging your duties to your fatherland. In anything you are doing, you must make sure that you consult all other conventional security agencies so that you could work hand-in hand to end the terrorism that has been destroying us as a nation. You must not take the law into your hands despite our difficulties; we must all let the law take its course,” Mr. Elkanemi said.
This would be the second time members of the local security operatives in Borno State have threatened to storm Sambisa forest to fight the Boko Haram, relying only on their local guns, sticks, machetes, charms and amulets.
In May 2014, more than 500 members of the local vigilante and hunters had converged in Maiduguri for weeks waiting to be given a go ahead to go and rescue the Chibok school girls from the Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa.
The Borno State government had turned down their requests on the grounds that it could not sanction such an attempt at suicide.