Local hunters in North Eastern Nigeria have been warned by the Nigerian Military authorities to steer clear of the ongoing military operations against Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram as their presence and contributions ”are fast breeding mischief and thus becoming irrelevant to the system.”
This information was made know by Major General Chris Olukolade, Director of Defense Information on November 28, 2014 in Abuja. He stressed that the military would make use of the local hunters in the war against terrorism if it becomes necessary.
The media has reported in recent times the ”heroic” contribution of local hunters in reclaiming towns which had been run over by insurgents in Adamawa. Some of these reports had sensationalised the contribution of local hunters presenting them as the guerrilla force that reclaimed major towns like Mubi, setting insurgents on the run.
Olukolade dismissed these reports as totally untrue and called the contribution of the hunters ”flimsy” and stressed that their role in the battle against insurgency was being mischievously exaggerated. “For as long as they are relevant, we will continue to use them, not as if it is a blanket offer,” he said stressing that there was nothing spectacular about the hunters’contribution and they were only being used to gather information and identify the people of the communities where the war was on-going.
He also maintained that the military operations in the North East was aided by civilian sources and collaborators who were not always local hunters. He also said that the military was aware that certain people were exaggerating the contribution of local hunters to achieve their mischievous aim which was unhealthy for the military, the country. and the war against terrorism.
An official blog post was made by the Defence Headquarters during the week on the subject matter and it read:
“All the flimsy and exaggerated claims of hunters’ exploits in the ongoing operations are simply intended to foster a mischievous campaign aimed at disparaging and depreciating the professional efforts of the Nigerian military at containing the terrorists especially in Adamawa. It is obvious that the intention is to ridicule and discourage the military. We are not moved.
“While appreciating the effort of the hunters and citizens who have been supporting our troops in the onslaught, the military still remains in the vanguard of the mission to rid the nation of terrorists and their activities.
“We will remain focused and utilise only well-meaning support and advice in the ongoing campaign to wipe out terrorists.”