Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj Gen Olusegun Adeniyi said people engaged in illegal fish business, supplies of petroleum products and cattle rustling are Boko Haram collaborators, desperate to prolong insurgency in the northeast.
Gen Adeniyi, while coordinating the burning of four truck-loads of fishes and hides confiscated from some commercial drivers from security agency yesterday said the counter-insurgency war was being frustrated by illegal businesses including fish trade in the Lack Chad area, diversion of petroleum products and cattle rustling.
He explained that fishing activities and fish business have been banned in the Lake Chad area particularly in Baga by the military for a long time. He maintained only Boko Haram collaborators could access fishes from some insurgents fishing at the Lake Chad shores since no residents could fish in the area again except a few Boko Haram in the river basin.
“Many Nigerians have been wondering how Boko Haram get its finances. The truth is that these people engaging in illegal fish trade, cattle rustling are the one financing Boko Haram activities. They buy the fishes from the insurgents and bring them to sell to people,” he said.
He said the ban on fish business around the Lake Chad was a standing policy of Operation Lafiya Dole. “No fishing in this area until Boko Haram is denied access completely.” He said the military was looking at the logistics of Boko Haram and is determined to cut them off.
He urged members of road transport workers not to allow their members engage in such illegal businesses. He said the military would have burnt the fishes and hides with the four vehicles at Gamboru-Ngala, Nigerian border town where they were confiscated but decided to do it at the outskirts of Maiduguri to let the people know how such acts fuel insurgency.
He said the vehicles, three trucks and a Peugeot saloon car, loaded with cartoons of fishes and hides were intercepted by the personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Confirming this, NSCDC Head of Operations, Assistant Commandant Da’aronv Lange disclosed that the four vehicles were intercepted along Gamboru-Ngala road on August 16. He said one of the drivers escaped while others were arrested. The fishes, hides and vehicles were burnt by the military at Muna Garage area in the presence of officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).