By Idowu Maryam
The Defence Headquarters has described as false and a tool for propaganda, the claim by Boko Haram terrorists that the 43 rice farmers in Borno state were killed in retaliation for the arrest of their members and as a punishment for giving out information on the whereabout to security agencies.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, said this on Thursday in Abuja. while giving updates on the operations of the armed forces between November 26 and December 2, 2020.
The Boko Haram terrorist group had on Tuesday released a video claiming that the attack that was carried out on the farmers was in retaliation for the arrest of one of them by the farmers and for also giving out information to security agencies on their movement.
But Gen. John Enenche said that the claim was a propaganda fabricated by the terrorists to increase and instigate fear in the minds of the people and further discourage them from cooperating with the security agencies.
He said that the information given to them by a survivor revealed that the farmers were summoned for a meeting with the terrorists on the day before they were slaughtered.
“The truth is that whenever they are losing ground as a result of the military activities, this is what they resort to.
“It is a fallacy because we killed one of them and that the farmers gave information about them, but the likelihood is wickedness.
“They want to use that to instill fear in the minds of the people because they have seen the governor trying to make sure that people return to their homes,” he said.
Mr John Enenche said the claim was a usual propaganda of the terrorist, a major weapon being used by terrorists.
“Our message here to the general public is that they should not be discouraged and that we are moving forward and with your cooperation, we are going to end this menace,” he said.
Mr John Enenche said the military had sustained its attack against the terrorists through land and air offensives across the theatre of operation.
He said the troops had raided some of the identified hideouts of the terrorists killing scores during the week and recovered arms and ammunition.
About 43 armless rice farmers were killed in Kwashebe Zabarmari axis of Jere Local government Area of Borno State on Friday by Boko Haram Terrorists.