The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said some of the killer herdsmen, who had wreaked havoc in Benue, Enugu and Ekiti states among others, may have affiliation with the Boko Haram insurgents.
He said this on Thursday in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, when he paid a courtesy visit to the governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, at his Oke Mosan office.
Buratai, who was also visiting Army formations in the state, said this probability was already being investigated as the troops continued their onslaught on the insurgents in the North-East.
He, however, called on all Nigerians to be security conscious and report any suspicious movement of persons in their communities to security agents.
The Army chief added, “One may not be too far from the fact that some of these herdsmen that are attacking communities across the country may have some affiliation with the Boko Haram terrorists.
“This we are further investigating and also pursuing them so that we can address the situation.
“Let’s report quickly movement of suspicious persons carrying arms especially. If you suspect any individual within your community, we should be able to report immediately. Timely information is very important.
“We have our troops deployed in certain areas and I believe the Police are working with them to be able to tackle any challenge that comes in immediately.”
Buratai, who explained that the insurgents had been largely defeated, said there was no community in the North-East under the sect’s control.
He said, “Our troops are patrolling all those places and we are coordinating with the Multinational Joint Task Force to ensure that the borders are well secured and are blocked from any infiltration.”
Amosun, who called for the creation of a Nigerian Army Division in the state, said the population of the state had increased to over seven million just as the economy of the state had also expanded tremendously.
He commended the military for the successes recorded against the Boko Haram terrorists.
“Nigerians are now happy with the military. We are happy that normalcy has returned to the North-East region even to the point where Emirs, who had earlier had to run away from their domains, have now returned,” he added.