1,773 CJTF Die Fighting Boko Haram/ISWAP Terrorists in North East in 10 years

At least 1,773 members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) have died while fighting Boko Haram and the Islamic State of the West African Province(ISWAP) terrorists in the North East,the group’s overall Chairman Babashehu Abdulganiu has said.

Abdulganiu who disclosed this in an interview with news men on Saturday in Maiduguri, said most them paid the supreme price while fighting the terrorists along with the military in their enclaves in Sambisa Forest and the LakeChad.

He said that some of them died while repelling attacks in Maiduguri, some came under ambushes attacks by the terrorists while others sacrificed their lives by hugging suicide bombers during attempts to attack innocent people.

He explained that the number of deaths was part of the record they had between 2012 and 2022, noting that in spite of the high casualty figure, the Civilian JTF remained resolute in their determination to ensure that they rid the state of Boko Haram elements and bring back the lost glory of the state as a home of peace.

According to him, the group is a non profitable organization born out of necessity to stamped out bad elements who usually cause havoc within the Maiduguri metropolis.

“It started in 2012, when our youths picked up sticks and said no more Boko Haram and we successfully push the terrorists group out of Maiduguri to their enclaves in Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad. 

“In 2015, the Borno state government established the Borno Youths Empowerment Scheme(BOYES), where the 23,000 Civilian Joint Task Forces were enlisted as security vanguards, trained by military and screened by the Departments of State Security.

“During the screening exercises, those involved in drug abuses or criminality or those that were convicted before were screened out. This was to make sure that we do not recruit back eggs within our midst. 

“We adopted the military like structures that was existing as Sectors. So we deployed our men to occupy the checkpoints from Sector 1 to Sector 10,”he said

The CJTF Overall Chairman said that the establishment of the BOYES who were paid monthly allowances helped in stamping out youths restiveness and unemployment as well as helped in reducing minor crimes like theft, drug abuse and thuggery within Maiduguri.

“The Borno state government is spending N150 million as monthly to provide allowances of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF). They also provided us vehicles, working tools and even light weapons,”he said.

Abdulganiu said the Borno government also recruited additional 2,700 neighborhood watch vanguards that were trained by the Nigerian police and were paid N20,000 as allowances in order to compliment efforts of the security agencies in combating crimes.

“Unlike the CJTF who are attached with the Nigerian military, the Neighborhood Watch are embedded in the society to report local crimes. They are also attached to various village and district heads for information and intelligence gathering and sharing. 

“On the welfare of the slain CJTF families, the Borno Government has committed N300 million to support the education of of 300 orphans of 300 CJTF members. Each of the families recieved N1million to send their children to schools of their choice.  

“We have also supported 50 our youths to acquire degrees and diplomas in tertiary institutions across the country. 

“Also, NEEM foundation, an International Non Governmental Organization are supporting 60 of the orphans left behind by the CJTF. Also Recently, the former Theartre Commander Operation Hadin Kai, Maj. Gen. Christopher Musa supported 300 families drawn across the 27 LGAs with food and other relief materials.

“This is also as the military have recruited thousands of our CJTF into the Nigerian Army,”he said.

He lamented that while the insurgency in the North East was fast coming to an end, the banditry in the North West and North Central has recorded an increase due to lack of support for the security agencies executing the counter terrorism campaign. 

He called on the governors of the North West, North Central and the South East to borrow from the Borno model of fighting terrorists by positively engaging the youths in the efforts of restoring sanity in their communities. 

“You cannot end insurgency or banditry without the active support of the community. What we see is only military responses in the North West and North Central. A multi Sectorial approach must be adopted. As i speak to you, we already have our presence in almost 26 states across the country. 

“Our CJTF are currently fighting bandits along with the military in Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger, Kogi. In fact, Even in rivers state, we have our CJTF Chairman Nwachikwu who is supporting the security agencies in combating pipeline vandalism in the South East,”he said.

He added that the CJTF were trained in mainstreaming human right into their operations noting that their code and conduct was guided by the international best practices.

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