On Tuesday, the Nigerian Army announced that the 43 farmers killed in Zambamari on Saturday had been in close touch with terrorists from Boko Haram without telling the Nigerian authorities.
On Monday, while speaking on Sunrise Daily on TV channels, the Defense Spokesman, Major General John Eneche, said the insurgents misled the farmers that they would preach to them.
Eneche also revealed that the informants of Boko Haram are informing the insurgents about the army’s movement, while other people in the area are refusing to provide the army with information.
One of the presenters stated during the programme, “One of the survivals said they have been in contact with these terrorists, in fact, they will tell them to help them carry load, and they will do that, apparently these terrorist were among them.”
The General responded, “We cannot force people to bring out statement. Even this one, they deceived them that they are preaching to them, and that has been the main problem. We are going to overcome this.
“It’s like cornering the people. First, they said we are going to preach to them, deceived them. Like the person that commented on the issue, they did not even hear gunshot, it’s like cornering them.
“That has been our worries, it is a concern for us. For instance, just like it has been said, we believe strongly that you need a guide, you need a lead. Would they tell us? That is the question we have to ask. Yes sometimes, and most times no. That is the issue we are trying to confirm.
“Look at another situation, our patrol will pass through a place, by the time you are going, some people will be looking at you, when you are coming back, you will meet an IED planted on the road, and people saw them, they won’t tell us.”
He also disputed the figure by the United Nations on the number of persons that died. Noting that contrary to the report by the UN that over 100 people reportedly died, the Army has so far counted 43.
“The military assisted in the counting. Some people ran to the bush, and are trickling back into the villages. They are still counting,” Eneche said.