Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno has taken new measure to curb Boko Haram activities in the state.
Daily Post reports that the governor on March 4 announced the ban on sale of dried meat as intelligence report revealed that the terrorists group currently engaged in cattle rusting to fund their operations.
Borno state Governor Kashim Shettima banned the sale of dried meat.
Speaking at the inauguration of a high powered committee for the management of the Maiduguri cattle market in Maiduguri, Shettima, who was represented by the secretary to the state government, Alhaji Jidda Shuwa, said government had also suspended importation of cattle to the state capital for the next two weeks.
He said only the butchers association and cattle traders association are allowed to slaughter and sell cattle in the market.
“Importation of cattle to the state capital through all routes and all sources other than the cattle traders association is hereby suspended for two weeks.
“In the same vein, the sale of dried meat is hereby banned, as it had been observed that criminal elements resort to this measure to legitimize their dubious activities ultimately aimed at funding activities of Boko Haram,” Shettima said.
The governor also announced the suspension of trading activities in four livestock markets; Gamboru, Dusuman, Shuwarin and Ngom in a bid to make sure only legitimate cattle are sold at the market.
“All trading activities in Gamboru Cattle Market, Dusuman, Shuwari and Ngom have been suspended till further notice in line with government’s commitment to ensure that no public place is turned to avenue for funding activities of the terrorists,” he said.
The governor said the intelligence reports obtained from security agencies revealed that the terrorists use the cattle market to sell rustled cattle to innocent members of the public.
“You will recall that cattle market in the metropolis was closed down and all trade suspended by our security agencies following significant intelligence report that the place had been turned commercial stronghold of insurgency with serious security implication on the wellbeing of our people.
“Evidence available to security agencies show that most of the cattle being traded at the market were the direct proceeds of cattle rustling perpetrated by the Boko Haram terrorists. They are sold at prohibitive cost to unsuspecting customers through some unscrupulous middle men.
“The money realised from such transactions will then be channelled to fund the deadly activities of the terrorists. Consequently, the terrorists feel they have discovered new source of resuscitating their infrastructure with a view to re-commencing their atrocities,” he said
He, however, noted that the action of the security agencies had resulted in scarcity of beef in the metropolis and the need for government to take action.
“One of the unforeseen consequences of the market closure is the shortage of meat supply which had led to outcry by members of the public who have been agitating for the market’s re-opening.
“In order to satisfy the legitimate demand of the people to end the shortage of meat supply, it has become imperative for government to sanitize the market and streamline the entire process to ensure that all commercial activities are carried out legitimately with effective monitoring,” Shettima said.
Shettima stressed that the high powered committee was established to clean the market as well as make sure activities are carried out peacefully.
“The committee will be primarily responsible for the running of the market. In addition, government after consultation with relevant stakeholders have decided to introduce measures for immediate implementation.
“This includes the release of N100 million as soft loan to the cattle traders and butchers in the market. The cattle traders association will be given N75 million, while the butchers association will get N25 million,” Shettima said.
The governor explained that the loan was granted the two organisations since they are genuine associations instructed to conduct business activities at the market.
“No individual or organisation with the exception of these bodies is authorised to conduct business in the market,” Shettima said.
The terrorists group is indeed facing hard times as reports emerged that dozens of emaciated Boko Haram fighters begging for food surrendered to Nigerian soldiers in the north-east of the country. A senior army officer, who spoke anonymously as serving soldiers are banned from speaking to journalists, said 76 Boko Haram supporters, including their children and women, surrendered to the army.