The Nigerian Army has warned traders and Borno communities against engaging in illegal fishery trade with Boko Haram insurgents.
Maj.-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, gave the warning during the destruction of fishery products, hides and vehicles seized from the insurgents in Maiduguri on Friday.
Adeniyi disclosed that the military authorities and government had banned fishing activities in communities in northern Borno and Lake Chad basin, to deny the insurgents access to monies to fund their activities.
He decried the non-nonchalant attitude of some traders and commercial vehicle operators who patronise and transported the insurgents’ fishery products to markets in the state.
Adeniyi noted that the insurgents engaged in fishery, hides and skin trades in complicity with unscrupulous elements in the society.
“People from liberated areas with no regard to lives and properties; and without regard to end insurgency, common criminals who want to make money from anything go to Boko Haram camps, buy fish and sale in the markets.
“Boko Haram insurgents have a running business to generate money to fund their dastardly activities.
“We fully recognise fishery industry in Nigeria, but the fishery done by Boko Haram is to create confusion, continue insurgency and destruction of the northeast.
“The insurgency would have stopped if not for the people who patronise their fish; our effort is to arrest illegal business in fishing. Boko Haram without fish trade is a finish terrorist activity.
“Anybody who allows his boat, horse, camel or vehicle to carry fish for the Boko Haram, you are part of the insurgents because you are aiding them and an enemy of the state,” he said.
Adeniyi revealed that four vehicles conveying insurgents’ fish products were seized on Maiduguri-Ngala road by operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
He explained that the military had also seized fertilizers, metal and welding equipment from the insurgents’ logistics suppliers, adding that the items are being used by the insurgents to produce Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
The commander called on the residents and the Nigeria Union of Transport Workers (NUTRW) to sensitise their members on the need to desist from transporting goods for the insurgents, warning that such vehicles would be seized and destroyed.
Mr Danladi Lange, the NSCDC’s Assistant Commander, disclosed that men of the command arrested drivers and seized three trucks and a car conveying large consignment of fish concealed in animal feed sacks and cartons.
Lange explained that the seized vehicles were transporting the items from Ngala to markets in Maiduguri.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the seized fish products, hides and vehicles were destroyed by the military.