Boko Haram: Any Wisdom in Training Civilian JTF?

The fight against the deadly islamic sect Boko Haram rages on the North Eastern part of Nigeria with no end in view as the Boko Haram sect remains undeterred by the 3 months old State of Emergency imposed on the states ( Borno, Yobe and Adamawa ) in which they have strongholds as they have continued their terrorist attacks which is becoming more frequent by the day.

The fight took a new dimension when youths in the region joined the fight to help liberate their states from the shackles of terrorism that is threatening to destroy it. The youths were called the civilian JTF and they achieved relative success in identifying the members of the dreaded sect and handing them over to the Joint Task Force of the Nigerian Army.

I read in the news that the governor of Borno State, Governor Kashim Shettima initiated the retraining plan for the civilian JTF under the auspices Borno Youth Empowerment Scheme (BOYES). In an ambigious statement, the governor said:
“The aim of the Borno State Youth Orientation and Empowerment Scheme is to ensure our youth discover or rediscover their potential, enhance these potential with necessary skills, indoctrinate them into having a better organized love for their fatherland, make them conscious of what goes within and around them, train them to be conscious of the security of wider civilian population without taking laws into their hands so that they can lawfully help in policing their own communities.’ “These youths have demonstrated extra-ordinary courage and love for Borno State.
The civilian JTF were trained by the Nigerian Civil Defence corps and the National youth service corp (NYSC). But the questions this development threw up are quite numerous and i could not find the answers anywhere in the governors speech.

  • After the training, what next? go back hunting Boko Haram? in their shiny new uniforms?
  • What kind of training where they given?
  • Will the government also arm them?
  • What happens to them after we crush Boko Haram?
These are very critical questions which the government must answer to set things straight. I think rewarding them for their services is a good thing but encouraging them to fight more is something i see as irresponsible on the part of the government.

That said, the successes the civilian JTF recorded was mainly due to the casual undercover nature of their operations. Now with the uniform, i do not think they will be able to do much as they will become easy targets for the terrorists. And i doubt if this training they recieved together with the crude weapons they have been using in the past will be able to save them.

I just hope the government thought hard on this before coming up with this idea and they have ready answers for the questions this action raises.


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