Abuja - The Joint Task Force (JTF), which is spearheading the Operation Restore Order in Borno State, said the youth killed by the outlawed Boko Haram sector were largely to blame for their demise.
Speaking to the media in Maiduguri, the Spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa argued the youth failed to fully comply with all security details resulting in the death of more than 20 of them.
He said the youth blundered by going after the sect members without guidance by the military, noting that only the security forces in the state ought to be involved in such counter-insurgency operation.
Musa said the inability of the youth volunteers to seek security escort from the task force in the manhunt for the fleeing Boko Haram insurgents led to the tragedy that was avoidable.
“We have always made it clear to the vigilante youth that they should not operate on their own but should always seek for military backing for security and appropriate guidance in the hunting of fleeing insurgents from Maiduguri."
"The youth are just supporting the security agencies with information. The real battle should be left in the hands of security agents. We will continue to appeal to these vigilante youth not to conduct any operation without armed military escort,” said Musa.
Musa nonetheless said the Nigeria Army was disturbed and concerned about the incident.
"The Nigeria military high command is very much aware of the killing at Monguno and it is very disturbing, the Nigeria Army Brigade at Monguno has been mandated to carry out full investigations into the matter."
It was reported that 24 youth vigilante who went to the Borno town of Monguno to hunt for members of the Boko Haram sect were ambushed and killed and 32 of them was declared missing. Monguno is about 175 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the state capital.
- CAJ News