The Nigerian Army has confirmed the arrest of two council officials in Borno state, with alleged links to Boko Haram insurgents.
Maj.- Gen. Lucky Irabor, The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, made the confirmation during a news conference at the headquarters of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Maiduguri
The council officials are Alhaji Shettima Lawan, chairman of Mafa Local Government Area, and the Vice chairman of Kaga local government also in the state.
The Nigerian Army confirmed the arrest of the two men for alleged links with the Boko Haram terrorists.
“All I can say is that the Chairman is a big supporter of Boko Haram.
“We heard that he harboured Boko Haram members along with his father. That he kept the Boko Haram members because the father begged him to do so.
“The Chairman was in the habit of accommodating people that had fled from the bush.
“At some point he was valuable to us being with the Civilian JTF to fight Boko Haram. But that does not mean we cannot investigate him for a crime especially one like this.
“We have also arrested the Vice Chairman of Kaga Local Government and he is undergoing interrogation,” Irabor said.
The confirmation comes two days after media reports made the rounds regarding the arrest.
Meanwhile, the Borno state government has denounced the report, claiming that one of the official was innocent.
“While we do not intend to question the intelligence gathering, judgment and authority of the military, to us at the Ministry for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, the whole development is a worrisome twist,” The Borno commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Usman Zanna, said on Monday, January 2.
“It is a twist because, for years, the caretaker chairman has been known for his courage in joining hunters to go into front lines to battle Boko Haram fighters. His commitment in the fight against insurgents is known to different Army Commanders that served in Mafa local government area in the last two years.”