Boko Haram wants public sympathy and there is a way its members planned to achieve it. 

The Nigerian Army on Sunday said it had uncovered this plot by terrorists, giving a hint of how they intended to achieve it. 

You know that cattle rustling is high in the northern part of Nigeria and that is what the members of Boko Haram want to use.

The Army said there is a plan to unconditionally release rustled cattle to the owners.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, quoted the Theatre Commander, Major General Benson Akinroluyo, as saying that the insurgents deceived people by voluntarily returning cattle, hitherto rustled from the owners in the northeast.

Nwachukwu disclosed that the Commander raised the alarm while addressing troops of Sector 2 during a three-day operational tour conducted between January 31 and February 2.

Deceitful Impression

“The army has uncovered the employment of deception by Boko Haram terrorists to win the confidence and support of locals in the North East.

“Boko Haram terrorists now engage in cattle rustling and later return the rustled cattle to their owners, thereby deceitfully creating the impression of Good Samaritan and presenting themselves as protector of the people,” he said.

Nwachukwu described the gimmick as dangerous ploy, stressing that the trend must be checked to avoid escalation.

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He tasked the troops to prevent any form of cattle rustling by the insurgents, noting that the they now used it as a means of psychological warfare to make the locals see them in positive light and be receptive to their ideology.

The commander also called on community and opinion leaders to educate members of their communities on the development.

“You must be vigilant and not fall for the antics of the terrorists; cattle rustling has earlier been identified as a means of raising funds for Boko Haram terrorists.

“Now they invented deceit by first stealing the cattle and later returning same to their owners to make the locals believe they are pious and possibly turn blind eyes to their nefarious activities.”

The army then advised the youth to shun the insurgents’ propaganda and not to be persuaded to join the group, describing them as enemy of the people.

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