While Boko Haram fighters intensify anti-citizens’ campaign in the Northeastern part of Askira Uba local government area of Borno state, local vigilantes considered as strong pillars in the fight against the terrorists are threatening to withdraw their indispensable services.
The withdrawal threats were heard among members of the vigilante group fighting Boko Haram insurgents in Askira Uba local government area for lack of payment of their monthly stipends.
The group which comprises hunters who depend solely on farming could not cultivate their farm produce this year, because of their regular patrol of flashpoints in the area to protect citizens from the carnage of Boko Haram fighters and were eventually left with only one source of income of N10,000 stipends given to them by the state government.
Stopping or rather depriving them of this allowance for the past three months has already put them in economic difficulties as they can no longer take care of their basic family needs. This situation has dampened their fighting spirit as they feel they have been allegedly neglected by the authorities responsible for the payment of their allowances.
It was hinted that, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum in his recent visit to the local government, having received the complaint from the leader of the group; ordered for the immediate payment of their allowances, but as of the time of filing this report, the group is yet to receive the allowance.
A concern citizen of the area, Muhammad Musa Askira said, “If truly the state government released the money, only for some individuals to refuse the payment, then, it is not out of place to suggest that the individuals concerned are bent at sabotaging the efforts of the federal and state governments in the fight against the insurgency.
“The immense contribution of the vigilante group cannot be overemphasized even by the soldiers who see the group as moral booster and indispensable pillar in the fight against Boko Haram in the area. “Soldiers alone cannot fight the insurgents as they are new to the terrain and so are depending on these gallant vigilantes for success in moving Operation Lafiya Dole to its logical conclusion”.
It was gathered that, residents are now in fervent prayers so that the allowances be paid to them on time to keep them in the war front as their withdrawal is capable of jeopardizing the whole operations.