Indications have emerged that the Boko Haram sect members may have resorted to kidnapping and ransom demand instead of their usual armed robbery operations as a way of raising the much-needed funds for their terrorist activities.
The thinking of the terrorists, it was gathered, was that while armed robbery poses too many risks and takes much longer time to plan and execute, kidnapping for ransom is less cumbersome, takes a short time to plan and execute and is even more rewarding.
The military Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State, Operation Restore Order, who disclosed this on Sunday said the sect may have taken this decision when it became obvious that most of their men involved in robberies are being lost in battle with the security agencies and their sources of funds are being stifled.
JTF spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, who disclosed this said in a statement, Sunday, that the security measures adopted by JTF Operation Restore Order had made it difficult and nearly impossible for the Boko Haram terrorists and other criminals to conduct successful bank robbery operations in Borno State.
“Consequently, intelligence available to the Task Force has indicated that Boko Haram terrorists have resolved to concentrate more on kidnappings than robbery. They alleged that kidnapping is more lucrative, less dangerous and requires short time to plan and execute.
“Similarly, a special kidnapping squad has been earmarked and tasked by Boko Haram sect to kidnap persons who could have wealthy relatives, politician, businessman/woman, traditional ruler, senior civil servants and foreigners alike,” Musa said in the statement.
Warning members of the public to be wary of this trend, the JTF spokesman urged all to be wary and continue to be security conscious at all times.
“The members of the public are hereby advised to avoid or be very sensitive to strangers and friends that have not been in contact for long. Additionally, members of the public are also warned to avoid isolated areas and shun meetings or friends found through telephones or social media.
“The JTF once again appreciate the cooperation and understanding between members of the public and security agencies and to re-emphasise that security is a collective responsibility. Thus, members of the public are reminded to give credible information to the JTF through their hotlines which are operational at all time,” he advised.