Presidency: findings on Boko Haram sponsors shocking

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has made a shocking discovery sponsors Boko Haram and , the Presidency said last night.

It restated the claim that a link between kidnapping for ransom, banditry and Boko Haram sponsorship had been established.

These sponsors include some bureau de change operators with contacts abroad, Senior Special Assistant to President , Mallam Garba Shehu, said.

According to him, there is evidence that money is being sent United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Boko Haram leaders.

He confirmed that the by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Dr. Kayode Fayemi that Boko Haram sponsors are behind banditry and kidnapping is a product intelligence gathering.

He said many people have been arrested and that after , those involved will be exposed.

He warned that there would be sacred cows even if those involved were found to be politicians.

Shehu, speaking on Channels Television, said: “It is shocking to any Nigerian that places worship and farmland are places where killers policemen and security are being harboured.

“The new Service chiefs are working with the IG and heads of intelligence agencies and there is a clear lead.

A lot of people have been arrested in terms of their financing (of ).

“There are a number of people who are currently under arrest.

“Bureau de change are facilitating money to . We have already concluded with the UAE on Nigerians who are transferring money to Boko Haram and this also happens domestically.

“And I tell you that by the time we conclude this , the shocking details will surprise many Nigerians.”

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Also yesterday, President ordered Security Chiefs to “take ” the leaders and sponsors of and kidnappers.

He also reiterated his call on them to bring down violence in the country within the next few weeks.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Lucky Irabor and Adviser (NSA) Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) confirmed the new order after a with the President.

Gen. Monguno told State House reporters: “Mr. President has made it very clear to both the intelligence and operational elements that the first assignment will be to identify the leaders of these , kidnappers and take them , in order to restore confidence in those areas.

“Mr. President has said that he will longer tolerate a situation whereby bandits and kidnappers are the ones dictating the pace and setting the tone and he will not also condone a situation in which own operations are reactionary rather than being proactive.

“He has also indicated his willingness to provide all the resources required by own troops in order to put down these criminals. They must be brought down with all the ruthlessness that is required and whoever is working in collaboration with them will be brought to book.

“He has also declared that there will be adjustment in whatever the Council has already laid until normalcy is restored. He’s also aware of attempts by certain elements, working in cahoots with all kinds of people in and of the country to continue with exploiting the minefields, especially in Zamfara State.

“A ban has been placed on mining and that ban has to be enforced, people have to comply with whatever the President has laid out. Of course, we, in the intelligence domain, are aware that there are individuals and groups who are planning to link up with all kinds of non-state actors in order to frustrate the efforts of government in implementing the ban on mining, as well as enforcing the no-fly-zone so that no rotary aircraft will land, drop whatever and pick up whatever. That has to be enforced.”

Gen. Irabor that the Service chiefs would live up to the President’s expectation. He said: “What Mr President said is that we must bring down the level of violence in the country within few weeks to enable farmers to go back to the farms. That is on course.

“I believe that before the rains come you will have witnessed a downward trend in the violence across the country and i’m sure that you will attest to the fact that the heightening of operational engagements has yielded positive results.

“He is encouraging us to heighten the tempo of operations. He is satisfied with the way we’ve started and he wants us to maintain the tempo and increase it.

“We’re on course. I’m saying that our operational engagement, the totality of all our engagements, both in manpower increase as well as equipment increase and heightened operational engagements, the totality of it is what I’m saying is on course”.