The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) thursday said intelligence agencies, including the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Department of State Services (DSS) have launched a manhunt for the sponsors of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) terror groups to speed up end to the insurgency.
It, however, noted that it is not part of the responsibilities of the military to uncover the sponsors of terrorist groups but to fight and defeat them.
The 10-year-long insurgency is believed to have lasted this long due to financial and logistical supports offered to Boko Haram and other terror franchisees by sponsors from within and outside the country.
There have been allegations that some stakeholders in the war have turned it to a booming business thus making it difficult to end the hostilities.
Briefing journalists thursday in Abuja, Coordinator of Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO), Maj-Gen. John Enenche, said intelligence agencies had launched a manhunt for sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria and other foreign collaborators.
Eneche said even though the military was aware that the groups were being sponsored, it would not shirk in its duty to defeat the terrorists, adding that its priority is not to uncover their source of funding or sponsorship.
He said that it is the duty of the NIA and the DSS to find out and disclose the identities of those sponsoring the terrorists and other criminal gangs in the country.
“Our focus has been on arresting them and handing them over to intelligence agencies. We provide kinetic support.
“For sponsors, I would not say much because that is being handled at a higher level. Logical intelligence shows there are sponsors but that is beyond the military,” he explained.
Enenche stated that collaboration between the military and other security agencies would ensure the capture of terror sponsors.
“We don’t know their sponsors. If it is possible, we will know. It is for the NIA and DSS. For us, the military, we are concerned with the trenches and frontlines.
“But however long it takes, I know we will get them. I know there are intelligence processes that are ongoing to track them down,” he added.
Responding to a question on why the military had not flushed out insurgents from Sambisa Forest, Enenche said: “The collaborators, a good number of them, are our people. That is how they will remain until they are mopped up. It is just like saying when will all diseases be eradicated?
“The kind of weapons these terrorists are using like the gun truck and other sophisticated weapons are expensive, and how much are they stealing to procure those arms that we have to say that they are sponsored and heavily funded?
“But like I said, it is not the duty of the military to uncover the sponsors. Our duty is to remain in the frontline and defeat terrorism and other criminality and that is what we are doing.”
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