The role of informants and implications for Nigeria’s fight against terrorism
By Lami Sadiq
In July 2021, troops of Operation Hadin Kai arrested scores of Boko Haram fighters, informants and logistics suppliers in Nigeria’s northeast. The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said at the time that some of the suspects had confessed to working as informants for the terrorists, by providing them information on troops’ movements, locations, deployments, strength, calibre of weapons and other activities. He said, “they also admitted to have supplied the terrorists with basic logistics for their daily survival, ranging from supply of petroleum and lubricants, drugs, mosquito nets, kola nuts, recharge cards and foodstuff.
Nigeria is presently faced with several security challenges and experts say that informants who collaborate with these criminal gangs continue to hinder success in the fight against terrorism. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), there are four types of informants: a member of the public, a victim of a crime, a member of an organized criminal group, and police officers themselves. In Nigeria currently, the word informant is used to depict collaborators of criminal gangs especially the terrorist group, Boko Haram in the north east and criminal gangs locally referred to as bandits in the north west.
Recently, the Commissioner of Police in Katsina State, Sanusi Buba in an interview with Daily Trust described these informants as not only those who provide criminal gangs with information but also other essential commodities like motorbikes, fuel, food stuff, recharge cards, and many others. CP Buba said dealing with such people has been difficult and continues to undermine the fight against banditry in the north west.
Alleging that most informants reside in communities where criminal atrocities are committed, the CP said information from previously arrested suspects reveal that most, if not all the information available to bandits and terrorists before they invade villages to abduct people, are predicated on information they secure from people living within the communities.
Suspicion between communities and law enforcement agents
Another major challenge in the war against insurgency in Nigeria has been hostilities and suspicions between host communities and law enforcement agencies; both of which often are casualties of criminal gangs. For instance, security agencies sometimes accuse host communities of withholding vital information that could lead to the success of their operation. They also accuse communities of shielding the insurgents. Host communities on the other hand say security agents must keep a tight noose around information shared between them to build confidence.
Fact Checks of the week
A Facebook user, in a post on Saturday, October 16, had shared pictures of a Nigeria Customs Service officer and that of a supposedly repentant bandit. According to him, the officer is one of the repentant bandits recruited to a significant security force in the country. He also raised an alarm that…
A post which was boosted through a Facebook sponsored ad stated that the United Nations (UN) is offering fully funded BSc, MSc and PhD scholarships for international students to study in Canada, USA, Australia or Japan. The copy of the e-flyer used for the promotion further claims that…
Notable digital media platforms, including Sahara Reporters and Peoples Gazzette, recently reported that a member of the federal House of Representatives, Shina Peller, said Bola Tinubu should not be appointed as…
Tip of The Week
There’s precious little that we can do about the barrage of misinformation that we see daily, but there’s a lot we can do together if we learn to identify suspicious claims in the news and refrain from fuelling the fire by spreading them! Here are our top picks of likely-to-be-false news which [sadly] couldn’t be fact-checked.
CLAIM: Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, was in a coma, got infected and became a worm in his last days
A WhatsApp message that has been forwarded many times alleges that the former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, got very sick during his last years on earth, he slipped into a coma, got infected and became a worm in the end. How true is this? The message also claimed that all that happened to the late minister was God wrath as the Minister had killed thousands of Palestinians.
Is this one of those made-up stories, ask yourself. And verify before sharing further.
Other Fact Checks and Articles
- The FactChecker
- Text message asking users to send ‘W’ to 50017 for cash is scam
- Can Japanese Water Therapy cure diabetes and cancer?
- The role of informants and implications for Nigeria’s fight against terrorism
- This is not image of repentant bandit absorbed as customs officer
- No evidence okra leaf causes hyper ovulation or makes one conceive twins
- Bidiyon da aka yi wa taken gawawwakin filani a Arewacin Najeriya karya ne
- Prioritise Non-Technological Methods for Combating Misinformation and Disinformation: Communities Tell Us
- No Evidence Boko Haram Imposed Sharia Law in Niger State