The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has said the 43 farmers killed by Boko Haram on Saturday, did not have military clearance to be on the rice farms when the attack happened.
Shehu stated this during an interview with BBC on Monday.
He said although he was not blaming the victims for the incident, the truth must be said.
“The government is sad that this tragic incident has happened. 43 or thereabout of innocent farmworkers, most of them had their throats slit by a heartless band of terrorists. People need to know what it is like in the Lake Chad Basin area.
“Much of those areas have been liberated from Boko Haram terrorists but there are a number of spaces that have not been cleared for the return of villagers who have been displaced. So, ideally, all of these places ought to pass the test of military clearances before farmers or settlers resume activities on those fields,” Shehu said.
When asked if he was blaming the farmers for going to the area, Shehu responded, “Not exactly but the truth has to be said. Was there any clearance by the military which is in total control of those areas? Did anybody ask to resume activity? I have been told by the military leaders that they had not been so advised and certainly, therefore, it was a window that the terrorists exploited.”