How Suya, Kilishi Is Used To Fund Terrorism | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Crime, Features

How Suya, Kilishi Is Used To Fund Terrorism

Posted: Mar 7, 2016 at 4:22 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

Sunny Nwankwo, Maiduguri

Suya and kilishi are delightful anytime and anywhere. They can go with your favourite bottle of chilled drink or with ‘sokis’. But do you know that any time you buy suya or kilishi that you could be contributing to the war chest of the Boko Haram terrorist group?

In the face of the Nigerian military clamp down on their activities and resources, the terrorist group has resorted to selling cattle and selling them to suya and kilishi vendors through unscrupulous middlemen at the Gamboru cattle market in Maiduguri to raise money.

The terrorists channel money realised from such transaction into resuscitating their already battered and degraded infrastructure, with a view to resume their atrocities, which have been decimated by the Military.

But, the Borno State Government has invented strategies to keep Boko Haram terrorists under check. The government has put a ban on the sale of dried meat throughout the state and also inaugurated a security team that will scrutinise all cattle sold in the market as well as expose them to identification parade before they are slaughtered.

The team inaugurated by Alhaji Kashim Shettima, Governor of Borno State recently is made up of representatives from the Nigerian military, police, the Department of State Security, civilian JTF and Government officials are assigned to take full charge of the market, scrutinise sources of all cattle and delay slaughter of certified cattle for claims.  The Government also placed a ban on imports of cattle through various routes as well as sale of dry meat across the State.

Shettima, whose written message was read by Usman Jidda Shuwa, secretary to the Borno State Government, at the inauguration of the security committee, said the insurgents resorted to the new tactics because they now lacked capacity to attack and loot banks, towns and other traditional methods of sourcing funds for the murderous activities.

“Our security agencies have reasonably established that most of the cattle being traded at the markets were the direct proceeds of cattle rustling perpetrated by Boko Haram insurgents which were sold at prohibitive costs to unsuspecting customers through some unscrupulous middlemen who use underhand ploy to deliberately disguise the transactions as legitimate. The money realised from such transaction would then be channelled to fund the deadly activities of the insurgents.

“We are indeed very grateful to the gallant and professional resourcefulness of our security agencies who, through their relentless pursuit of the insurgents and incredible intelligence gathering techniques, have identified the nature and type of serious security threats posed by the trading activities at these cattle markets and appreciably staved off such threats by foreclosing all commercial transactions at these places,”  Governor Shettima said and added that the discovery led to the temporary closure of the market.

In addition to the overall management of the cattle markets, the Committee is also charged to device strategies to ascertain the source of all cattle being traded and slaughtered at the Cattle markets; ensure that a mandatory period of three to four days is observed on all cattle sold before they are sent to the slaughter house in order to enable interested parties to inspect them.

The four days observatory period is to avail those whose cattle were rustled opportunity to come forward to inspect, identify and claim them.

The governor who also announced a temporary ban on importation of cattle into the State added that: “In order to facilitate the work of the Committee and achieve the desired outcome, importation of cattle to the State Capital through all routes by all sources, other than the Cattle traders Association is hereby suspended for two weeks from the date of this inauguration.  In the same vein, the sale of dried meat has been banned as it has been observed that criminal elements resort to this method to legitimize their dubious activities which ultimately end up in funding the activities of the insurgents.

“Furthermore, all trading activities at the Gamboru cattle markets, Dusuman, Shuwari and Ngom are suspended until further notice in line with the Government’s determined commitment to ensuring that no public place is turned into an avenue for funding of nefarious activities of the insurgents” he noted.

The Governor said he would hold members of the committee responsible if trading of stolen cattle continues in any market.

“Let me reiterate that considering the calibre of the members of this Committee, I have no doubt in my mind that you will discharge this responsibility within your utmost ability. I will therefore hold you personally and severally responsible for any omission or commission in the effective discharge of this onerous assignment. I enjoin you to live up to the expectation of the Government and people of the State”.

The Governor however presented cheques of N100m to leadership of the cattle traders and Butchers to serve as bailout to thousands of law abiding traders who have been thrown out of business following steps taken by Government to close cattle markets. The members are to use the funds to purchase legitimate cattle that are to be subjected to investigations by the new management committee of cattle markets.