How Boko Haram insurgents bait youths with loans to recruit, by DHQ

Boko-HaramU.S. provides extra $40 million for humanitarian needs

The authorities of the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday disclosed that the Boko Haram group is using monetary loans as bait to recruit unsuspecting youths, especially those in the North-East.

A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said the group had adopted this new strategy to attract new members to their fold having lost a substantial number to the recent onslaught by troops of the Nigerian military.

He said that the loan is usually given to petty traders who are in dare need and without suspecting the motive, collect the money but “the beneficiaries are given the option of either joining the group or risk being killed if they fail to pay the loan as at when due, whereas the payment has been surreptitiously programmed to fail by the benefactor, Boko Haram.

“The major targets of the unholy business engagement are youths in the North-East, especially the butchers, traders, tailors, beauticians and other vocational entrepreneurs who could be easily enticed with such loan without paying attention to sundry inherent dangers associated with the acceptance of such goodies from this satanic group or unfamiliar source”, Abubakar said.

The statement said the move by the group stems from the drastic action against their fighting forces, decimated by troops of the Nigerian Army. It, therefore, appealed to the public to be weary of free monetary gifts, especially such that are being given unsolicited for.

The statement reads in part: “Boko Haram terrorists have now devised another means of recruiting unsuspecting youths into their fold… In this clandestine dispensation, Boko Haram terrorists have resorted to providing loans to young entrepreneurs and artisans in the North-East as a way of inducing them for recruitment.”

Meanwhile, United States (U.S.) Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, has announced the release of $40 million new humanitarian assistance to support people whose lives have been affected by Boko Haram insurgency.

According to the statement issued yesterday by America State Department, approximately seven million people suffered displacement, deprivation and disease from the consequences of armed conflict in Nigeria, including 2.2 million Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The statement said: “As a result of the prolonged crisis, communities, which have generously hosted IDPs, have also exhausted their resources and find themselves struggling to make ends meet.

Also, the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) and other international aid organisations in the region have promised to provide essential protection and assistance to those affected.

While advising that acting otherwise to the instructions to reject unsolicited free money, the statement further: “It is pertinent to state that having been effectively decimated and degraded, the remnant or surviving splinter groups of Boko Haram are desperate to recruit more people into their ranks and files as a result of sustained onslaught against them by the troops.

“The Defence Headquarters hereby advises the general public, especially those in the North-East, to constantly be weary and conscious of various tactics of the desperate Boko Haram.

They should be guided to avoid loan or financial assistance from non-conventional source but from conventional financial institutions such as banks, organised trade unions or institutionalised savings and loans establishments.”

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