The Federal Government may integrate members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Northeast into the Nigerian military and police after the war conclusion against Boko Haram.
At least there a thousand Nigerians including women and men, who have taken it upon themselves to assist the military and other security agencies in the counter-insurgency operations in the North-east.
Mostly armed with crude weapons such as dane guns, daggers, swords, bows and arrows, charms and sticks, the Civilian JTF has assisted security agencies in the areas of identifying and arresting suspected insurgents, providing vital information, security and acting as a link between the civilian populace in Maiduguri, Borno State and the military, concerns have been expressed over the role of these group of Nigerians in the post-insurgency era.
Apparently responding to fears that the Civilian JTF could pose another security challenge to the country in a peaceful setting especially in the Northeast, President Muhammadu Buhari said “For those who have received military training, it will be advised either to recruit them if they are within the age bracket of recruitment in the military or the police”.
The president, who was responding to questions at a press conference after the 2nd Regional Security Summit in Abuja on Saturday, noted that “They (Civilian JTF) have been of tremendous help to the military because they are from there, they have local intelligence and some of them are retired military or retired policemen. Since they were drawn by the authorities of their respective states, they were taken into confidence and trusted. Personally, with the experience I have as a military man and during the civil war, using local intelligence, using local authorities from ward, to local government, to the state can improve our intelligence collection”.
While allaying fears over the Civilian JTF, President Buhari said government had good plans for the group after the Boko Haram war, adding that since they were known in their areas of operation before they joined the JTF, disarming them won’t be a problem.