Youth vigilantes demand R3.5m from Nigerian police

The Civilian Joint Task Force works alongside the Nigerian military to root out Boko Haram.

FILE: A man walks past a the scene of a bombing after at least 20 people were killed when a young female suicide bomber detonated her explosives at a bus station in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on June 22, 2015 in an attack likely to be blamed on Boko Haram. Picture: AFP

ABUJA - Youth vigilantes, popularly known as the Civilian Joint Task Force, working alongside the Nigerian military to root out Boko Haram, is demanding for R3.5 million from the Nigerian police.

The money, the group said, is a pledge made by the Nigeria police in 2014 to reward to anyone with information that could lead to the rescue of abducted Chibok schoolgirls.

With the discovery of one of the girls, Amina Ali Nkeki, by members of the group in Damboa , a local government area of the Borno state, leaders of the group say it's time the police redeem their pledge.

Legal adviser of the Civilian Joint Task Force, Jibrin Gunda, while giving reason for the police to fulfill the pledge the authorities made in 2014, said it was in order to set a good precedent.

The legal adviser, while speaking to Daily Trust, one of Nigeria's national dailies, yesterday, said the group has lost over 600 of their members to Boko Haram while confronting the terrorist group.

Because members of the group are natives of the area Boko Haram is operating from, and who obviously are familiar with the topography, the Nigerian army synergises with them to provide clues, intelligence and direction on several occasions.

The group is laying claim to the recent success recorded in finding two of the alleged missing girls from a school in Chibok.

At the same time, the Nigerian army has reacted formally to the controversy surrounding the identity of the second Chibok school girl rescued few days after the first girl escaped.

The Nigerian army is insisting that the second girl, Sarah Luka is one of the Chibok students abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.

Shortly after the Nigerian military announced that the appearance of another Chibok girl, the second in three days, on Friday, co-founder of the hash tag #BringBackOurGirls advocacy group, Oby Ezekwesili said Luka was not on the original list of 219 girls missing.

That sparked a heated debate across Nigeria and among security analysts who indicted the military for inconsistencies and not verifying the information they send out.

But the acting director, army public relations, Colonel Sanni Usman, said the army carried out a thorough investigation, including consultation with the authorities at the government secondary school in Chibok before announcing the rescue of Luka.