“One of the Boko Haram suspects presented to Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, said he was given 5,000 Naira to burn our school,” an official of the Borno State government told Channels Television on Saturday.
The Special Assistant to the Borno State Government on Communication, Mr Isa Gusau, said that the nine-year old recruit made the confession in 2014 after some suspected terrorists were presented over to the Borno State government by the military.
Giving an account of what transpired when the suspects were presented to the Governor, he said: “The Governor asked one of them how come he was recruited into the Boko Haram. He was just nine years old.
“He said he was given 5,000 Naira to spy on the soldiers while another said he was given 5,000 Naira to burn our schools.
“There was another lady who was being paid 10,000 Naira to smuggle arms,” Mr Gusau.
On the military effort to end the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists, he said that the Governor of Borno State had always suggested the deployment of three approaches – military deployment, deployment of economic stimulation package and political solution.
“People are talking from the point of sentiments. We are not looking at the reality on ground.
“We need to ask ourselves, why the Boko Haram has kept growing despite the counter-terrorism operations?
Mr Gusau further explained that it had become difficult for persons that had been recruited into the Boko Haram to reintegrate into their communities.
“When they are recruited, the leaders of the group take them to their communities to attack them and people in the community will see them as members of the Boko Haram and will never allow them back, even when they want to come back.
“The government must create a window for those who were forcefully conscripted into the Boko Haram to get out,” he stressed.