Forty-three farmers who were gruesomely murdered by Boko Haram fighters on Saturday in Borno had no military clearance to resume farming, the Presidency has said.
In an interview on Monday with the BBC, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu said that despite the fact the farmers did not get clearance, he was not blaming them for the attack.
“Much of those areas have been liberated from Boko Haram terrorists but there are a number of spaces that have not been cleared for the return of villagers who have been displaced. So, ideally, all of these places ought to pass the test of military clearances before farmers or settlers resume activities on those fields,” he said.
When asked if he was not blaming the farmers for going to the area, Mr Shehu responded, “Not exactly but the truth has to be said. Was there any clearance by the military which is in total control of those areas? Did anybody ask to resume activity? I have been told by the military leaders that they had not been so advised and certainly, therefore, it was a window that the terrorists exploited.”