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Garba Shehu: Slain farmers didn’t get military clearance to go to the fields

Garba Shehu: Slain farmers didn’t get military clearance to go to the fields
November 30
11:18 2020

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, says farmers killed in Borno state did not get military clearance before visiting their farms.


Shehu told the BBC on Monday that though the military is in “full control” of all parts of Borno, farmers and residents ought to get clearance before visiting certain areas.

Suspected Boko Haram members attacked Zabarmari, about 20 kilometres from Maiduguri, at the weekend, killing at least 45 farmers.

The attack was described by the United Nations as “the most violent attack” targeted at civilians in 2020.


Shehu, however, blamed the farmers whom he said failed to do due diligence by first obtaining clearance before visiting their farms.

“People need to understand what it is like in the Lake Chad area. Much of those areas have been liberated by Boko Haram terrorists but there are a number of spaces that have not been cleared for the return of villagers who have been displaced,” he said.

“Ideally, all of these places ought to probably be allowed to pass the test of military clearance before settlers or even farmers resume activities on those fields.”


Asked by the BBC if he is blaming the farmers on the attack, he responded: “Not exactly, but the truth has to be said. Is there any clearance by the military which is in total control of those areas? Did anybody ask to resume activities? I have been told by the military leaders that they have not been so advised.”

He said visiting certain places in the north-east, which has come under the weight of Boko Haram insurgency for more than 10 years, is “a window that the terrorists have exploited”.

“The military is not present on every inch of space in that area,” he said, adding: “Even if the people are ready to go back, some of these areas have been mined and mine clearance has to be carried out first.”



  1. Olusola Oladeji
    Olusola Oladeji December 01, 10:08

    Garba we understand the fact that the are is under the weight of bolo haram insurgents. The question is Are the people in community aware of any military clearance before the can go to their farms. Has anybody in n the affected community obtained any clearance for that purpose. Is there and information to that effect to warn people in the affected community. If the answer to these questions is No, there Garba your submission on these matter is baseless and you are the right person to attend to this issue in the public

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  2. Adekunle Williams Badewole
    Adekunle Williams Badewole December 02, 17:13

    Is Garba indirectly telling the world that the farmers deserve death?
    Everything has been politicised in Nigeria. The army is doing their best but I think the cos and others are exhausted and should be allowed to go.
    Warfare is not easy especially when there are no adequate weapons.

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