Bandits, Boko Haram using fertilisers to make explosives, Army defends action in Adamawa

Bandits, Boko Haram using fertilisers to make explosives, Army defends action in Adamawa

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday disclosed that soldiers from the Headquarters of 28 Task Force Brigade, Madagali, seized 200 bags of fertilisers in Adamawa because they discovered that bandits and Boko Haram are using them to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The army stated the action followed the ban on the sale of fertilisers and allied materials by the authorities, noting that the ban would prevent the products from getting into the hands of criminals and insurgents.

This was contained in the statement of the assistant director of Army Public Relations, Haruna Sani, on Wednesday in Yola.

While dismissing speculations that the soldiers were selling seized fertilisers to farmers in Adamawa, the statement denied the allegation.

Madagali has a border with Sambisa Forest and is the most hit area by insurgents in Adamawa.

The army assured that the allegation would never distract its soldiers from safeguarding lives and property.

"In order to put the record straight, it is pertinent to state that in Adamawa State there is currently a ban imposed on the importation of urea (fertiliser) by the state government," said the army. "The development is as a result of the activities of terrorists, who use fertilisers to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for their criminal activities."

The fertilisers have been handed over to the police, according to the army. It did not say if the owner of the products were arrested.

"Sequel to the ban by the state government, troops intercepted defaulters who were conveying about 200 bags of the banned product," the army statement explained. "The Nigerian Army has since handed over the seized fertilisers to the Nigerian police."

The army pledged to remain a professional institution focused on safeguarding Nigerians, stating that its troops would not be distracted by mischief makers who indulge in illegitimate activities that compromise security.

"We urge you to continue to support the military and other security agencies to rid the state and the country of insurgents," it said.