Cameroon Military Dispels Rumour Of Boko Haram Food Poisoning
The Director of Communication in the Ministry of Defence, cleared the air on Saturday, January 17, 2015.
Following persistent SMS phone text messages which have been making the rounds in the country of late of alleged poisoning by the Boko Haram sect of some crops and fruits from northern Cameroon destined for the southern part of the country, the military reacted over the weekend.
Speaking on Saturday, January 17, 2015, on the Armed Forces programme, “Honneur et fidelité,” on CRTV national radio station, Group Captain Didier Badjeck, Director of Communication, Ministry of Defence, said as far he knew, Boko Haram does not cultivate fruits or crops. “Even if they have poisoned any such fruits or crops, it is difficult to imagine how the potency of such poisoning would survive, given the present level of heat in the country and the long distance from northern Cameroon to the southern part of the country,” the spokesman explained.
Group Captain Badjeck however warned that the public must remain focused on the war efforts in the Far North Region. “I believe the Ministry of Public Health is keeping an eye on the situation. If there is any need for them to make a public statement, they will do so; but we must remember that this is all about psychological warfare,” he reassured. When contacted on January 17, 2015 by Cameroon Tribune, a director in the Ministry of Public Health in Yaounde said it was not in his habit to respond to rumours. He added that since there was no factual, scientific basis for such a story, it was needless for him to comment.
For some time now, the alarmist SMS text message has been making the rounds through the country’s different mobile phone networks. Written in French, the message says: “Good evening. Please, pass on this SMS text message: Do not consume Irish potato, water melon and other fruits from the North. The Boko Haram sect is said to have sent 54,000 Irish potatoes, poisoned with chemical products, to the southern part of the country. Pass on this message to as many people as possible.”