by Isi Esene
The Joint Military Task Force, ‘Operation Restore Order’ in Borno yesterday alerted residents of the state that members of the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram are perfecting plans to launch a massive attack during the Eid-el-fitr festivities.
According to the JTF spokesman, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, people living in the Maiduguri metropolis and Jere Local Government must be security conscious during the celebrations.
“In the continued efforts to destroy all acts of terrorism in Borno State, the Joint Task Force, JTF, wishes to alert citizens and residents of the state of the impending plans by Boko Haram to carry out massive attacks and bombings in Maiduguri metropolis and other parts of Borno State any moment from now and during the Eid-el- Fitr Sallah celebration.”
He advised residents to be more concerned and vigilant about the happenings in and around their immediate environments.
“The public are also reminded to be cautious and to report any suspicious movement, actions and abandoned objects in public places, particularly those in polythene bags and other sacks to the nearest security checkpoints for immediate action.
“The JTF further reminds the people of Borno State that although the curfew has been reviewed to 11p.m. to 6a.m. daily, checks are continuously being conducted throughout the night to ensure safety, security of lives and properties as well as consolidating on the successes recorded so far in our collective fight against terrorism,” Sagir stated.
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Also yesterday, the Inspector- General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, said the war on terror was far from being won, nearly three months since a state of emergency was declared in three states in the North-East.
He hailed security forces for placing their lives on the line to fight organised terror gangs, stressing however that the occasional resurgence of terror attacks in some parts of the country were sad reminders that the battle was not yet over.
The IGP, who spoke in Abuja at a security review meeting with AIGs in charge of zones and formations across the federation, urged police officers, particularly assistant inspectors- general of police, AIGs, to wake up from their “perceived slumber” and tackle headlong the wave of insecurity in their zones. “Daily situation reports bear sad testimonies to this phenomenon.
In spite of the emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, the insurgents still inflict untold hardships on peace-loving and innocent residents of these states.
“The explosion in Sabon- Gari area of Kano metropolis is another painful reminder that the war against terrorism is not over yet,” Abubakar said.
The police boss said that apart from redoubling their efforts, all AIGs must restructure their existing crime-fighting architecture to ensure that their zones, commands and formations are kept safe and secure.
He said ahead of the Eidil- Fitr celebrations and the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Anambra and Ekiti states, police officers must step up their game and ensure that security is provided fully in such areas.
The IG’s statement came even as the Defence Headquarters said its Special Forces and their Nigerien counterparts had succeeded in foiling attempts by some fleeing Boko Haram members to regroup and launch vicious attacks in the border areas between Nigeria and Niger Republic.
Director, Defence Information, Brig- Gen. Chris Olukolade, who stated this in Abuja yesterday, explained that the group had aimed to regroup, procure a large cache of arms and launch fresh attacks in some parts of the country. He said that Special Forces also captured a top Boko Haram commander and his accomplices.
Although, he did not disclose their identities, Olukolade said they were currently being interrogated to determine their level of involvement in terrorism.
“The plan by a band of terrorists who relocated to Niger Republic to remobilise and re-arm insurgents with the aim of carrying out fresh terrorists attacks on some Nigerian communities has been foiled.
“The leader of the group, who had fled Nigeria when the terrorist camps were sacked, was reportedly recruiting fresh hands and training them for renewed terrorist activities in Nigeria. “The intention of the group is to focus its attacks on some towns around the Nigeria-Niger Republic border,” he said.
The spokesman added that intelligence operatives of the MNJTF had been on the trail of the leader until he was eventually arrested in Karanga, Niger Republic, at the weekend with the cooperation of the Nigerien forces.
In Kano State, business activities have remained low in the commercial city, even as residents in Sabon Gari, with an estimated three million population, are still gripped by fear, following the devastating bomb attacks on Monday, which left over 40 people dead. Also, fun seekers have abandoned the various cool spots since the incident.
National Mirror’s findings revealed that most of the fun spots in Sabon Gari, especially those located on Enugu and New Road, remained shut. The areas with large concentration of beer parlours and other entertainment and hospitality establishments have been deserted since the bomb attacks.