DSS warns of B’Haram attacks in southern cities
CRUEL disregard for human life is yet to abate in the North east as a gang of suspected Boko Haram gunmen in a convoy of Toyota Hilux vehicles and motorcycles laden with Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) attacked Badu village in Nganzai Local Council of Borno State, killing 56 people at the weekend.
The sad news broke as the Department of State Services (DSS) alerted Nigerians to plans by Boko Haram to attack some cities in the southern part of the country.
Also yesterday, the DSS disclosed that it has arrested masterminds of attacks carried out by suicide bombers in four major cities in Northern Nigeria, noting that nine other suspects were arrested in Lagos State alone. The arrests, according to a statement issued yesterday by the DSS spokesman, Tony Opuiyo, were made between July 8 and August 25, 2015.”
He said with the pressure being put on the Boko Haram strongholds in the northeast, the insurgents have adopted a new pattern of movement and are now spreading to other parts of the country. According to him, “the suspects were arrested in “Lagos, Kano, Plateau, Enugu and Gombe states.”
A July 5, 2015 attacks on a mosque and restaurant in the central city of Jos left 44 people dead, just as a suicide bomb attack on a church in Potiskum killed five other people.
The following day, a young girl believed to be 13 years old was killed when explosives strapped to her body detonated near a major mosque in Kano city. In Zaria, some 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of Kaduna city, near the border with Katsina and Kano states, a bomb blast occurred on July 7 as primary school teachers and public sector workers were queuing for identity checks at the local government secretariat, killing at least 25 people, with many others injured.
Opuiyo said those arrested in Gombe have confessed to being the coordinators of the suicide attacks. Led by Usman Shuaibu (a.k.a Money), who allegedly said he was given half a million naira by one of the commanders, who has direct link to their leader, to coordinate the attacks started by nine of them sent out on the mission from their headquarters in Sambisa Forest, out of which four people were used as suicide bombers.
The DSS’ statement reads in part: “Shuaibu revealed that he coordinated the attacks under reference with the sum of N500,000.00, which was provided by his Amir, one Isa Ali. He claimed that the said Isa Ali has links to the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, from where he collects monies to fund operations undertaken by their Markaz. Also, he revealed that he had participated in several Boko Haram attacks, including the attacks at Gwoza Divisional Police Station in 2014.
“Shuaibu admitted being the leader of the team of nine (9) sect members that was dispatched from Sambisa Forest to carry out the attacks. He disclosed that four out of the nine were used as suicide bombers in executing all the attacks.”
His other colleague, Ahmed Mohammed (a.k.a Abubakar), a suspected expert in Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), allegedly confessed to being responsible for preparing the suicide bombers with the IED vests. “He also averred that he (Abubakar) was the one who strapped the suicide bombers, notably Sule and his wives whom they used in the attack in Jos”.
Abubakar was assisted in strapping the bombers by Adamu Abdullahi (a.k.a Babpa), while Ibrahim Isa was said to have confessed to carrying out reconnaissance on targets in Jos, Plateau State before the Sunday attack.
Boko Haram plans strikes on Lagos, others
Meanwhile, residents of Lagos State are to be more vigilant as the terrorists, in the course of running away from the military onslaught going on in their enclaves in the northeast, are looking for safer havens to carry out their nefarious activities.
The DSS spokesman said this warning became imperative with the arrest of nine people who are suspected to be Boko Haram members. The agency also warned that residents of other states should be watchful as other suspects have been arrested in Enugu, Kano and Gombe states.
Fresh killings in Borno
The insurgents, who killed 56 people in Borno village, Badu, also torched many houses and huts, before fleeing into their hideouts. Badu is a farming and herding community, located 68 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the state capital.
The weekend’s multiple attacks and killings were disclosed on Saturday in Maiduguri while Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State was addressing parents and guardians of the 219 abducted Chibok schoolgirls on Federal Government’s “responsibilities and commitments” to their unconditional release from over a year in captivity.”
Shettima lamented that the Boko Haram insurgency has brought a lot of “calamities with massive destruction of lives and property” to the state in the last five years.
His words: “As President Muhammadu Buhari directed me to address you on the abduction of your daughters in April last year by Boko Haram, the security agencies hurriedly briefed me on another insurgents’ attacks at Badu village, where 56 innocent people were killed, and their houses burnt as their food stuff and livestock were evacuated. This is madness, and the calamities perpetrated by these mad boys are not restricted to abduction of these Chibok schoolgirls. The President asked me to condole with each and every one of you here today (Saturday) to exercise more patience.
“The issue of Boko Haram insurgency in the North East sub-region of this country is not based on either religion or ethnicity. It is total madness of massive killings and destruction of innocent lives, without any genuine cause.
“I have raised an emergency committee to hurriedly travel to the village tomorrow (Sunday) to provide relief assistance so that the survived ones do not perish along with the dead bodies in Badu village of Nganzai Council.”
The Borno Police Command also yesterday said that military operations in the northern part of the state was ongoing, as most of the towns and villages on the shores of Lake Chad, are under the areas of responsibility of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), comprising Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria.
“One of the villages in Borno north, was attacked by the insurgents, while fleeing the Lake Basin Areas at the weekend,” said a military source in Maiduguri.