Key Culprit In Chibok Abduction Arrested
Nigerian security forces have busted a terrorists’ intelligence cell headed by a businessman who allegedly participated actively in the abduction of 279 schoolgirls from Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State on April 14.
The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Major-General Chris Olukolade, disclosed this in a statement Monday, saying the suspect had also coordinated many deadly attacks in the northern part of the country.
Olukolade said the man, Babuji Ya’ari, who is also a member of the Youth Vigilante Group popularly known as Civilian JTF, which he uses as cover while remaining an active terrorist, also spearheaded the murder of the Emir of Gwoza.
According to him, the suspect's main role in the group was to spy and gather information for the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
“Babuji has been coordinating several deadly attacks in Maiduguri since 2011, including the daring attacks on customs and military locations as well as the planting of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in several locations in the town,” he said.
The Defence spokesman said the arrest of the businessman, who is known to deal in tricycles, had also yielded some vital information and facilitated the arrest of other members of the terrorists’ intelligence cell comprising women.
In another development, the DDI said troops deployed in Goniri, Yobe State, over the weekend, had an encounter with terrorists, resulting in casualties on both sides after the attack was successfully repelled.
Sect Razes Police Station, Kills Council Boss’ Son
Despite the key arrests by the military, members of Boko Haram yesterday invaded Shani Local Government Area of Borno State, where they set ablaze the divisional police station and many other building in the town.
They were said to have blown up shops and vehicles using improvised explosive devices and petrol bombs.
The caretaker chairman of Shani council, Alhaji Modu Walama who was said to have escaped a series of attacks by assassins and terrorists in the recent past, narrowly escaped being killed by the terrorists who were gunning for him.
They were said to have attacked the council boss’ family house in Walama and killed one of his sons when they discovered that the chairman was not in the house.
It was gathered from sources that the heavily armed terrorists invaded the town on motorcycles and laid siege and bombed the divisional police headquarters at about 2.45pm yesterday, after they realised that almost all the policemen on duty had fled the area.
They were said to have snatched one of the patrol vehicles of the police and set it ablaze after they discovered that the engine was not in good condition.
After their assault on the police station, they proceeded into the town and shot sporadically into the air before heading towards Gwaskara village.
Shani is in the southern part of the troubled state and about a 245-kilometre drive from Maiduguri, the state capital. It shares boundaries with some parts of Adamawa State.
Mallam Aliyu Usman, a resident of Shani who, was among those who fled the town during the attack, told reporters that they got news of the terrorists lurking within the vicinity at about 8 am when they were sighted by some women on their farmlands around Walama, a community on the outskirts of the town.
But as the sect continued its reign of terror, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said his administration would not bow to the violent activities of Boko Haram, assuring the public that it would be defeated.
The president further revealed that the nation’s defence infrastructure was being strengthened for the onerous task of eliminating the terrorist group whose penchant is to threaten the peace and tranquility of the country, as well as retard its socio-economic growth.
Jonathan, who spoke at the opening of the 16th meeting of the Baroness Lynda Chalker-led Honorary International Investor Council at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, was represented by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
“This administration remains committed to ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians and all those that reside in this country.
“Our security forces are confronting terrorism and any insurgency that seeks to undermine the security of the nation.
“We will remain unyielding and will continue to reinforce our defence so as to rid the country of terrorism and the forces of evil that threaten our peace and development,” the president said.