A female suicide bomber arrested by a vigilante group in the North East, popularly known as the Civilian JTF, has revealed that 50 female suicide bombers have been unleashed on Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, with the mandate of hitting no fewer than 100,000 people before the end of December 2014.
The female suicide bomber, who was handed over to security operatives, according to members of the Civilian JTF, was unable to detonate the bomb strapped to her before she was arrested.
Also, troops on Tuesday morning repelled what could have been a deadly attack by the Boko Haram insurgents in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the insurgents came into the town at about 5am, but met a strong Army, which battled them out.
It could be observed, however, that tension was very high in Maiduguri, to the effect that students of the University of Maiduguri had to undergo serious checks by security operatives before they were allowed into the campus.
A ban on students entering the campus with vehicles was also imposed, as only lecturers were allowed into the institution with their vehicles after rigorous checking and identification.
The Civilian JTF also were put on red alert, as rumour had it that female suicide bombers now prowl Maiduguri with the intention of detonating bombs at large gatherings.
It will be recalled that already, four female suicide bombers had claimed the lives of over 100 people in two incidents at the Maiduguri Monday Market recently.
Speaking to one of the security operatives at the Gate Two of the University of Maiduguri, he said a successful attack on Konduga meant the insurgents could easily take over Maiduguri as they attempted to do in Damaturu, Yobe State on Monday.
According to him, the soldiers were doing everything possible to ensure that the insurgents did not get the slightest opportunity of launching an attack on Maiduguri.
MAIDUGURI—Some members of the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, arrested yesterday at Mairi ward behind University of Maiduguri by members of the Civilian JTF vigilante group, have confessed that most of them are fleeing the Sambisa Forest to areas across Borno State owing to what they believe is spiritual attacks from mysterious snakes and bees, which had killed many of their leaders.
sambisa-1According to Kolo Mustapha, one of the arrested insurgents, “most of us are fleeing because there are too many snakes and bees now in the forest. Once they bite, they disappear and the victims do not last for 24 hours.
“We were told that the aggrieved people who had suffered from our deadly mission, including the ghosts of some of those we killed, are the ones turning into the snake and bees.”
‘Our leaders fled, too’
He said some of their leaders have escaped to Cameroon because they are known to the Nigerian authorities and could be easily identified. According to him, those of them who lived all their lives in Maiduguri have nowhere to run to. So they returned and tried to sneak into town.
He said they came in last night and were trying to hide in some uncompleted buildings, when some members of the Civilian JTF saw them.
He said: “We are pleading with them to spare our lives. We were forced into the sect. But we know that it is not the right way. I personally have never killed anyone, but I have my friend here who had killed many people.”
Umar Abor, the other arrested sect member said Kolo Mustapha was lying as they had participated in all heinous acts of the sect.
He said: “We have fought together since 2010. We have fought in Marte, Bama, Buni Yadima and Gwoza. We were not in Chibok. We have not seen the girls, but we heard about the issue.
“Our leaders have been talking about it and we have been following all news from the radio. We decided to flee when almost all our comrades are leaving the Sambisa because of constant attacks by snakes and bees, which we were told was as a result of Chibok abducted schoolgirls.
“They (our leaders) told us that it was our enemies and aggrieved people that are hunting us through diabolical means. We were in the forest in 2010 and 2011. We left and came back last year but we have never experienced such attacks.
“That is why they believe the Chibok people are using juju to pursue us because of their children said to have been taken by our leaders.”
‘We‘ll reveal our hiding place’
According to him, they have realised their mistakes and repented, promising that if they are spared they would help the community in fishing out some of their comrades and will lead security agents where their comrades had fled.
One of the leaders of the Civilian JTF said many of the sect members had been fleeing the Sambisa Forest in the past two weeks and that most of them are being arrested and taken to the authorities, except when they resist arrest, in which case they are left with no option but to kill them.
He said: “These ones have not attempted to run or do anything bad. They promise to take us to where they hide their weapons. We are taking them to the chairman of our sector command before they are handed to security operatives.”
A resident said the attackers invaded the village yesterday on motorcycles but met some women, adding “they wanted to hit the women with sticks but when they raised the sticks, their hands refused to descend.
“Three of the insurgents fled, but seven were not lucky as the women alerted the people,” and the vigilante group in the community rushed to the scene, disarmed the seven insurgents, who were later lynched.
Attagara, a border community with Cameroon is about 10 kilometres South-East of Pulka District in Gwoza Local Government Area of the state and about 130 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital.
Also, scores of gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram were killed yesterday through the combined efforts of members of the vigilante youths, otherwise known as Civilian JTF, and the military in Kawuri village, Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.
Twenty years old Mallam Mamman Yakubu, a vigilante youth that participated in repelling the insurgents, said: “We were able to kill many of the terrorists who invaded our community yesterday night.”
On whether arrests were made, Yakubu said they were not interested in any arrests because Boko Haram members hardly reveal any secret when arrested.
A top security source, who confirmed the incident, told Vanguard that three dead bodies of the terrorists were recovered yesterday morning in Kawuri, adding that more of the terrorists were killed in a nearby bush of Kawuri when they attempted to flee to the Sambisa Forest.
MAIDUGURI—The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Ahmadu Mohammed, yesterday, escaped death as angry soldiers opened fire on his official vehicle when he came to address them at the Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
This came as local villagers succeeded in repelling a Boko Haram attack, killing about 200 of the sect members in the process.
A source said the soldiers went on an operation in Kala Balge council area of Bornu state but they were instructed to withdraw from the assignment and return to Maiduguri immediately. The source said on their way back, they were ambushed leading to the death of some soldiers.
According to the source: “The troops arrived with the corpses of the slain soldiers to Maimalari barracks while the GOC was addressing some troops on the ongoing operation against the insurgency. But when the soldiers sighted the corpses of their deceased colleagues, and learnt about how they died, they condemned the way their superior officers allegedly treated them in the course of the operation, and therefore started shooting sporadically, while others opened fire on the GOC’s vehicle as he narrowly escaped from the scene”.
According to the source, “what angered the soldiers most, was the unnecessary deduction of their allowances and subjecting them to harsh working conditions without proper equipment to carry out their duties and as a result, many of them were being killed like rats by the insurgents”.
A top commentator on Africa Thisday had earlier told Africa Thisday that “some muslim military officers have Positioned themselves in the Nigerian Army at powerful positions and they even allow our gallant troops to be slauughtered by terorrists on dailly basis just because the junior Officers are Non-muslims.” He stated further that “GOCs who are Muslims would pick troops who are mostly comprised Of Christians & non muslims, provive inadequare armunition and make them to face the dreaded islamist terrorist group-Boko Haram”. Another commentator said: “I am angry that the GOC escaped. The soldiers must have realized that the GOC is the real Boko Haram”.
At least 100 final-year students of Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok local government area of Borno State were abducted and taken to an unknown destination by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram on Monday night, eyewitnesses and security operatives have said.
LEADERSHIP gathered from impeccable sources that the gunmen who had engaged in a shootout with security operatives in Chibok town succeeded in killing a soldier and a police officer before taking the girls in a hijacked lorry into the bushes.
The students returned to school in spite of the recent shutdown of schools by the Borno state government to write their final-year examination (SSCE).
LEADERSHIP also gathered from credible sources from Chibok town which is about 135km from Maiduguri, the state capital, that some of the girls were able to escape while being driven away in the open truck.
The commissioner of police, Borno State command, Alhaji Lawan Tanko, was able to confirm the incident to journalists on phone but did not state the actual number of students that were abducted.
“We have received the report about the kidnapping of students by gunmen in a school in Chibok local government area last night; but we have no details on the actual number of the students for now; our men are still on the trail of the abductors,” he stated.
Efforts to get the local government chairman, Mr Babagana Chibok, were not successful as his number was not connecting. But a staff of Chibok local government told LEADERSHIP on phone that “the gunmen actually came in two Hilux pick-up vans but had to intercept a lorry that was conveying bags of grains to Askira-Uba local government; they offloaded the grains and ordered the abducted students into the lorry and took them away”.
He said, “We heard the girls wailing as the gunmen continued to shoot; we thought they were shooting the girls or something; but it was later on we understood from a few of them that were able to escape that they were being taken away by the gunmen.”
The local government official who pleaded not to be quoted for obvious security reasons told LEADERSHIP that some of the girls who had the village upbringing were able to demonstrate rare courage by holding unto tree branches as the lorry conveying them passed under low-branched tree and hung there until the unsuspecting kidnappers went far ahead before they would jump off the tree and flee back to the town.
“Many of the girls have been able to make it back through the bushes, but others are yet to be found; but we understand that the chairman of Chibok local government had led some security operatives to trail the track of the lorry,” said the LG worker.
A senior official of the State Security Service, who spoke off the record, told LEADERSHIP that two security men – a policeman and a soldier — died during the attack and abduction.
“The abduction happened at about 10pm when the hoodlums called Boko Haram attacked the school, killed a soldier and policeman and took away over 100 female students in a lorry. Luckily enough, our men have been able to trace the abductors to where the lorry conveying the girls broke down and our men have moved in to intercept the gunmen; but we understand that some of the girls were able to escape and make it back to the town,” he said.
Though Chibok, a quiet agrarian town, shares a very close border with Sambisa Forest, it has never experienced any attack by Boko Haram except in some of the nearby villages under its local government area.
The Borno State government had not reacted on the incident by press time and all efforts to get the commissioner for education, Musa Inuwa Kubo, was not fruitful.