Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika
By Senator Iroegbu and Segun Awofadeji
Security operatives comprising of Army and State Security Services ( SSS) Saturday attacked a house suspected to be a hideout for insurgents in Bauchi. The house is located behind Federal Government Girls College Bauchi in the Abujan Kwata suburb of Bauchi metropolis.
The attack came as the Nigerian Army said it has trained 2,904 soldiers on counter-terrorism activities. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, while speaking during the graduation ceremony for the soldiers at the Nigerian Army Training Centre (NATRAC) in Kontagora, Niger State , yesterday, said the six-week intensive training in basic counter-terrorism course was to prepare the soldiers for the challenges ahead.
A top security source in Bauchi who craved anonymity confirmed the attack on the terrorists’ hideout to THISDAY Saturday, saying the house is suspected to be the hideout of those behind the recent attacks in the state capital.
According to the source, “we had a joint operation of Army and the SSS because we had received intelligence information about the hideouts of some criminals and we traced the place. We cordoned the area off around 1;30am last Friday and when the hoodlums sighted our men, they started throwing explosives and shooting.’’
He added that ‘‘ we made effort to enter the place but because of the wall that surrounded the house, we were not able to enter until when part of the house was destroyed, the hoodlums escaped through the backyard but we recovered many explosives and we also drafted our men to pursue the suspects.”
Residents of the area said told our correspondent that they saw two armoured personnel carriers ‘‘and we were told to remain calm but later as we all entered our houses late in the night, we heard several gunshots and loud sounds of explosives.
But all of us were afraid and we couldn’t come out until this morning.’’
Most of the residents who spoke to newsmen said they didn’t know what actually happened and they didn’t know the occupants of the house ‘‘because they(occupants) spend between five days to two weeks in the area and they don’t relate with people.”
Effort to get the Bauchi State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Ladan, failed as he did not pick his calls neither did he reply the text message sent to him at the time of filing this report.
When our correspondent visited site of the incident, neighbours and well wishers were seen in groups discussing the incident while many visited the house to see for themselves what had happened.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army, in line with its ongoing reforms to modernise its service to be able to meet with the demands of contemporary security challenges, has trained 2,904 soldiers on counter terrorism activities.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, while speaking during the graduation ceremony for the soldiers at the Nigerian Army Training Centre (NATRAC) in Kontagora, Niger State, Saturday, said the six-week intensive training in basic counter-terrorism course was to prepare the soldiers for the challenges ahead.
Ihejirika emphasised that to successfully tackle the current security challenges required competent soldiers in all aspects of internal security duties.
Earlier, the Commandant of the Centre, Maj.-Gen. Sylvester Audu, said the programme was designed to equip the soldiers with the required combat competences and leadership skills.