IGP, Mohammed Abubakar
By Chineme Okafor, Yemi Akinsuyi, Seriki Adinoyi ,Michael Olugbode
Ahead of the Eid-il-Fitr celebration, tight security and terror alerts, particularly in many northern states look set to take the shine off the festivities. Already, the security Joint Task Force in some northern states has asked residents to be very careful.
In Kano State, the traditional Kano Durbar held to mark Eid-il-Fitr would not hold. Though, the organisers attributed the cancellation to the ill health of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, sources said security concerns contributed to the cancellation.
Meanwhile, hopes that the Ramadan fast would be concluded last night was dashed over the failure to sight the new moon. A statement from the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, noted that the Muslim fast will continue through the weekend as a result.
The Eid-el-Fitr celebrations would have been held on Sunday.
For residents of the Federal Capital Territory, the security crisis aside, their celebration will also be hindered by fuel scarcity, which has persisted for almost four days now.
Two terror attacks were reported in Plateau and Borno states yesterday, raising fears that most people may stay indoors during the celebration.
In Plateau, an explosion targeted at a police station went off at Rikkos area of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State, injuring one person and destroying some parts of the station and other three residential buildings.
The explosion on the eve of the Sallah celebration is coming about 48 hours after security agencies and religious leaders had agreed on a peaceful Sallah in Jos.
Confirming the development, the Special Task Force STF on Jos crisis in a statement signed by its Media officer, Captain Salisu Mustapha yesterday said, "an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded between a police outpost and some residence In Layin-Walin, Rikkos of Jos North LGA at about 11:05 pm.
"The police post and other three houses and a vehicle were affected by the blast."
Salisu also confirmed that one person was injured and was taken to the hospital for treatment, adding that investigations are on-going and the situation in the Area is calm.
Abubakar Adamu, a resident of the area who was injured in the blast, while narrating his ordeal from a hospital bed yesterday, said, I woke up around 11 in the night to eat the food in my sitting room with one of my children. A few minutes later, I heard a very loud sound. At that moment, I thought it was thunderstorm. But before I knew it, smoke filled everywhere and that was all I could remember as I finally saw myself in a hospital bed."
In Borno State, unknown gunmen believed to be members of the Boko Haram sect killed Alhaji Zannah Kafilama, who was Secretary to the late Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Mustapha Umar Elkanemi.
Kafilama was killed on Thursday after performing the 8.00p.m (Tarawi prayers) at a Mosque in Polo Area of Maiduguri metropolis.
An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, said the two gunmen came into the mosque and pretended as if they were waiting for the Tarawi prayers.
He said one of the gunmen hid his AK-47 rifle under his Sallaya carpet (prayer mat). He explained that as soon as they were about going out of the mosque after the prayers, they heard sounds of gunshots, a situation that forced those who were inside and around the Mosque to scamper for safety.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Gideon Jibrin said, some gunmen had on Thursday trailed Alhaji Zannah to a mosque in Polo area, and after the prayers, the gunmen shot him dead and fled.
In spite of assurances on Thursday by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison - Madueke that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had sufficient reserve of petrol to last for 45 days, fuel scarcity continued unabated yesterday in Abuja.
An assessment of the situation yesterday revealed that long queues of vehicles jostling to buy petrol from filling stations within Abuja metropolis still exist as most of the major stations visited were not dispensing while some of the NNPC mega stations which initially dispensed suddenly stopped, apparently on discovering that the situation was going to overwhelm them.
Meanwhile, security in Abuja ahead of Eid el Fitri has been tightened with movements into the city being scrutinised by a combined team of security operatives.
Movements within the city were also being strictly monitored by security forces that have been drafted across strategic locations in the city.
However, the Commissioner of Police in charge of FCT Police Command, Adenrele Shinaba, has reassured residents of adequate security during the celebration.