Paul Obi in Abuja
The Nigerian Defence Headquarters yesterday alerted Nigerians to remain vigilant as Boko Haram terrorists now disguised as menial workers as a strategy to infiltrate communities and towns in order to carry out attacks.
Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar said in a statement that the aim is to trick the public and the vulnerable for purposes of carrying out their nefarious activities.
Abubakar said: “The Defence Headquarters wishes to alert members of the public of another antic being employed by the escaping Boko Haram terrorists that were smoked out of Sambisa forest by the combined efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
“Available information indicates that some fleeing Boko Haram terrorists are now disguising as menial workers to melt into communities and towns with a view to organising terrorists attack against our innocent citizens. The unfortunate recent incidents in Madagali and Maiduguri are instructive.
“The Defence Headquarters therefore advises citizens to be on the alert and be wary of these tricks of the defeated terrorists who are hell-bent on remaining relevant inspite of their lost battle.”
Abubakar added that “this sensitisation becomes necessary now to create security awareness to our citizens to be conscious of some strange faces that could take menial jobs in their communities or towns, especially now that festivities are around the corner.”
The warning came amid the dead of another senior officer in Borno State, Lt. Col. Otos Usumu, the Commanding Officer of 118 Task Force Battalion.
However, a Military informed THISDAY that reports that Usumu was killed daring confrontation with the Boko Haram sects were far from the truth.
The source told THISDAY that contrary to speculations, “Usumu stepped on an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED), he was not killed during confrontation.
“The Boko Haram terrorists are trying to return to areas where they lost, so they are using IEDs, which has really been a challenge to us.”
He explained that the military have devised other strategies such as air combat and intelligence gathering to subdue the Boko Haram terrorists.
The source added that through these efforts, about 85 Boko Haram terrorists have surrender or been arrested by the military.