- Â Restriction of movement reintroduced in Maiduguri for sallah
By Paul Obi in Abuja and Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The Department of State Services (DSS) yesterday arrested three terrorists allegedly planning to attack Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna and Maiduguri during Sallah celebration this weekend.
In a related development, restriction of vehicular movement has been reintroduced to Maiduguri, Borno State as a result of recent security breaches.Â
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, DSSâ€™s spokesman, Tony Opuiyo said the objective of the terrorists was to hit soft targets and the vulnerable.
He said: “In the past few weeks, the DSS has uncovered a sinister plot by terrorist elements to stage series of coordinated attacks using explosives in different cities across the country.Â
“Their aim was to hit on soft targets such as markets, public parks, public processions, recreation centres, as well as worship centres, especially the Eid praying grounds and other densely populated areas during the forthcoming Eid-el-Fitr Sallah celebration.Â
“The latest plan by the terrorists was to unleash mayhem on Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna and Maiduguri.
“Consequently, the Service wishes to announce that the planned terrorist attacks in Kano and aforementioned states have been nipped in the bud.Â
“This followed the arrest of Yusuf Adamu and Abdumuminu Haladu in Sokoto. Adamu and his accomplice were to command the operation in Kano.
Opuiyo explained that the DSS had earlier arrested the facilitator of the Kano attack, an explosive expert called Bashir Mohammed in Kano.
“Their plan, together with others now at large, was to assemble the explosives and use them on select targets during the Eid-el-Fitr Celebrations.
“On the arrest of Mohammed in Kano, a search was conducted at his residence wherein the following dangerous weapons were recovered: Eight (8) AK-47 rifles; Twenty (20) fully loaded AK-A7 magazines; Twenty seven (27) hand grenades; Seven hundred and ninety three (793) rounds of live ammunition; one (1) gas cylinder; three (3) laptops; one (1) GSM phone; one (1) Lifan motorcycle; one (1) Honda Civic Car (Ash); and one (1) printer.
“The Service has also uncovered plans by the terrorist elements to infiltrate the ranks of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (a.k.a. Shiites).
“This is in an attempt to assume a formidable cover to unleash violence and evoke a complete state of chaos in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja during the groupâ€™s Qudus Day Procession/Rally scheduled for today (yesterday 23/06/2017) in Abuja and several states in the northern parts of the country.
“Sequel to this, the Service is warning members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) to desist from staging any form of procession or demonstration as the terrorists will seize the opportunity to unleash mayhem.
“The public is encouraged to disregard the antics of these terrorist extremists to cause a breakdown of law and order and instill fear in the populace.
“The Service is working, in concert with other security agencies, to ensure that no section of the country is attacked during and after the Sallah celebrations,” Opuiyo stated.Â
Also to stem attacks on soft targets during the festivities, there has been an order reintroducing restriction of vehicular movement in Maiduguri.
Vehicular movement was allowed during festivities only two years ago when the security situation in Borno State improved with the push-back of the insurgents and capture of their stronghold in Sambisa forest.Â
The security situation has, however, deteriorated in the last few months with an attempted invasion of Maiduguri by the insurgents, suicide bomb attacks at the University of Maiduguri and highway ambush, among others.
To prevent any ugly incident during the Eid-el-Fitri celebration, the police in the state have ordered vehicles off the road in the early hours of the celebration when Islamic faithful are expected at prayer grounds.
In a signed press statement, yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Borno State, Victor Isuku, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, advised Moslems to pray at prayer grounds within walking distance from their homes.
The statement read: “In view of the Eid-el-fitr sallah celebration coming up on or about 25/6/2017, Borno state police command wishes to reiterate its commitment towards ensuring a crime-free celebration. In pursuance therefore, the residents of Maiduguri metropolitan council and Jere local government areas are by this release informed that, there will be restriction of vehicular movement until after the Eid prayers on 25/6/2017.Â
“The restriction will include the use of motor vehicles, tricycles, bicycles and animals except those on essential duties.â€Â