Community petitions Osinbajo over abduction of 14 women
Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Twelve persons were on MondayÂ killed in a suicide attack on a mosque in Maiduguri, the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damien Chukwu, told journalists.
The commissioner, while addressing a press conference, said at about 4:30a.m. Monady, a female suicide bomber attempted to enter a mosque in London Ciki area in Jere Local Government Area, an outskirt of Maiduguri, but was unsuccessful.
He said: â€œIn the process, she detonated explosive strapped on her body, killing herself and eight others while 18 other persons sustained injuries.â€
Chukwu added that: â€œPolice EOD team was promptly deployed to the scenes to sanitise and render the scenes and vicinities safe for normal activities to continue.
â€œCorpses and injured persons were evacuated to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.â€
The police commissioner also disclosed that last Sunday at midnight, troops of the Nigerian Army deployed in Mammanti village, in Molai town in Konduga Local Government Area, an outskirt of Maiduguri, intercepted two teenage female suicide bombers trying to infiltrate the village through the parapet ahead of the village.
He revealed: â€œThe bombers were engaged by the troops after being challenged, which resulted in the detonation of their suicide vests, killing the two suicide bombers.â€
The state police boss said no other casualty was recorded in the foiled attack.
Chukwu, also disclosed that at about 1:49 a.m. yesterday, Nigerian Army troops deployed between Cimari community and No Manâ€™s Land, Mafa Local Government Area, an outskirts of Maiduguri, â€œintercepted a female suicide bomber trying to infiltrate the community through the parapet.
â€œThe suicide bomber in an attempt to escape was shot by the troops, as a result of which the suicide vest on her body exploded killing the bomber only.
Meanwhile, troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole have alerted the indigenes of Borno State on antics of members of the Boko Haram terrorist group who are now exploiting deceptive tactics to lure unsuspecting members of the public to target areas before detonating their suicide bombs in order to attain maximum casualty.
According to a statement by the Deputy Director Public Relations of the Theatre Command, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, it was observed that one of the tactics employed by the insurgents is to create a fighting scene with each other or another person in order to attract peopleâ€™s attention and thereby denote their bombs.
He also stated that the other antic is abducting children who are on errands and strapping them with suicide vests and sending them back home, where the bomb would detonate and kill an entire household.
Nwachukwu in the statement added: â€œThese deceptive tactics have been found to have played out in recent suicide bomb attacks carried out by the group. The public are therefore urged to be wary of these tactics and avoid such unnecessary gatherings that could expose them to preventable danger.
â€œFurthermore, all parents and adults are advised to sensitise their children on these new antics. They are also urged to be conscious of the whereabouts of their children and rein them in where necessary to prevent them from being callously used by the insurgents for the evil mission of suicide bombing.â€
However, the people of Dalwa village, a community in Borno State, yesterday complained that 14 of their women were abducted by Boko Haram in a June 20 highway ambush.
Elders of the community made the complaint in a petition to acting President Yemi Osinbajo copy of which was made available to THISDAY.
Boko Haram had ambushed over 60 personnel of the Police Mobile Force, mourners and several vehicles on Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu highway on June 20.
The abducted women, according to the elders, were taken from Dalwa village, about 31 kilometres from Maiduguri.
The elder who brought the petition to a press conference, said the whereabouts of the women remained mystery, while the state police command and other security forces were yet to offer any clarification on the issue.
Spokesman of the aggrieved group, Mr. Madu M. Bukar, alleged that both the state government and security agents were duly notified on the ugly incident, but failed to act.
â€œWe are deeply saddened by the recent unfortunate incident of June 20, 2017, at about 11:30hrs along Abare-Dalwa road, 31 kilometers from Maiduguri. In the process, 14 of our daughters who were conveying the corpse of one Sergeant Rahila Antakirya to Askira for burial were abducted.
â€œUptil date your excellency, despite the official notification letters by the Chairman of Askira/Uba Local Government Area to the security agents and the state government, no serious action seemed to have been taken about the plight of our abducted women,â€ the petition further noted.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Police, Chukwu, said the police did all it could do to ensure that the abduction by the insurgents was foiled.
Chukwu, during a press conference in Maiduguri, said: â€œI promptly drafted SARS, CTU and PMF teams to the scene.
â€œThe team rescued some persons and recovered the corpses of one Mustapha Modu (driver of Borno State Government truck conveying relief materials (drugs), one fully loaded AK47 magazine, empty shells of anti-aircraft and general purpose machine gun.â€
He said efforts were also intensified by the police command to track down the attackers for possible rescue of the missing persons.
Chukwu lamented that some police personnel were killed in the ambush with others injured.
He said: â€œOther occupants comprising personnel, including Inspector Fatsuma Sale of the state CIID, Maiduguri, Corporal Abubakar Haruna and about 15 other persons who are relations of the deceased were stills missing.