… Nigerian Army arrests 13 suspected Boko Haram members in Kano Mosque

… Arrest was made at Filin Lazio in Hotoro area after one hour raid

… Captain Irabor says their arrest was in the course of an ongoing operation

… Exercise will check influx into Kano, military not being caught unawares

THE Nigerian Army on Sunday confirmed a raid operation that led to the arrest of 13 suspected Boko Haram members in Kano State. The spokesperson, 3rd Brigade Nigerian Army in Kano, Captain Njoko Irabor confirmed the operation to newsmen. Captain Irabor said the operation is an ongoing exercise to check the influx of people into the state and ensure that security agents are not caught unaware of any funny situation. Reports have it that the arrest of suspected Boko Haram terrorists at Filin Lazio in Hotoro Area of Kano metropolis on Saturday evening by the Nigerian Army during a raid on a mosque and some houses allegedly belonging to some Borno men that fled the troubled northeast due to the Boko Haram insurgency.

Eyewitnesses indicated that the operation lasted to close to one hour, took place while Muslims were breaking their fast. The situation led to confusion as many of the residents were scared as the Soldiers also searched some houses. It was gathered that immediately after the operation, the mosque and the area were deserted by the residents as some of them made up their mind not to pass the night in the vicinity noting that the Soldiers may likely come back. Information said that the arrested suspects of Boko Haram terrorists are thought to have migrated from NorthEast to other parts of the country as part of its expansionist drive. The Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima in a statement on yesterday evening, reiterated that the arrest was part of the ongoing effort to flush out all forms of criminality within 3 Brigade Nigerian Army’s Area of Responsibility. General Yerima said the ongoing operations are predicated on the need to apprehend criminals who may want to hibernate in any part of Kano State.

“The general public especially residents of Filin Lazio Hotoro, are enjoined to go about their lawful businesses as security forces are on top of the situation,” the statement said. The Nigerian Army also appealed to the peace loving people of Kano State to maintain high level of vigilance and continue to report suspected movement of strange individuals or groups in their environment to the relevant security agencies for prompt action. It will be recalled that some of these migrated terrorists who successfully settled in remote locations in Niger State in connection with armed bandits, have sized a local government area and hoisted it Jihadist flag. In a news report late last month, titled “Boko Haram now occupying Niger communities,” Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, said that Boko Haram has hoisted its flags in Kaure and Shiroro local government areas of the state.

Niger State is about 140km to the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria’s seat of power. Governor Sani Bello also disclosed that the terrorists have displaced over 3,000 residents of the affected communities. “I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements here in Niger state, here in Kaure, I am confirming that they have hoisted their flags here. “The wives of the villagers have been seized from them and forcefully attached to Boko Haram members. I just heard that they have placed their flags at Kaure, meaning they have taken over the territory,” the governor further revealed. Bello said that he had earlier alerted the federal government but it has not been proactive. “This is what I have been engaging the federal government on; unfortunately it has now got to this level.

If care is not taken, even Abuja is not safe. We have been saying this for long. All our efforts have been in vain,” he added. He hoped for a more coordinated military activity to fight the terrorists, as he said, “Sambisa is several kilometers from Abuja but Kaure is less than two hours drive from Abuja. So nobody is safe anymore, not even those in Abuja. “This is the time to act. All hands must be on deck. It is not a fight for Niger State alone. I am not waiting for anyone anymore, I am going to take action,” he said. Nigeria has been battling Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast for over a decade with recurring attacks in many parts of the country. In the last seven years, despite the federal government’s claim that the sect had been ‘degraded’ amongst other expressions used, the country has lost hundreds of lives to the unending insurgency while millions of people have been displaced and rendered homeless. Just last week, there was panic in Abuja that terrorists and armed bandits were sighted in their numbers entering the nation’s capital on motorcycles and camels around Sabo Wuse. Also, there was a security advisory issued to the leadership of National Assembly (NASS) based on intelligence that there is plan by the terrorists to attack NASS complex and other strategic locations in Abuja.

Though there had not been a major attack in the nation’s capital since the current administration took over the mantle of leadership, they had in the past successfully attack several locations in Abuja. The areas attacked in the past include mami market, Mogadishu Cantonment Abuja, Nyanya Motor Park (twice) and Louis Edet House Headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and the United Nations Building in Abuja. Speaking on the migration of bandits and terrorists to Abuja, the Guards Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Mohammed Usman, told a reporter that the nation’s capital is safe and that his troops regularly patrol the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have not encountered any security threat. The Presidential Guards Brigade is an elite brigade of the Nigerian Army responsible for protecting the President of Nigeria, the seat of power, and the FCT. “Last Wednesday night, there was a radio program that armed Fulani men were coming to Abuja; my troops went and pinned them down in Gwagwadala.

It took them three hours to locate them. They were on their way to Bauchi and Jos. “We searched but found nothing dangerous on them and they were not on camels as rumored.’’ Asked about the security alert from the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigeria Police Force sent to the National Assembly indicating that the insurgents were plotting to attack the FCT, Usman said, “I’m not aware of the report that insurgents want to attack Abuja; Abuja is cool and calm. “We carry out a patrol in Abuja. I am not aware of the police alert, I was not copied. We (Brigade Commander and Police) hold meetings in the CP’s office. We are playing our own part to ensure the security of lives and property; so, I don’t know where these reports of attack in Abuja are coming from. Abuja is okay and nobody is being attacked as far as I know.’’

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