James Ojo, Abuja As the build-up to the 2019 general electiongathers momentum, the British Government has tasked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to work together for the country; to deliver free and fair elections. The charge was given by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr…
•Army warns on new trick of Boko Haram terrorists
•BBOG resumes protest in Abuja
From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The police in Borno State said yesterday that eight people died following multiple suicide blasts in Maiduguri on Sunday.
One of those killed was a member of the Civilian JTF, while five were the suicide bombers.
Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers struck at different locations late on Sunday. Two deaths from the first suicide bombing were recorded, according to Civilian JTF official, Danbatta Bello.
But the state police command’s spokesperson, Victor Isuku, a Deputy Superintendent, said in a statement yesterday that there were two separate attacks that occurred between 8.20p.m. and 10.30p.m.
Isuku said the first attack was carried out by three males, while the second was an explosion caused by two female suicide bombers.
“At about 2020hrs (10.20pm) (on January 8), there male suicide bombers shot sporadically and attempted to infiltrate Maiduguri via Garki Muna village close to a military checkpoint,” said the spokesperson.
“The IED strapped to their bodies exploded killing all of them, and a Civilian JTF. Two AK47 rifles were recovered, while one was completely destroyed as a result of the explosion.
“Then, about 10.30p.m. same date, there were two suicide bombers attacked at Kaleri area of Gwange. Four persons including two female bombers died in the explosion. Both scenes were swept and rendered safe for public access by personnel from EOD, FSARS and patrol teams of the command in the wee hours of today (yesterday). Normalcy has since returned to these areas,” police said.
Meanwhile, the military has alerted of a new trick by Boko-Haram, whose members now attack residential homes of innocent Nigerians.
In a statement, the Army said the terrorists now pose as visitors by knocking on the doors of private residence and end up detonating Improvised Explosive Device (IED), strapped on their bodies as soon as their victims open the door.
Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 7 Division, Colonel Mustapha Anka, who made this known, attributed the recent bombing at Kalari in Maiduguri, to have been carried out by two suspected terrorists who pretended to be visitors to the home of their targeted victim.
He warned the public to be “cautious and wary of strange persons knocking at their doors”.
Anka said: “This is to draw the attention of the general public to recent trend used by desperate remnants of Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT). Recently, two female suicide bombers knocked at the door of one Bulama and Usman, about 200 meters apart in Kalari General area of Maiduguri.
“The daughter of the Bulama opened the door, while Usman himself opened his own door immediately the suicide bombers detonated their suicide vest, in the process killing the unsuspected little girl, Usman including the two female suicide bombers.”
Anka, while calling on the public to be always security alert, advised residents to engage in neighborhood watch even as he charged them to report strange movement of persons and objects to security agents without delay.
BBOG resumes protest
In a related development, members of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG), yesterday continued their peaceful protest to demand for the speedy release of the Chibok girls with a call on the Federal Government to improve the welfare and well-being of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The group which began the procession from the Unity Fountain and escorted by men of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Police Command, before arriving at the entrance of the Presidential Villa, said government has completely abandoned IDPs in spite of the huge resources budgeted to cater for their needs.
While describing the abducted Chibok girls as IDPs wherever they may be, the BBOG said the condition of IDPs in the country was a humanitarian tragedy of immense proportion as confirmed by several agencies
It noted that while the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) put the total number of IDPs at 2 million, “the vast majority of IDPs – accounting for up to 90% of the entire IDP population – are in informal settlements and host communities, most of which are not government-recognized”.
For this reason, the group said these IDPs rely solely on non-governmental organizations and international humanitarian agencies for their livelihood.
According to the group, “many are trapped in territories the government had declared free from the insurgents and habitable for normal life.
“Places like Gwoza, Bama, Dikwa, Monguno, and others are only accessible via military escort. The others are completely cut off.
“For instance, only two locations in Gwoza are accessible to multinational and domestic humanitarian workers, the rest are only accessible via military escort at most once a day, the others are completely cut off!
“IDPs are dying of hunger and starvation! There are hardly any records of the scores of IDPs in and around Abuja and all over the nation,” it said.
The group accused the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiatives (PCNI), set up to cater to the need of IDPs, of not living up to its responsibilities, saying “the PCNI was recently unable to convincingly account for N2.5 billion spent.
It also said that “Hundreds of millions were said to be spent on trainings and workshops, other hundreds of millions on clearing grasses around IDP camps as IDPs are malnourished and dying of starvation”.