From: Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

Combined security checks, including increased surveillances, routine patrol and deployment of special forces, halted Boko Haram plans to bomb praying grounds and targeted areas during the Sallah celebrations in Borno State, the police has said.

Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, told Daily Sun that there was intelligence report a week to the Muslim festivals of moves by the insurgents to carry out bomb attacks in various parts of the state with Maiduguri, the state capital as the main target.

“The police in collaboration with the military, CJTF and other security agencies ensured routine patrol. The police got additional personnel from the IG (Inspector General of Police) and we deployed them to fortify all the major roads leading to the capital. We have visibility patrol, stop and search and adequate coverage of Eid (praying grounds) for the Muslim faithful,” Chukwu said.

He disclosed that more personnel from the Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU) of the Nigerian police, mobile team, Special Anti-Robbery Sqaud and regular policemen were also deployed to strategic locations in the state to thwart Boko Haram plans.

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The police commissioner said the Borno Emirate Council had approved 14 praying grounds for the Eid Kabir but regretted that more ground were opened on the Sallah day by residents following police restriction order and advise for residents to pray near their residences.  “Despite this, we monitor these unapproved praying ground,” he said.

Military jets from the Nigerian Airforce on aerial patrol were also seen flying over the state capital and other parts of the state throughout the celebration.

Residents who had In the past years marked religious festival in fears of bombings, commended the security measures put in place during the festival.

“Thanks be to Allah. This year Eid-el-Kabir is peaceful. We enjoy it and wish the security agencies in the state could work together the way they did during the celebration,” Ahmed Kolomi, a Maiduguri resident said.