Benue confirms Boko Haram infiltration, seeks govt’s assistance
THE police on Wednesday arrested five suspects at the Bolori roundabout and near the official residence of the Borno State Police Commissioner in Maiduguri, for alleged harbouring of criminals and hoodlums who terrorise residents and snatch vehicles and tricycles in the metropolis.
The suspects, according to the Police Commissioner, Yuguda Abdullahi, are newspapers vendors harbouring physically challenged between the ages of 19 and 25 years.
Briefing newsmen yesterday on the arrests and detention of the suspects,
Abdullahi said: “Intelligence report at our disposal revealed that there were reported cases of killing of personalities, snatching of vehicles and perpetration of other criminal activities in some of the places where vendors and other criminals mingle and disguise as destitute to beg for alms
“All warnings for them to vacate such places proved abortive, so we had no option than to do our job for the protection of life and property in Maiduguri, the state capital.”
The police chief listed the suspects to include Babagan Modu, Aliyu Uba, Musa Mushe, Sadiq Bukar and Chairman of the Newspapers Distribution Association (NEDA), Musa Ali.
Mallam Bunu Umara, the Chairman of Yerwa Newspapers Distributors/Vendors Asociation (YNDVA) in an interview yesterday, however described the arrests of his members as “unlawful” and against the rights of vendors to earn their living.
Umara said that members of the association would from tomorrow embark on protest and strike, until the police released its arrested members.
Meanwhile, the Benue State government yesterday confirmed infiltration of the state by members of the Boko Haram sect and appealed to the Federal Government to come to the aid of the state by deploying members of the anti-terrorism squad to the state.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the state Commissioner for Information, Conrad Wergba recalled that in December last year, the state Governor, Gabriel Suswam, raised an alarm over the presence of members of the sect in the state but many people thought he was raising a false alarm.
“The insurgents, according to the governor, have placed him on their prime hit target. When this matter came into the public domain, many thought the governor was crying wolf where there was none,” he said.
Confirming the invasion of the state by the sect, Wergba said: “On Saturday, 5th January, 2013, a military anti-terrorism team tracked a suspected notorious Boko Haram kingpin on the wanted list of security agents for atrocities in several other places to a residence in Gboko town. According to reports, the team’s attempt to arrest the suspect did not yield the desired result as he was said to have escaped.
“We call on the federal government to mobilise anti-terrorism outfit to the state and fund them properly. The state government has invested so much on security and we want the federal government to come to our aid in stamping out this deadly sect,” he said.
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