Members of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) have attacked a convoy of 40 trucks of food meant for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and resettled communities in Borno and intercepted four of them, Daily Trust Saturday learnt exclusively.
The attack, which occurred Thursday night around Layi village in Mobbar Local Government Area of the state, came barely 48 hours after terrorists launched a heavy attack on Kuje Medium Security Prison in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) freeing at least 69 Boko Haram suspects and hundreds of others. The ISWAP on Wednesday claimed responsibility for the attack.
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Top security sources who were briefed about the Borno attack told Daily Trust Saturday that the food and nutritional products consignment was on its way to Damasak.
It was part of the palliative by the World Food Program (WFP) for IDPs from Abadam and victims of the Boko Haram violence returning to their homes in Mobbar.
“The attackers were in four gun trucks. After heavy attacks on the convoy, they succeeded in intercepting four of the vehicles and emptied nearly everything from the vehicles,” the source said.
It was also gathered that the terrorists are now firming up their control of major roads and strategic areas in the southern and northern parts of Borno.
Intelligence sources in the area have reported that ISWAP members in four trucks have been deployed to Kareto village in Mobbar Local Government Area.
Terror group plans eid prayer in ‘captured’ communities, enclaves
As part of their expansionist activities, the terror groups are said to have concluded plans to conduct eid prayers in some of the areas under their control, today (Saturday).
Credible sources said like what obtained in the past years, Boko Haram members loyal to late Abubakar Shekau, and those loyal to ISWAP led by late Abu Musab Albarnawi, the son of late Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf, have, among others, cleared grounds around the shores of the Lake Chad and Sambisa forest and would observe the Eid-el-Kabir prayer there.
They, therefore, called on security agencies to checkmate the effrontery of the terrorists saying they use such festivities for massive recruitments of innocent people into their fold.
One of the sources said even though, Nigerian security forces have uprooted Boko Haram fighters from many villages and forested areas in Borno and neighbouring Yobe State, they are still lurking around in many communities.
“The terrorists are fully mobilised for celebrations at many Tunbus (islands) on the Lake Chad and their enclaves in Sambisa Forest,” he said.
Another source said the excesses of the terrorists cast Nigeria in bad light at the international level.
“It is unthinkable the way they release videos of their atrocities. Such videos show that once the terrorists go out for their operations, they would do it with ease because nobody can stop them.
“The videos they released recently after the attack on Kuje prison is one bad example that showed our weak links. And unless something is done, they would also release videos of their eid prayers.
“They would release their propaganda videos slaughtering their sacrificial animals to the chagrin of those in authority…I am calling on our security forces to act by decimating them,” he said.
Another source said with the commencement of the rainy season, Nigerian troops are constrained by environmental factors which is affecting their performance.
He said they cannot access many communities this time, paving way for the terrorists to replenish their supplies and logistics, as well as recruit vulnerable youths ahead of future fights.
He said the forces had missed a golden opportunity during the dry season when hundreds of terrorists came out of their enclaves and repented.
“Why didn’t we finish the terrorists’ campaign in the North East this year? We had thousands surrendering, weakening the fighting spirits of the terrorists, but we could not clear the Tunbus, surroundings of Timbuktu Triangle and Sambisa Forest.
“Now we are bound to wait until the end of the raining season to kick start another operation.
“Why haven’t we done enough to acquire all weather APC and AFV and constantly revert to seasonal warfare?
“Does this mean, knowing that our North East flanks or neighbours are our most vulnerable porous security concern, yet, no efforts towards acquisition of these all important weapons?
“Must we wait till tomorrow when the Chadian or Cameroonian forces enter Maiduguri before we rush to the markets?
“Is the military waiting for Buhari’s handing over before clearing the terrorists or to use it as an election campaign strategy?”, he asked.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Correctional Service has released the names and pictures of the inmates with terrorism-related cases that escaped from the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre in Abuja.
The inmates escaped from the correctional centre following an attack on the facility by members of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) on Tuesday.
The ISWAP claimed the responsibility for the attacked in a 30-second video on Wednesday.
In a statement by the spokesperson of the Service, Umar Abubakar, it was revealed that 879 inmates fled but 443 of the escapees were recaptured, bringing the total number of inmates in the facility to 578.
Also, the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi, said all the Boko Haram terrorists in the facility escaped during the attack.
However, the Service released the names and images of 69 inmates being tried for terrorism, including Abdulkareem Musa, Abdulsalam Adamu, Bello Haruna , Ismail Abdullahi , Modu Aji, Yakubu Abdullahi, Abdulmannan Obadiki, Abubakar Umar.
Others are Bassey Kingsley, Diko Iko, Fannami Bukar, Ishaq Farouq, Mohammed Buba and Mohammed Kyari.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has received briefing from security chiefs on the latest development on Tuesday’s terrorist attack on the Kuje Custodial Centre.
Confirming this to State House correspondents after the meeting of the National Security Council, presided over by the president yesterday, the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, said heads of security agencies briefed the president on what actually happened in Kuje and the way forward.
“The service chiefs have been given very clear directives to ensure that adequate measures are taken, not only to investigate what happened, but also to take steps to forestall a occurrence of such incident,” he said.
He said the security personnel deployed to man the custodial centre at Kuje in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) did their best to repel the attack but were subdued by the superior weaponry of the terrorists.
The minister, who said the terrorists succeeded because of their large number and superior firepower, stated that President Buhari had directed the service chiefs to not only ensure that adequate measures were taken after the ongoing probe into the cause of the incident, but also to take steps to forestall the reoccurrence of such incidents.
Dingyadi, who said the president expressed deep concern over the recent developments, stated that some of the assailants were killed.
He said, “Some of them were killed. But I can’t give you the number; and I don’t know the number because like they do, whenever one of them is killed, they take the corpse away, so you cannot know the number of people who have been killed. But definitely, quite a number of them were killed and many of them ran way with bullet wounds.”
He said the meeting convened by President Buhari reviewed the security situation in the country, particularly the Kuje jailbreak, banditry in Katsina, as well as the various attacks on Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
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