Police dislodge 3500 fanatics in Niger

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By Wole  Mosadomi

Minna – A  Combined team of police, immigration and prison officers in Niger State yesterday dislodged about 3,500 Islamic fundamentalists from their camp on the Bokani-Mokwa road.

The dislodged men are members of Daru Salam led by a Sudanese, Bashir Abdullahi. The police, citing security reports on activities of the sect, moved just two weeks after the bloody encounter in Maiduguri between law enforcement agents and members of Boko Haram. That confrontation claimed at least 700 lives including those of some policemen, leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf and  the alleged financier of the group, Buji Foi.

Members of the group in parts of Kano, Katsina, Yobe and Bauchi states also went on the rampage but were quickly put in check by policemen. In the case of Daru Salam, security agencies and Islamic groups in Niger State called attention to their activities which were said to be anti-Islam and capable of igniting an orgy of violence in the state. Consequently, the state police commissioner, Michael Zuokumor, at about 5.00 a.m. yesterday stormed the sect’s camp in company of 1500 police, immigration and prison officers to round them up.

The fanatics were having their early morning prayers, (Subhi) when the security agents struck. And one by one, the sect members and their leader, Abdullahi, were led into waiting vans and driven to Government Technical College, Mokwa which serves as their  temporary camp.

They are under tight security. The police commissioner, Zuokumor, told journalists that security reports labelled them un-Islamic in their worship and that they had not been “co-operating” with their neighbours. He described them as threat to the security of not only Niger State but the country as a whole.

Mr. Zuokumor said their members who are non-Nigerians would be deported to their respective countries. Meanwhile, leader of the sect, Bashir Abdullahi described their arrest as illegal and a violation of their fundamental human right to live in any part of the country and perform their religion accordingly.

The Niger State government had written to the Federal Government on the existence of the sect in the state and the need to dislodge them a few days before the Maiduguri mayhem.

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