By Innocent Anaba, Olasunkanmi Akoni, Victor Ahiuma-Young, Abdulwahab Abdulah, Godwin Oritse & Patience Ogbodo
BAUCHI â€” THE Bauchi State Police Command yesterday said it has uncovered a house in the town owned by the Boko Haram Islamic sect opposed to western education stocked with ammunition, bales of fake military and police uniforms, three sowing machines and other sophisticated weapons.
This is in the wake of wide condemnation of the killing of the sectâ€™s leader, Mohammed Yusuf, by groups including the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Action Congress (AC), and the Yoruba Pan-social organisation, Afenifere.
Speaking to newsmen, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operations, Water Inyang, while speakingÂ to newsmen said the weapons and other items were recovered from a house in Kandaha in the state capital adding that the police had earlier arrested a boy and girl in that compound.
He said based on intelligence report, the police obtained a search warrant to enable them conduct the operation noting that â€œIn the course of our assignment,Â sophisticated weapons were discovered in the house but no arrest has been made so far, except for a boy and girl seen in the compound.â€
According to Inyang, â€œIt is not certain whether the weapons belonged to Boko Haram or are in preparation for another religious crisis in the state,â€ adding that police investigation is still ongoing to know the truth of the whole matter.
Speaking further, he said one of the members of the sect that escaped during the hostility was disturbing policemen along the airstrip area.
He added that his men mounted a surveillance for him and when he surfaced, he attempted to escape but fell to the superior firepower of the police.
NBA condemns extra-judicial killings
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, weekend, condemned the recent massacre of innocent citizens by the religious extremists and the destruction of properties in the Northern part of the country, but added â€œwe must however, hasten to equally condemn the reported extra-judicial killings of some of those captured by the security operativesâ€.
According to the association, â€œwe note the effort of the security operatives for rising to the occasion and nipping the horrific incident in the bud. We must also strive to unmask the real sponsors of these deviants and punish them appropriatelyâ€.
Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), NBA President, in the statement said, â€œwe must however, hasten to equally condemn the reported extra judicial killings of some of those captured by the security operatives. It was widely reported that the leader of the Islamic extremist group, one Yusuf, was captured alive. The killing of this man in the police custody, however reprehensible his deeds must have been, must not be encouraged in a civilized societyâ€.
NLC blames government
On its part, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said government should be blamed for the rise of the fanatical Islamic sect, â€œBoko Haramâ€ which deadly assault on parts of Northern Nigeria last week led to the death of hundreds of people.
President of NLC, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, who spoke in Lagos faulted some aspects of the controversial executive Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the National Assembly that has attracted strong opposition from people of the Niger Delta region and other concerned Nigerians in recent time.
Comrade Omar, who was responding to questions from Journalists, also said government should be held responsible for the ongoing strikes by unions in the nationâ€™s university education and declared that only the government could resolve the crises.
He said: â€œMost of the blames should go to the government. There were reports that the group had been existing for a long time.Â What we know about security operatives is that because of preventive measures, these security operatives are made to infiltrate into suspicious groups to find out whether they are dangerous groups or not and then make appropriate reports. If this was done and government followed it and did the right thing, those innocent citizens would not have been wasted.
There is no doubt that innocent people were killed and valuable properties destroyed during the violence. But today in Nigeria, all the security agencies in the country are concentrated around politics and politicians while other segments of the society are left unattended to.â€
Be pro-active, AC tells FG
The Action Congress (AC) said the violence that swept across some states in northern Nigeria last week, leaving hundreds dead, could have been avoided if the federal government had been pro-active in dealing with the crisis.
According to AC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said beyond the usual knee-jerk reaction to such crisis, the government must work hard to end the conditions that make it possible to attract and brainwash youths into joining such senseless, cult-like religious groups like Boko Haram.
â€œAn idle mind is the devilâ€™s workshop. When millions of our youths are unemployed and there is no hope of a better tomorrow, they become easy targets for apocalyptic preachers and mindless religious zealots.
The fact also that the alleged second-in-command of the sect is a Nigerien also speaks volume about the security of our borders and the nationâ€™s internal security. That is why this federal government must shake off its lethargy and address the myriad of problems facing this nation, so that our youths can channel their energies to productive ventures instead of becoming killing machines,â€™â€™ it said.
AC also condemned the extra-judicial killing of the leader of the â€˜Boko Haramâ€™ sect, Muhammed Yusuf, and the sectâ€™s alleged financier and former Commissioner for Religious Affairs in Borno state, Alhaji Buji Foi, after both had been arrested.
The party said the reported execution of the leaders of the sect is a blow to Nigeriaâ€™s image.
Afenifere Group condemns killing
Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) also condemned the killing of Mohammed Yusuf, leader of the Boko Haram sect in police custody in Maiduguri hours after he was arrested. ARG stated it may be a cover up of some backers of the group.
In a statement by ARG spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin made available to Vanguard in Lagos, it said the killing of Yusuf is an extra-judicial one which it said may probably be a ploy to cover some of his backers from being exposed.
It said â€œAfenifere Renewal Group (ARG) unequivocally condemns the extra-judicial murder of the leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf.
â€œWe fear that his murder could have been a cover-up to shield his backers from justice. This has again exposed Nigeria to the sane world as a country founded on deceit and being sustained by siege.â€
FG should ensure normalcy â€” UBAA
On its part, the University of Benin Alumni Association (UBAA) condemned the recent spate of sectarian killings in the Northern part of the country and called on the Federal Government to do everything possible to bring normalcy to the affected areas. This was contained in a communiquÃ© issued at the end of the 59th Council meeting of the Association.