BY EMMA AMAIZE NDAHI MARAMA & AKPOKONA OMAFUAIRE
ANOTHER bomb suspected to have been planted and targeted at the patrol vehicle of the Joint Task Force by members of the deadly sect, Boko Haram, in Gwage IV ward of Maiduguri Metropolis, Borno state exploded on Thursday evening.
The incidence, it was learnt, occurred at about 5:50pm close to Gwange IV primary School, and later culminated into a cross fire between members of the JTF and the sect leading to the killing of one of the sect members, while an innocent civilian was hit and injured by a stray- bullet during the encounter.
Meanwhile, the Borno Emirate Council has debunked media reports that the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji (Dr.) Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-kanemi has been in exile following the insecurity situation perpetuated by members of the Boko Haram in the state.
A local weekly newspaper had claimed that the monarch had been on exile in Kaduna as a result of the insecurity in the state. But the council, through its secretary, Alhaji Zannah Laisu, in statement, yesterday, said the Shehu was in Abuja and Kaduna between 16th and 19th June, 2011 to attend a meeting of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and Nigeria Hajj Commission as part of preparation for the 2011 Hajj operation.
The statement noted that since the Boko Haram insurgency in the state, the Shehu has been in Maiduguri making wide consultations on the security challenges.
However, Niger-Delta monarchs, under the auspices of Association of Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria, TROMPCON, yesterday, asked the Boko Haram group to cease hostilities and allow peace to reign in the country. They made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the association’s 23rd national conference in Warri, Delta state. It was jointly signed by the National Chairman, His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr.) L.A.A.Omowole III, the Amapetu of Mahin, Ondo State and National Secretary, His Highness, Sir (Dr.) Bokumo Orukari, (JP) Cala X, Amananaowi of Sabagreia in Bayelsa State.
According to the communiqué, “peace is a prerequisite for co-existence and development; therefore, TROMPCON strongly appeals to the Boko Haram sect to give peace a chance, especially now that our son is the President after fifty years of Nigeria’s political independence”.
“In view of the mindless killings of NYSC members in some Northern States of this country, we call on the Federal Government to abolish the scheme or restructure it to enable graduates serve in their respective zones of origin. The group commended the federal government for the ongoing construction work on the East-West road and also urged the government to expedite action on the construction of coastal roads in the region to link up coastal communities.
Confirming the bombing incident in Maiduguri, the Joint Task Force (JTF) Spokesman, Lt. Colonel Hassan Mohammed, said that an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) targeted at a patrol vehicle team of the JTF, believed to have been planted by suspected members of the deadly Boko Haram, exploded in Gwange area, but there was no casualty from any member of the JTF, and that no arrest was made.
Colonel Mohammed said “some suspected members of the Boko Haram attacked one of our patrol vehicles in Gwange Ward area with an IED which exploded, but none of our member was killed or injured. Our men were able to shot and kill one of the attackers, but his corpse was hurriedly taken over by some of the sects to an unknown destination”.
The JTF Spokesman explained that, the civilian which was injured during the exchange of gun fire was rescued by the JTF and was taken to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital for treatment.
He noted that the JTF is on top of the security situation in the state, and therefore appealed to members of the general public not to panic, but to go about their normal businesses, as all effort are being put in place to restore normalcy, peace and order in the state.