By SUZAN EDEH
Security agents, yesterday, stepped up checks on motorists and pedestrians in Bauchi State ahead of the end of Ramadan prayers.
Security patrols were intensified especially in densely populated areas of the Bauchi metropolis and the suburbs of Yelwa (crisis prone area), Bayara, Guru, WuntinDada, and Tsohon Kanfani, along Bauchi -Jos Road.
Other areas include Inkil,Bauchi / Gombe Road, Rafin Makaranta, along Bauchi Ningi/ Kano Road, Tirwum, as well as Tundun Salmanu.
In the metropolis, problem prone areas such as Karofi,Jaahun,Kandahar,Kofar Dumi,Yakubu Wanka,Bakin Kura and Gombe Gate, security was beefed up ostensibly in anticipation of political thugs commonly known as Sara-Suka.
According to unconfirmed sources, text messages warned of invasion of the state capital by Islamists at the prayer to end Ramadan with bombs and guns.
Abdullahi Magaji, a resident of Doya in Bauchi center, showed a text message sent tohim by somebody he did not know. The text read: “Asalaamailakun. This is to inform you that our people will be in Bauchi to celebrate the Eid el Fitr along with you with our guns and bombs either Saturday or Sunday.Be sure you receive our people . Salaamuailaikum’’.
Our reporter was shown similar message by one Malama Zueilla Abubakarof Jahun quarters who said’’ the name and the telephone number of sender was concealed’’.
Most of the people who said they received the threat messages did not know the sender(s) of the messages and could not disclose their sources.
It was observed that some policemen, at check points, were selective in checking cars; flashy cars with Abuja numbers plates entering Bauchi were not checked.This was particularly on the Jos / Bauchi entry point from Tsohon Kanfani/ WuntinDada.
From Kano/Ningi entry, the frisking was thorough as motorists and their passengers were asked to disembark while vehicles and people’s bodies were searched.
A police sergeant, who asked not to be named at one of the checkpoints on the Kano/Ningi entry point, said: “You know this road is a notorious route for insurgents. It was on this road that our people were killed last week. The killing has happened almost five or times and we have to be more security conscious here’’.
When contacted, Bauchi Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Auyo Hassan, said he had been away from Bauchi and could not tell what was happening in Bauchi”.