By Kingsley Omonobi
MAKURDI—Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s charge to security chiefs in the country to go after perpetrators of Zaki Biam Market attack, which led to death of 46 persons, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has deployed Police Special Tactical teams to Benue State to fish out the culprits and restore normalcy.
This came as the Department of State Services, DSS, arrested high profile terrorists and kidnappers across the country.
A statement by Force Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Police, (CSP) Jimoh Moshood, said the team comprises the Police Mobile Force, Counter-terrorism units, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Police Air Wing, FCID Undercover agents and a detachment of EOD. They are to be based in Zaki Biam, Ukum LGA of the state.
According to the statement, the IGP directed the tactical team to ensure 24 hours surveillance and patrol, continuous raid of identified and other suspected hideouts of assailants, with a view to arresting the attackers and their sponsors to prevent further loss of lives.
The statement read: “The tactical force personnel will cover all the communities, towns, villages, vulnerable points, government and private infrastructure. Police helicopters will embark on guided missions and aerial surveillance of the entire area, especially difficult terrains and operate in synergy with police formations on the ground.
“The Joint Investigation team attached to the Police Tactical force, made up of personnel of Force Criminal Investigations Department,FCID, Federal SARS, Intelligence Response Team, Technical Intelligence Unit and Special Tactical Squad, headed by a Commissioner of Police under the supervision of the DIG in charge of FCID, are already in Zaki Biam, making progress in the investigation into the killings of innocent people on Monday, March 20, 2017.
“The Nigerian Police Force is assuring the good people of Benue State of the renewed commitment of the force to guarantee and sustain protection of lives and property.’’
It urged traditional rulers, religious leaders, public office holders, politicians, opinion leaders, to prevail on their subjects and youths to exercise restraint and support personnel of the force to bring perpetrators of the gruesome killings to justice.
Meanwhile, the Department of State Services, DSS, has arrested high profile terrorists and kidnappers across the country.
One of those arrested in Ado-Ekiti by a joint military/DSS operation team on March 20, 2017, was Adenoyi Abdulsalam, from whom an AK47 rifle was recovered.
The DSS said in a statement, yesterday, that Abdulsalam was arrested while on the final stages of kidnapping some high level targets in Ekiti, not only to raise funds but also to terrorise communities in the state.
Prior to the arrest, several other Boko Haram suspects had been apprehended in various parts of Northern Nigeria, especially in Bauchi, Yobe, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Kogi states.
According to the DSS, typical cases of arrest include that of 29-year-old Boko Haram member, Usman Ladan Rawa, a.k.a Mr. X, on March 17, 2017, at Lafia, Nasarawa State.
It was discovered he had rented accommodation at Lafia for Abdullahi Isa, known for his notorious terrorist actions.
The agency said the suspect’s plan was to establish an effective base to conduct terrorism, kidnapping and robbery operations in Abuja, Minna, and other adjoining states.
The statement read: ‘’On 15th March 2017, Nasiru Sani, a.k.a Osama, was arrested at Ahmadu Bello Way, Bauchi. He is a Boko Haram top commander, and discovered to have escaped from Bauchi Central Prison in October 2010 and hid in Maiduguri, Borno State. ‘’Similarly, on the same 13th March 2017, at Jeka-da-Fari Market, Gombe State, Adamu Jibrin was arrested. He operated under the pseudo name of Dantata Sule and served as a middleman for Boko Haram members and their commanders, especially the one simply identified as Kanumbu. suspect affirmed his membership of the sect.
‘’On 1st and 2nd March, 2017, at Ngalda Town of Fika LGA, Yobe State and Nagazi area of Adavi LGA, Kogi State, Abdulazeez Umaru and Nuhu Usman a.k.a Okadigbo were respectively arrested. Umaru, who has confessed his membership of the Boko Haram sect was arrested by the Service in concert with the local vigilante. Preliminary investigations have revealed the participation of USMAN in several deadly insurgent attacks in Kogi State.
‘’While the Service has ensured a relative peaceful environment in the month of March, it is instructive to note that it recorded many successes in the month of February as can be seen from its operations during the period.
‘’On 2nd February 2017, one Suleiman Yahaya who had been on the wanted list of security agencies was arrested during a raid in Potiskum LGA, Yobe State, for his role in several terrorist attacks in Borno and Yobe States. Similarly, on 7th February, 2017, in Kumbotso LGA, Kano State, Mohammed Isyaka, a.k.a Maikwano, was also arrested for his complicity in Boko Haram attacks in the North East.
‘’Meanwhile, on 9th February, 2017, at Ayingba, Dekina LGA of Kogi State, the trio of Uwais Abubakar, Abdullahi Umaru and Mukhtar Suleiman who are Boko Haram terrorists, were arrested by the Service’s tactical team.
‘’Suspects were actively involved in series of attacks on select targets in Kogi State such as the Federal Polytechnic Idah, Kogi State University and the newly constructed Kogi State Revenue House, Lokoja.
‘’Ali Bukar and Mustapha Umar were also arrested on 17th February 2017 at Zaria Road, Kano State for their involvement in Boko Haram activities. Abdullahi ISAH, an indigene of Isari LGA of Yobe State was equally arrested at the Lafia Modern Market, Lafia, Nasarawa State for gun-running to raise funds for Boko Haram operations. He was a suspected armourer of the sect.
‘’In furtherance of sustaining its operations against Boko Haram during the month of February, the Service on 28th February, arrested a Boko Haram Commander and food supplier, Ibrahim FULATA and his associates – Shamsudeen Aliyu, Zaharadeen Ibrahimand Suleiman Abubakar at Zaria Clinic, Dustsen Tanshi area of Bauchi LGA of Bauchi State.
‘’Determined to sustain the prevailing peace and stamp out all cases of kidnap in various States where it is taking root, the Service staged vigorous operations which recorded successes.
‘’The duo of Ibrahim SULE and Bello Shehu were arrested on 13th March, 2017 at Nasarawa town, Nasarawa LGA of Kaduna State for their suspected involvement in the kidnap of two (2) German nationals – Dr.Peter Breuning and Johannes Breuning – on 22nd February, 2017 at Pahkogo, Kagarko LGA, Kaduna State. They are being questioned to establish other possible members of the network.’’