By Dayo Johnson
Akure—ONE of the two Boko Haram commanders arrested in Ondo State, Mohammed Bashir, yesterday, confessed that they were in the state to cause maximum havoc before they were arrested by Police Anti-Crime Patrol squad.
Bashir, 20, who claimed he came to the state from Niger Republic, was paraded alongside 11 other suspected robbers, cult members and Indian hemp cultivators, also confessed that members of the sect sneaked into the state to cause mayhem.
He said he was arrested by Police detectives when he came out of the bush to survey the town, eat and pray.
Police source said detectives found the suspect praying on the main road and accosted him before he was taken to the station for questioning.
It was gathered that the suspect told his interrogators that he was a stranger and did not know the location of any mosque. He was directed to a mosque.
However, the DPO was said to have later discovered that the suspect face-matched that of the wanted member of the sect with serial number 176 on the wanted Boko Haram terrorists’ list in his office.
The suspect was then pursued and arrested by detectives.
Speaking with newsmen through an interpreter, Bashir said members of the sect had met several times in the bush with one of their leaders that will supply them weapons on the day of the operation.
According to him, those that attended the meeting were many, but one of them, ldris Babawo, was the suspect arrested last week by the Police detectives.
The two commanders were arrested in the same area in Isua, Akoko South-East of the state.
Babawo, with serial number 156 on the wanted Boko Haram terrorists’ list, was handed over to the military authorities for further investigation after his identity could not be ascertained by the Police after his arrest.
Meanwhile, Bashir claimed he hailed from Nasarawa State and was driven out of the house by his father, pointing out that he came to the state with his younger brother, who is still at large.
According to him, he had killed two persons (an adult and a young boy) in their farm in Nasarawa State within the last eight months that he was recruited into the sect.
Bashir claimed he was not afraid of killing people and that it was like fun to him, explaining that his mother was a psychiatric patient from Maiduguri, Bornu State.
Asked how he was recruited into the sect, the suspect claimed they were picked randomly by leaders of the sect across the states in the North.
Briefing newsmen, the state’s Police Commissioner, Gbenga Adeyanju, said the suspect was arrested at about 10:15a.m., while loitering about along Ifira Road, lsua Akiko, Ondo State.
He said: “Bashir was arrested on October 1 by a special Anti-Crime Patrol squad along Ifira Road in Isua. He is aged 20.
“After interrogation, he confessed to be a member of Boko Haram terrorist sect. He hails from Niger Republic, while his mother hailed from Maiduguri in Bornu State.
“He fled Maiduguri for Nasarawa State and finally landed in the state. Bashir claimed to be a follower of one Daffo, who is a loyalist to Shekau, the Boko Haram leader.”
… on invasion of Ondo by insurgents
Speaking on purported invasion of the state by the sect members, Adeyanju vowed that “the Command will smoke them out of their hiding and make them to face the full weight of the law.
“If they (Boko Haram members) still remain in this state, we will get them. It is our work, we know how to get them. But I am appealing to people to assist us by giving us information about the criminals.”
He called for the “cooperation of members of the public in ridding the state of the activities of criminals”
Recall that Babawo, after his arrest last week, told detectives that he was on his way from Bauchi State and heading for Ibafo in Ogun State.
Babawo, 42, goes by the nickname Nagada, and hails from Chinade village in the Katagum Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
He escaped from the North-East due to military onslaught against the terrorists, with a view to evading arrest and prosecution.