By Kingsley Omonobi & David Odama
Boko Haram: Worshippers escape death as brave civilians foil suicide bomb attack in Yobe
ABUJA—Tragedy was averted at a mosque in Gashua village, Gujba Local Government area of Yobe State, yesterday, as brave civilians prevented a female suicide bomber from detonating bombs strapped to her body.
This came as armed bandits terrorising and killing people in Birnin Gwari axis of Kaduna State, abducted three housewives in Maganda village on Saturday, barely a week after the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai gave soldiers stationed in the area the marching order to flush out armed bandits that have been terrorising and killing people in the area.
Similarly, gunmen, yesterday, killed scores in a fresh attack on Egbura communities in Umaisha, the headquarters of Opanda chiefdom in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
The suicide bomber was said to have penetrated security measures put in place in the mosque to gain access but was sighted by members of the community’s vigilante group as she fiddled with the vest strapped to her body and quickly moved to stop her.
Confirming the development, Deputy Director, Public Relations, Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, said in a statement issued in Maiduguri yesterday: “What would have otherwise been a devastating suicide bomb attack on a mosque in Gashua village in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State has been successfully foiled today by vigilant members of the community.
“A female Boko Haram suicide bomber had infiltrated the mosque, while members were about to commence a prayer session but was detected when struggling to detonate a suicide vest strapped to her body. She was quickly restrained by the locals, arrested and handed over to troops at Azare.
“Members of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Component of Operation Lafiya Dole at the location have safely defused the suicide vest, while the suicide bomber is currently receiving medical attention due to injuries sustained during her arrest.”
Three housewives abducted
Also, barely a week after the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Tukur Buratai, gave soldiers stationed in the Birnin-Gwari axis of Kaduna State the marching order to flush out armed bandits that have been terrorising and killing people in the area, three housewives were abducted in Maganda village in the early hours of Saturday.
A top member of Birnin-Gwari Vanguards for Security and Good Governance, who pleaded anonymity, said the armed bandits arrived in the middle of the night to attack the village.
He said: “Last night around 1.30 am, some armed bandits invaded Maganda community and started shooting sporadically. After a while, they invaded the residence of Alhaji Adamu Nakwalla and abducted three wives. They later released one of the wives with a telephone number to contact them.
“Before the incident, they had sent a warning message to the people in the community that they would come soon.
“No life was lost but a young man in the community sustained bullet injury. At the time of the attack, there was neither security post nor security personnel in Maganda. In fact, we have no single police post in the area.”
Between January and May, many communities in Birnin Gwari local government of Kaduna State have come under attacks by armed bandits.
Recent media reports indicate that the attackers appear to pick villages at random, as there appears to be no pointer as to what informs their choice.
The casualty rate in all the attacks within less than five months, has equally been alarming, as within this year alone, no less than 162 persons have been shot or stabbed to death, including 11 soldiers who were ambushed and killed.
Gunmen kill scores in Nasarawa
Meanwhile, gunmen yesterday killed scores in a fresh attack on Egbura communities in Umaisha, the headquarters of Opanda chiefdom in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State and also sacked some communities in the area.
The unknown gunmen alleged to be mercenaries were said to have razed several houses in a coordinated attack on the Egbura communities.
A statement issued in Lafia, yesterday, by Egbura National Development Association, ENDA, and signed by the National President and Secretary, Prof. Ibrahim Aguye and Prof. Yusuf Aboki, respectively, alleged that “apart from Ugya which has experienced sustained attacks by Bassa mercenaries, surrounding villages such as Kolo, Katakpa and Ogba have also come under attacks on different days.
“We are constrained to give the concerned authorities some promising lead that would prove useful on the timeline of their campaigns of carnage and terror which have seen them raiding various Egbura communities of Toto LGA,” the statement read.
The leadership of ENDA expressed worry that the sustained attacks had political undertone and further appealed to Governor Al-Makura to take proactive measures to end the ongoing genocide on Egbura communities in the state.
The statement read further: “The state government should unmask the masquerades behind the latest crisis which we have every reason to believe, has political undertone.
“It should also act to bring those who are hell bent on rubbishing the uncommon feats achieved by the Nasarawa government through ignition of crisis in flash points across the state as we approach the 2019 general elections.”
The leadership of ENDA also urged Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency, NASEMA, and National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to come to the aid of the displaced Nasarawa Egbura indigenes from Kolo, Kuwa, Kokoto, Kanyehu, Dausu, Ogba, Ugya, Katakpa currently taking refuge in Umaisha and environs.
It also called on the governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, to facilitate the return of all displaced Egbura indigenes from Ogbonka, Ogbaozanyi, Ozugbe, Ahutara, Okanga and Ibiroko Egbura in Bassa LGA of Kogi State seeking refuge in Nasarawa to their ancestral homes.