The Nigerian military and other security agencies in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – Abuja have reportedly been put on high alert, following alleged intelligence report that the outlawed Boko Haram sect is planning an attack on the city again.
This development came on the heels of an attack by a suicide bomber in Kano State, who reportedly detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), killing no fewer than 10 Shi’ite followers and injuring 27 others.
The attack followed a bomb blast in a Shi’ite procession in Dakasoye village in Garun Malam Local Government Area of Kano State.
According to an informed letter from the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), the sect is planning to attack some worship centres and markets using young girls.
The letter reads: “Their main targets are worship centres and markets with the use of young girls as members of aid groups to carry out their planned attacks.”
The letter was sent to all mosques, churches and markets across the FCT “for extra vigilance particularly unknown persons, dressing as aid workers loitering around the worship areas and markets.”
It would be recalled that the deadly Boko Haram sect had in October bombed two satellite towns in Abuja, killing about 15 people.
However, the Shi’ite followers, who were on procession to Zaria from Kano, were hit by the suicide bomber, who hid himself among them after a request for a head count was announced.
On learning that there would be a head count, the second suicide bomber fled to the bush where he was chased by others and arrested at the bank of a river.
An eyewitness confirmed that when the second suicide bomber found out that he could not escape, he tried to remove the concealed bomb, which he threw away before it went off.
But as he was about doing that after been hit by a bow, he confessed to be the second bomber who was sent to detonate the explosion on the Shiite gathering.
The Shiite were said to have continued their procession to Zaria even when they did not allow anybody, including journalists to count those who were killed.
It was gathered that most of the casualties were women and children.
The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Muhammad Katsina, who confirmed the attack but could not immediately confirm the actual number of those killed, said: “Although he declined to state the number of casualties, Katsina said the police were still trying to defuse another bomb planted ahead of the procession.”
He also said: “We are at the moment trying to defuse another bomb which was planted ahead of the procession along the road.”
Katsina reportedly said the incident happened around 2pm while the Shi’ite’s spokesman, Ibrahim Usman, said the incident occurred at 2.30pm.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Dan’Ali, has again assured Nigerians that the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents would soon come to finality.
Delivering an address at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Kaduna during the inauguration of some projects for Training Command, Dan’Ali said he was fully convinced that the Nigerian military is the viable tool in tackling the problem of national security.
He said: “I am convinced that the activities of these insurgents will soon be a thing of the past and all areas under occupation will be liberated for people to go about their normal lives.
“I am particularly impressed with the new approach of winning the hearts and minds of the populace through advocacy and outreach programmes of the armed forces as emplaced by the current leadership of Mr. President and Commander-in-chief.”
On his part, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said in order to overcome the challenges that Nigeria is facing, there was need for knowledge, which was why NAF had decided to invest in training facilities so that officers would have the right environment to acquire knowledge.
In line with building capacities of our officers and men, currently we have over 250 personnel outside Nigeria that are undergoing one form of training or the other.
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