Upsurge of Boko Haram attacks; Borno govt, security agencies re-strategise

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By Sam Kaye, Maiduguri.

Within a space of a week, dare-devil suicide bombers massed on Borno and unleashed terror, forcing the formerly upbeat state government to call in the security forces for a re-strategy meeting.

For instance, as the week drew to a close last Thursday, at least seven suicide bombers were feared dead after when explosions rocked Muna garage area of Maiduguri.

Another eight vigilante members of the civilan JTF were injured in attacks on the Maiduguri-Mafa-Gamboru high way.

State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA boss, Engr. Ahmed Satomi disclosed food-laden trucks were burnt.

“It was another sad day for us, because suspected boko haram bombers stormed three locations in that axis and destroyed properties worth millions in the process.

“Also a golf car laden with explosives also attacked the last check point of Maiduguri- Dikwa road but was taken down by the men of the military.”

The police and Army confirmed the attacks.

Following the resurgence of attacks, according to the spokesman to the Borno State Chief Executive, Governor Kashim Shettima on Friday evening held an emergency security meeting that was attended by heads of Heads of the Nigerian Army, Air Force, Police and the Department of State Security.

The Governor, he disclosed, began with three hours of a closed door meeting with the Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Leo Irabor.

‎During the meeting, the Governor was briefed on recent attacks and ongoing military operations.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Communications and Strategy, Malam Isa Gusau said in a statement emailed to journalists on Sunday, that after meeting with the Theater Commander, Governor Shettima presided over an emergency meeting of the State security Council.

The meeting had in attendance ‎the G.O.C, Seven Division of the Army, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu; the Commander, 79 Composite group of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Charles Oho; the Borno State Commissioner of Police,
Commissioner of Police, Damien Chukwu; the Garrison Commander, 7 Division of the Army, Brigadier General Jibrin G. Mohammed; the State Director of the Department of State Security (DSS), Suleiman Kankia; Commandant of the Nigerian Civil Defense Corps, Ibrahim Abdullahi; the Secretary to the State Government, Usman Jidda Shuwa, the attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawan and a Permanent Secretary in charge of security.

At the end of meeting, Gusau’s statement added, new guard locations were established in some routes across the State to curtail the movement of remnants of Boko Haram fighters; deployment of security personnel to various locations were increased with more members of Civilian JTF (youth volunteers involved) while the Governor gave approval for release of additional patrol vehicles to security agencies for increased surveillance.

The Governor also approved logistics to compliment efforts of the federal government in strengthening armed forces while measures were adopted to strengthen the Civilian JTF and hunters.

“The meeting also reviewed synergy between formal armed forces and volunteers with steps adopted to increase collaboration and clamp down on cattle rustling used by insurgents to raise funds.

“The council deliberated on recent false information spread by mischief makers to cause disaffection between armed forces and volunteers particularly the Civilian JTF with the council warning mischief makers against destabilizing the emerging peace across the State.”

‎Mr Gusau said the measures adopted at the meeting were already being implemented at the weekend.

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