Governor of neighbouring Nasarawa State, Abdulahi Sule, has sent shock waves through the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, when he confirmed what a few knew, but many suspected, that the dreaded terrorist group has been operating so close to the seat of federal power.
Said Sule to journalists at the Aso Rock Villa: “I have come to see the leader of our party, the leader of the nation, and our father, Mr President, to brief him about some of the activities happening in my State, especially first in the area of security that we continue to have challenges with a team of Boko Haram who had settled at the border with the FCT. And we thank the security forces that they have been able to dislodge them.
“But now, they have gone back and gathered at our border with Benue. And they are causing a lot of havoc. Therefore, it was an opportunity as Mr President wanted to know and I briefed him. I strongly believe that just like decision was taken last time to take care of this issue, another decision will be taken.
Probed on the basis for his conclusion that the terrorists were of the Boko Haram stocj: “First and foremost, it was easy for us to know who these people are. If you remember, they used to gather at a place called Utu in Toto Local Government Area (LGA).
“When I came here the last time, I appealed to Mr President. Then, the Department of State Services (DSS), the Police, the Air Force, and the Army had a joint operation and they were able to dislodge them.
“When they dislodged them, a lot of them were killed. Some of them ran away and left members of their families. We took hostage about 900 members of their families in Lafia, including children and wives.
“The Special Forces which we have in Doma, Nasarawa State, took the hostages. A lot of interrogations were done and most of them confirmed that they were indeed Boko Haram. In fact, they gave us the name of the person who used to be like the second-in-command to Shekau.
“So, during the interrogation, they confirmed themselves that they were indeed Boko Haram. Some of them said they were remnants of Darussalam group that were dislodged from Niger. They came, merged, and became Boko Haram. That is how we got our confirmation that they were indeed Boko Haram. They said it themselves….
“When we took the hostages, actually, we had to disperse them. A lot of them were families of different people in the country that were kidnapped. In most cases, when they kidnap women, they marry them off. We had a lot of kidnapped women that were married off. We released them back to their various States and families.
“We got people from about 17 States. A few of them were from Niger Republic. We handed over those from Niger Republic to DSS. We handed over those from States to their various governments through DSS offices in their domains.”