The State Security Service (SSS) Monday said it had arrested over 100 suspected members of the Boko Haram sect but they would not be prosecuted – in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to adopt a political solution to the problem.
The group has been carrying out a bombing campaign, demanding among other things that the Islamic law, Shari’ah, should be implemented across the federation, although with particular emphasis on the North.
SSS spokesperson Marilyn Ogar said the arrests were made in six states – Borno, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Yobe and Adamawa. All are in the North-east and North-west.
Ogar explained that since Jonathan had decided to use the “carrot and stick” approach on suspects of Boko Haram, SSS would not go contrary to that strategy.
“That is why the arrested suspects would not be prosecuted,” she said.
The suspects are already helping the security agents with information on the activities of the religious sect.
Part of the benefits of this approach, she disclosed, was that SSS, on May 23, June 10, 14, 27 and 29 discovered and successfully demobilised eight improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Kafanchan, one in Goni Gora, and Dambo Interna-tional College, all in Kaduna State.
The agency also said it received information from some “patriotic Nigerians” and recovered components of yet-to-be-assembled explosives which included a gas cylinder with a pin, detonating cables, a bottle of distilled water, pliers, masking tape and clips in a hotel in Kaduna.
She said the bomb was meant to be detonated in a shopping mall in Kaduna.
In Maiduguri, the Joint Task Force (JTF) said Boko Haram had been planting IEDs at business and social centres.
The commander of JTF, Major General Jack Okechukwu Nwaogbo, revealed this in a statement on the Sunday explosion that rocked the Wulari police barracks in Maiduguri which left many people dead.
“The development is worrisome and there is the need for all hands to be on deck to check this menace,” he said.
The statement was signed by the spokesman of JTF, Colonel Victor Ebhaleme.
Nwaogbo called on business owners to report any suspicious movements around their business places and residential areas to his command.
While commiserating with those that lost their loved ones during the recent attacks, the general assured the public that troops were on the perpetrators’ heels to restore order in the state.
The state of insecurity in the state worsened yesterday as five suspected armed robbers killed a policeman and three members of staff of Shani Local Government area and carted away millions of naira that was meant for the salaries of the local government employees.
Witnesses said the police had escorted the staff of the finance department of the local government who withdrew the unspecified amount of money at a bank in Biu town but were intercepted at Marama junction, along the Biu-Shani road.
Chairman of the local government, Modu Wallama, confirmed that the armed robbers, who drove in a white Starlet saloon car, intercepted the staff and killed them.
He revealed that “they brandished sophisticated guns and shot the victims before they took away all the money that was withdrawn from the bank.”
He said he had informed top officials of the Borno State government and security agencies.
“We have also recovered the dead bodies for burial,” he said.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Lawan Abdullahi, said he was yet to be briefed on the incident.
SOURCE: THISDAY LIVE