‘How Easter bombing happened’
THE resistance by Boko Haram, which is expressed through occasional bombings notwithstanding, the Federal Government is winning the war against terrorism, according to security chiefs.
The security chiefs, who spoke under the auspices of the Joint Security Information Managers Committee yesterday, said that they owed their success to “patriotic Nigerians who have continued to offer assistance to the security agents by way of information sharing.”
The committee, comprising the spokespersons of Defence Headquarters (Col. Mohammed Yerima), the Air Force (Air Commodore Yusuf Anas), Police (Olusola Omore) and Directorate of State Security (Marilyn Ogar) also explained to journalists in Abuja how the Easter Sunday bomb explosion happened.
He stated: “At about 8.35 a.m., a Toyota Sienna bus with registration number KAD 11 BC was sighted among a queue of vehicles waiting to be checked by a team of policemen. After interrogation by security agents, they became suspicious of the vehicle and called for assistance. On hearing the call for assistance, the driver reversed and fled but was followed by the rescue team. The car veered into Ahmadu Bello Way/Junction Road by Sarduana Crescent where it was caught up in a traffic hold-up. It was then that the explosive device it was conveying exploded, killing motorcycle operators and other road-side traders around.”
He said that the final death toll may have gone beyond the official figures of 16 dead persons and 26 injured ones “as some of the injured later died in the hospitals.”
Anas, who spoke on behalf of the group, said that the Joint Task Force (JTF) Restore Order in Maiduguri killed three terrorists responsible for the killing of April 4, 2012, adding that a total of one FN riffle, two locally made pistols and 185 rounds of assorted ammunition were recovered.
He added that three terrorists that destroyed the Dikwa police station, bank and a hotel were killed while others escaped with gunshot injuries. He listed items recovered from the scene to include one Isuzu Pick-up van, one pump action gun, one AK 47 riffle, one double barrel gun, a box loaded with assorted ammunition, 19 empty magazines of AK47 riffle, one bullet proof jacket, a crash helmet and a DVD player.
Extolling the virtues of the security agents in thwarting the plans of the terrorists, Anas stated that, “the joint operations by security agencies have been able to unravel some of the terrorist attacks that should have happened if not for the efforts by the security agents. There are many incidents we have stopped for which we have not reported. So, it can be assumed that the security agencies are ahead of the game. There has been good success on the part of the security agencies. There is relative peace and the Nigerian people are aware of their environment and their responsibilities. In fact, we are winning the war on terrorism. If we started experiencing acts of terrorism and we have this level of success, then, we are winning. And we will continue to win, with the support of Nigerians.”
Urging Nigerians to “remain steadfast and continue to go about their normal businesses,” the Joint Security Information Managers asked the citizens not to hesitate to “report any suspicious people or movement to the nearest security agency.”
They appreciated “the indispensable role of the media in the overriding task of building a safe and secure nation,” saying they “must eschew sensational and subjective reporting of defence and security issues as such will serve the interest of no one but those who perpetrate violence against our people.”