24-hour security has been mounted by operatives of the Joint Task Force, JTF around the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Umar el-Kanemi, over alleged threats to his life by the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
It was gathered that the sect had threatened to eliminate some of the traditional rulers, who, by their assessment were collaborating with the Federal Government in the fight against terrorism.
According to a security source, “Operatives of the JTF are protecting the Shehu of Borno because of the renewed threat by the Boko Haram sect that they would kill him.
“The people believe that the Shehu is working with the government to rid the state of terrorism.
“Apart from the Shehu of Borno, the JTF is protecting the palaces of other traditional rulers that have come under similar threats from the sect members,” the source said.
The source also said the JTF was protecting other top traditional rulers in the North-East, who had come under similar threats by the Boko Haram.
Attempts have been made in the past to hurt traditional rulers. On July 13, 2012, a suicide bomber attacked the praying ground of the palace of the revered monarch, killing five people in the blast.
The traditional ruler and the Deputy Governor of the State, Alhaji Zanna Mustapha, were lucky to have escaped without injuries from the blast which injured the Ward Head of Galtimari, Alhaji Lawan Makinta.
In his reaction on the recent development, Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen Chris Olukolade said the information about the increased security presence in the palace of the monarch was not new.
“That the JTF operatives are in the palace of the Shehu is not new information at all. You remember, there was an attack on the Shehu, and he was eventually saved by the JTF,” he said.