Joint security task force on terror arrests 645 as FG gives approval for stop and search
The assemblage of over four hundred joint security task force comprising of the military, the police and the Directorate of Security, (DSS) to ward of the impending terror threats is yielding positive results as some 645 suspects have been arrested in the last two weeks within the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Abuja, and Nigeria’s North East geo-political zone.
The arrangement which was in response to an earlier terror alert by America and the United Kingdom was to detect and contain threats by elements of Boko Haram (the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which, in English, means, “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”) and even ‘sympathizers of the Shiittes Islamic Group’, who were said to be planning to bomb Abuja and cause mayhem during the yuletide period.
A set of 175 suspects in the Wuse, Garki, Jabi, Utako, Airport Road, and as well as Gwagwalada and Giri of Abuja were nabbed while 250 suspects, amongst whom were Boko Haram escapees from the North East were equally arrested in Maraba, Nyanya and kubuwa also in Abuja .
Those brought the total number of arrests in Abuja alone in the last one week to 425. The Nigerian Army again on Friday, said its troops had captured 220 Boko Haram insurgents in various clearance operations in the northeast region.
This brings the total number of terror-related arrests to 645 said Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole, disclosure in a statement issued in Maiduguri.
Nwachukwu said that troops captured 167 insurgents after raiding their enclaves in Lake Chad Basin while 53 others were captured in northern parts of Borno State.
He disclosed that troops also extricated 67 women and 173 children, who were family members of the insurgents.
The federal government has also directed the release and deployment of the anti-bomb vehicles earlier removed from road blocks back said a source within the security circles.
“So soon, all exit and exit points will witness the presence of the anti-bomb/explosives detection vehicles while some critical national assets would also be covered”. The source added, noting that the federal government has given the authorization for “Snap Stop and Search” operation to be carried out by mobile security team.
He further added that under the measure, the joint security team can carry out unusual stop and search operations at any location, something like an action with element of surprise to pre-empt groups who might have carried out their own surveillance plans and concluded that stop and search is only restricted to certain areas.
Meanwhile the coordinated air and artillery bombardments on Boko Haram enclaves are also yielding positive results, as several insurgents have been killed while 167 others have been captured by troops.
Troops also extricated and profiled 67 women and 173 children who revealed during profiling exercise that they are family members of the insurgents who fled the troops’ offensive,” he said. Nwachukwu explained that arrangements were ongoing to handover the women and children to authorities of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, after completing preliminary investigations. According to him, troops in the past two months conducted long range fighting patrols and ambushes. He disclosed that the troops cleared the insurgents’ hideouts at Saada and Juwei villages in the fringes of northern Borno.
“During the operations troops intercepted and arrested 53 fleeing insurgents who have been profiled and are currently helping with investigations. “Fifteen insurgents have also willingly renounced the sect and surrendered, dismissing it as futile struggle”.