Home | Latest Additions | Undeterred by Emergency Rule

Undeterred by Emergency Rule

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

Boko Haram’s very successful outings in recent times are a proof that its activities cannot be curtailed by the emergency rule imposed on 15 local government areas three months ago

The state of emergency imposed on 15 local governments in Nigeria three months ago has not proved helpful in checking the menace of Boko Haram. The attacks have remained very frequent and deadly in some of those areas. The affected areas are: Maiduguri Metropolitan and Jere local governments in Borno State. Damaturu, Geidam and Potiskum local governments of Yobe State,  Jos North and Jos South  local governments in Plateau State.

Since the imposition of the state of emergency, Boko Haram has sponsored several killings and bombings in these local governments, all of which claimed many lives. The latest claimed at least 11 people in St Finbar’s Catholic Church, Jos North local government of Plateau State.

Though Boko Haram has not yet claimed responsibility for the attack, it said it was behind a similar attack on a COCIN Church in the city last month. The method of the bombing also suggested that the group was behind the attack. The suicide bomber who drove a Toyota Camry car, detonated explosives at the gate of the church after being stopped by church security. The attack on the church also provoked reactions from Christian Youths against Muslims in both Jos North and Jos South local government, resulting in deaths and shops being set on fire.   

Borno State, the operational headquarters of the group, has five of its 27 local governments still under emergency rule. But instead of the group’s violent activities being checked due to the heavy presence of soldiers there, killings by the sect have taken alarmingly dangerous dimension. In two of such local governments namely Jere and Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, residents live under severe fear.  In the past few weeks, the group has turned its guns, bombs and even bayonets against the civilian population there. A resident of Gomboru Custom, a suburb in Maiduguri Metropolitan local government council, told Newswatch last week about their fears. “It’s only prayer that gives us hope. Just last week, a woman was slit in the throat. They said she had big mouth, {that is,  she was leaking information to security operatives}.” These violent methods of killings have become the sect’s way of scaring residents against giving out information on their identities and activities to security operatives.

But more alarming was another incident that happened on March 7, at Baga market, in Maiduguri town. It was the killing of 30 persons by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members. An eye witness told Newswatch, that he saw a truck load of corpses being driven away from the market but the JTF refuted the figures, claiming that those killed were eight and were all members of the Boko Haram sect. But independent sources said they were innocent citizens killed by Boko Haram. Sources claim that the killings could be a reprisal against suspected security informants because JTF had on March 5 raided the market in search of Boko Haram members. 

Three days after the tragedy at the Baga market, residents of Ajilari, a suburb in village, Jere local government, were woken up to another gory sight. Suspected Boko Haram members attacked the residence of one Malam Tijjani, an electrician, burning him and his pregnant wife alive. A neighbour of the deceased told reporters in the state that when the assailants arrived the area, they had combed a nearby house before finding their way into Tijani’s house.  As at press time, last week, neither the state police command nor the joint task force, was able to explain why Tijani and his wife were subjected to such brutal death.

Apart from the killings, the group has gone into the destruction of schools. So far, at least 12 primary and secondary schools in Borno State have been pulled down by operatives of the sect under the instruction of Abubakar Shekau, the spiritual leader of the sect. The situation has resulted to thousands of children being deprived of education.

In Yobe State, another Boko Haram enclave, which has some of its local governments under the emergency rule, the sect has continued with its relentless killings of innocent citizens. Just two weeks ago, Adamu Ahmad, the Customs Controller in-charge of Yobe and Borno states, was killed by members of the sect in his home town of Potiskum. Other killings have also been reported in Geidam and Damaturu local governments of the state.

In Sokoto State, an attempt by British Special Boat Squad, SBS, to rescue two foreign hostages held by their Boko Haram captors since May last year, ended in their tragic deaths. The two were Chris McManus, a British engineer, and Franco Lamolinara, his Italian colleague, who were captured at a construction site in Birnin Kebbi, the capital of Kebbi State. A video released last December had showed one of the hostages pleading for his life as his armed captors stood behind him. Further investigation narrowed down the hideouts of the terrorist to Sokoto State. It was believed that the re-arrested Kabiru Sokoto provided the clue that resulted in the failed rescue effort.

Last Wednesday, the State Security Service, SSS, paraded eight sect members who were arrested in connection with the killing of the hostages. Three of the paraded suspects, Bashir Ibrahim (aka Adda’u), Ibrahim A. Habibu and Gambo Maiborodi, were aged between 19 and 20 years. They were said to have been carrying out surveillance on the hostages in Kebbi State before they were abducted. Other suspects were Mohammed Rabiu Adam (aka Dan Hajiya), Abubakar Abdulrahman Habibu, Shitu Salihu, Abubakar Umar and Ahmed Samaila. These five suspects were said to be directly involved in the operation, which was carried out by the Shura Council – the highest decision making body of the sect, led by Abu Mohammed, who the SSS said died on March 9. He was said to have been wounded in a gun duel in Zaria on March 7.

Doyin Adetuberu of the SSS Public Ralations Department said that further investigation revealed that the plot was masterminded by the Abu Mohammed-led faction of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

The deteriorating security situation is coming three months after the federal government took over security of most of these areas. Inuwa Bwala, the Borno State commissioner for information told press men in Maiduguri that the intervention of the military was not the solution. “I have always said it that war ends at a round table. These people have adopted guerrilla tactics in trying to fight their perceived enemies and you know that the best army never succeeds with guerillas. If the Federal Government declared a state of emergency and took over the security management of that area and the situation persisted, that tells you that the decision was not popular. In any case, even when the Federal Government declared the state of emergency, we still foot the bill,” Bwala said.

Asked what state government has done on its part to mitigate the killings of local people in the state, the commissioner said: “We have tried to contact some religious leaders who may be in a position to reach these people and explain to them that we are honest with this offer of dialogue. Unfortunately, the Federal Government, in its wisdom, decided to employ what they call carrot and stick. I don’t know what level of success they have achieved with that approach,” Bwala said.


  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Tagged as:

nigerian articles

Rate this article


Breaking News

Indicted Companies, Their Owners

Many highly placed Nigerians who own some of the companies indicted for fuel subsidy offences are likely to be arraigned in court this week The stage ...

Still a Killing Field

Fear and grief take the centre stage again in Jos after another round of crisis leading to the death of more than140 persons including two ...

Battle to Save LGs

A presidential committee headed by retired Justice Alfa Belgore suggests ways to salvage the nation’s local governments from the over bearing influence of state governors The ...

Twist in the Akpabio’s Murder Case

The family of the murdered Akpabio brothers rejects the setting up of a security committee to investigate the multiple murder incident and demands explanation for ...

Akwa Ibom Triumphs

Cross River State loses its bid to reclaim 76 oil wells which it lost through its declassification as a littoral state For Godswill Akpabio, governor of ...

Danger at the Door

Fear of religious war looms as Boko Haram sect targets churches and Christians for attacks T he   ordination   ceremony of Matthew Hassan Kukah as the Catholic ...

Danger at the Door

Fear of religious war looms as Boko Haram sect targets churches and Christians for attacks T he   ordination   ceremony of Matthew Hassan Kukah as the Catholic ...

Christians Have a Right to Defend Themselves

Gabriel Osu, monsignor and director of communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, speaks to Anthony Akaeze, assistant editor, on a number of issues relating to the ...

It’s Not a War Against Christians

Lateef Adegbite, secretary general, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, speaks to Dike Onwuamaeze, principal staff writer, and Ishaya Ibrahim, staff writer, on Boko Haram. Excerpts: Newswatch: ...

On the Rise Again

Cases of kidnapping are again on the increase in Imo State There is an upsurge in kidnapping in Imo State. The cases are much more than ...