- Category: National Security
- Published on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 01:15
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 1014
The bombing came less than 24 hours after 25 people were killed and 12 others injured when some members of the radical Islamic group attacked three drinking joints, also in the ancient city.
Yesterday’s attack at the Customs office came a few hours after Major-General Okechukwu Nwaogbo, the leader of the Special Security Force, Operation Restore Order, assured indigenes of the North-East state of their security.
The two Customs officers were seriously injured and they were rushed to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH).
Traces of their blood were seen all over the compound. Security agents immediately cordoned off the entire premises.
Nwoagbo described the incident as unfortunate and confirmed that “three civilians were killed while two Customs officers sustained injury”.
On the Sunday attack, Nwaogbo said investigations revealed that between eight and ten members of the group rode seven motorcycles to the local drinking joints, set them on fire “and started shooting at any one who tried to escape the raging fire”.
He also said two members of the sect, who tried to set a church ablaze, were immediately arrested.
“The two suspects were sent to the church by their sponsors and they disguised as if they wanted to convert from their religion to Christianity where their evil intention would have been carried out,” he said.
Hatsiwa, who spoke at a press conference organised to mark the United Nations Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking, said members of the Islamic fundamentalist group were under the influence of drug, insisting that there is nowhere in the world where there is crime without drug.
He argued that for the members of the group to have declared war against their fellow men, they need to be under the influence of drug which would have suppressed their feelings and self of responsibility.
He requested for partnership with the state government to fight crime in the border areas, urging the government to exploit the availability of some of its boats to monitor waterways around the borders.
Meanwhile, as members of the National Assembly resume today, there is palpable fear in their minds over incessant bombings coordinated by members of Boko Haram.
To the Senators and Representatives, the National Assembly Complex may not be safe for them and, according to a source, they may today force their leadership to make them continue with their three week recess which they embarked upon shortly after their inauguration on June 6.
The lawmakers are said to be ready to present their common ground at both chambers today, failure of which may result in an indefinite vacation.
Members of the seventh Assembly were also said to have given certain conditions to the management of the National Assembly and the Federal Government over their safety before any meaningful legislative works could begin.
Part of the conditions which the management has find too difficult to meet up till yesterday was the installation of a special entrance for the lawmakers to be equipped with sophisticated anti-bomb devices.
Majority of the lawmakers, it was confirmed, had expressed doubts over the current security gadgets being used by the men of State Security Service (SSS), the police and Sergeants-at-Arms which they they described as outdated.
They also complained bitterly about the slow spate of vehicular movement along all link roads to the Complex which makes motorists spend close to two to three hours on queue.
One of the lawmakers told the Nigerian Compass that the manual method of opening booths and trunks of hundreds of vehicles emptying the premises had caused untold hardship and risk.
“The security of this environment is very poor and we are concerned over our safety. How can they be opening trunks of all these vehicles in the name of looking for explosives, how will they see an explosive if they see one? This issue of security will top our agenda as we resume tomorrow because no serious nation should joke with the lives of their citizens”
Another condition, according to a dependable source, is that of the provision of bullet proof cars for each of the 469 lawmakers.
This request may also remain unacceptable to the management going by the scandal that resulted in the purchase of 380 units of 407 Peugeot vehicles at the cost of N2.3 billion.
Former Speaker Dimeji Bankole and his deputy, Usman Nafada, are currently facing trials over alleged deals from the purchase.
It was gathered that the management is facing a hard time as money to buy a proposed number of anti-bomb scanners and CCTV cameras to be located in strategic areas within the Complex is not available.
Even, plans to pay the first salaries of the lawmakers along with their housing, furniture and 30 days Basic Transport Allowances (BTA) said to be running to about N20 million each, still remain difficult due to poor cash flow at the Assembly.
Looking for a way out of the insecurity challenge, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Hafiz Ringim, is in Washington D.C., the United States (U.S.) for talks with U.S officials.
Ringim arrived in Washington on Sunday night on a five-day working visit to the U.S.
“Ringim will meet with FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) officials and will also
hold meetings with State Department officials on issues bordering on security concerns,’’ an unnamed official at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington said.
Another official said that U.S. assistance and cooperation was vital to the battle against terrorism in Nigeria.
Ringim will also on Thursday in Washington deliver a keynote address on “The Challenge of Police Reform in Africa’’ at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
According to the organisers of the event, Ringim will “discuss his efforts to turn the continent’s largest police organisation into an accountable, professional, publicly-oriented service”. (Compass News)