Almost three months after Boko Haram terrorists abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State, the military announced, yesterday, that it has arrested one of the sect’s leaders, who was one of the abductors.
This came on a day the sect members bombed a Divisional Police Headquarters in Shani Local Government Area of Borno State and also attacked an emir’s palace.
The alleged abductor of the Chibok girls, whose name was given as Babuji Ya’ari, was also said to have led the attack in which the Emir of Gwoza, Alh. Idriss Timta, was killed a few weeks ago.
The Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, disclosed in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, that Ya’ari doubled as member of the Youth Vigilante Group, popularly known as Civilian JTF.
According to the Defence spokesman, the Boko Haram kingpin used his membership of the civilian JTF only as a cover, as he has been coordinating deadly attacks in Borno State since 2011.
He added that the arrest of Ya’ari led to the arrest of several other Boko Haram intelligence cell members. Olukolade said that those arrested had confessed their involvement with the deadly sect and named several others who were being trailed.
The full text reads: “A terrorists’ intelligence cell headed by a businessman, who participated actively in the abduction of School Girls in Chibok has been busted by troops. The man, Babuji Ya’ari, who is also a member of the Youth Vigilante Group popularly known as Civilian JTF which he uses as cover while remaining an active terrorist, also spearheaded the murder of the Emir of Gwoza. His main role in the group is to spy and gather information for the terrorist group.
“Babuji has been coordinating several deadly attacks in Maiduguri since 2011, including the daring attacks on Customs and military locations as well as the planting of IEDs in several locations in the town.
“The arrest of the businessman, who is known to deal in tricycles has also yielded some vital information and facilitated the arrest of other members of the terrorists’ intelligence cell who are women. One of them, Hafsat Bako had earlier escaped to Gombe State to avoid suspicion but was tracked and arrested. Prior to her arrest, Hafsat coordinated the payment of other operatives on the payroll of the group. In her confession, she disclosed that a minimum of N10,000 is paid to each operative depending on the enormity of his task.
“Another female suspect named Haj Kaka, who doubles as an armourer and a spy for the terrorist group has also been arrested. Until their arrest, all the suspects actively operated a terrorists’ intelligence cell in collaboration with others still at large.
“In another development, troops deployed in Goniri, Yobe State, over the weekend, had an encounter with terrorists, resulting in casualties on both sides after the attack was successfully repelled”.
Boko Haram bomb police headquarters, attack Emir’s palace, burn houses, shops
Meanwhile, barely 24 hours after the terrorists attacked Cbibok communities in Borno State killing no fewer than 51 persons, the sect members, yesterday, invaded Shani Local Government Area of the state and bombed the Divisional Police Headquarters.
Shani is south and about 245 kilometres drive to Maiduguri which also shares boundary with some parts of Adamawa State.
The insurgents also attacked the palace of the newly appointed Emir of Shani, Alhaji Sanusi Mailafiya. The sect members were said to be hunting for the Chairman of the council, Alhaji Madu Walama, whom they believed was hiding inside the palace.
According to the residents of the community, after the heavily armed terrorists attacked the police headquarters with an Improvised Explosive Device at about 2.45pm, yesterday, they proceeded to the town and started shooting indiscriminately at people. They also set houses, shops and vehicles on fire. Many of the residents were feared dead, although casualty figure could not be ascertained.