ISWAP plots massive attacks on Lagos, Kaduna and others
• Katsina communities overrun, troops patrol Abuja as police allay fears
There were strong indications on Tuesday that two terrorist groups, the Islamic State of West Africa Province and Boko Haram, were planning to attack some states in the northwest, north-central and southwest. .
The punch learned that security agencies had received a security report indicating that ISWAP and Boko Haram planned to attack the states of Lagos, Kaduna, Kogi, Katsina and Zamfara as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
Earlier on Tuesday, a memo from Nigeria’s Security and Civil Defense Corps headquarters was leaked, which alerted state commands to the planned attacks.
NSCDC spokesman Shola Odumosu when contacted said the memo was not from the security agencies.
However, a state commander, who confirmed the memo, said security officials were ordered to remain silent on it so as not to cause panic.
The commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Yes, it is true that they (the headquarters) sent us a security alert asking us to be careful and to ask our men to be vigilant. We protect critical infrastructure and places of worship.
“It is also important that we inform people so that they can be vigilant.”
Following the alert, security was tightened on Tuesday in Abuja to prevent a possible attack by ISWAP and Boko Haram.
On Sunday, the elite presidential guard brigade was attacked by gunmen along the Bwari-Kubwa road where a captain, a lieutenant and six soldiers were reportedly killed.
To thwart the planned attack by ISWAP, the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Police deployed troops and police to strategic locations in the FCT on Tuesday.
The officers were seen in Bwari, which hosts a Nigeria Law School campus; Apo Mechanic, Lugbe, Living Faith area, Goshen, Keffi-Abuja Expressway while day and night patrols have been intensified
Talk to The punch On Tuesday, Force spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi said Inspector General of Police Usman Baba had ordered the deployment of police personnel and assets to strategic parts of the FCT.
He explained that the IG also ordered the Force Intelligence Office to gather intelligence with the aim of thwarting the planned attack.
Adejobi said, “We are leaving no stone unturned to fortify the Federal Capital Territory and its surroundings. The IGP ordered the additional deployment of assets to strategic areas of the FCT while the Force Intelligence Office was tasked with gathering solid intelligence.
The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Guards Brigade, Capt Godfrey Abakpa also confirmed the deployment of troops through the FCT, adding that it was part of measures to thwart any planned attack on the seat of power. .
He said: “Yesterday (Monday), the Federal Government asked all schools to close in Abuja in response to the security threat they were receiving. As an elite brigade of the FCT, it is our duty to ensure that public order is maintained. Everything done now is a precautionary measure to guard against any security threats or unforeseen circumstances. ”
Similarly, FCT NSCDC Command Spokesman Comfort Okomaniyi said the Corps has assigned its personnel to strategic locations.
She added that the women’s team had also been deployed to FCT schools.
Okomaniyi said, “A deployment was carried out on Monday which would last until Thursday. The FCT command has deployed armed and unarmed personnel in strategic locations to monitor the security of the FCT, especially the schools.
“Even after the deployment, the principal officers in operation under the direction of the commander made the rounds of the surveillance. The women’s team is in charge of the schools; if more were needed, they would be deployed there. We urge parents to calm down, we are doing our best to keep schools safe.”
The memo leaked by the NSCDC stated that Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists were stockpiling dangerous weapons for mass attacks on Katsina, Lagos, FCT, Kaduna and Zamfara states.
The criminals are said to have acquired high caliber weapons including anti-aircraft guns, general purpose machine guns among others for an attack on Katsina State.
The intelligence report titled “Subject: Intensified plots by terrorists to stage coordinated attacks in parts of the country”, was signed by the Deputy Commander General in charge of Operations, DD Mungadi.
He added that the general commander had ordered state commanders to put in place measures to avoid attacks.
The report dated July 25, 2022 and addressed to all NSCDC State Commands, was seen by one of our correspondents on Tuesday.
It said: “We have received credible information that Boko-Haram and ISWAP terrorist groups have mobilized fighters and large caliber weapons, in particular rocket launchers, anti-aircraft guns and general purpose machine guns. which they intend to deploy for the offensive in Katsina State.”
“In another development, two separate bandit groups are plotting coordinated attacks on the North West, North-Central and South West (Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kogi, FCT and Lagos), respectively. Therefore, the Commander General has directed you to intensify deployment to all strategic locations including schools, worship centers and critical national assets in your respective states to thwart any possible threat from these criminal elements. Please treat as urgent,” the report added.
NSCDC spokesman Odumosu, however, denied that the report came from the body.
Meanwhile, suspected terrorists launched an attack on communities in Katsina state, killing three people while seven others were abducted on Tuesday.
The incident happened in Unguwar Isiyaka and Yar Tafki villages in Funtua Local Government Area in Katsina, the home state of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retired).
In Unguwar Isiyaka, residents said the gunmen killed three victims and abducted four others, including a department head.
Residents also revealed that the headmaster of the government secondary school, Makera, a nursing mother and her baby were abducted from Yar Tafki village.
One of the residents, who requested anonymity, said: “Early this morning (Tuesday), large numbers of armed terrorists carrying sophisticated weapons attacked the village of Yar Tafki and started shooting sporadically and, in doing so, they abducted Yahaya Magaji, the principal of the government secondary school. School, Makera.
“They also kidnapped 35-year-old Marakisuya Yakubu and her 17-month-old baby, Bilkisu Yakubu. In the village of Unguwar Isiyaka, three men were killed by the terrorists and four others were abducted, including Mai Unguwa (neighbourhood chief).
Official comments and clarification on the incident were still expected from Katsina Police Command spokesman Gambo Isah at 6:25 p.m. Tuesday.
In addition, suspected terrorists ravaged communities in Gummi, Bakura and Tsafe local government areas of Zamfara State.
An indigene of Gummi LGA, Sani Mohammed informed The PUNCH that the terrorists attacked and killed villagers in three local government communities.
Efforts by our correspondent in Zamfara to get reactions from both the state government and security officials failed.
Police Public Relations Officer Mohammed Shehu, Security Commissioner DIG Mamman Tsafe (retired) and Governor Bello Mattawale’s Special Advisor on Media Zailani Bappa declined to comment.
The FCT Education Secretariat said schools in the territory had not been closed.
The secretariat’s spokesman, Kabir Musa, added that this was not necessary since the students were due to take their final exams on Wednesday.
Adequate measures, he revealed, had been put in place to ensure their safety.
Location of bar call changed amid fear of attack
In a related development, the College of Counselors on Tuesday reached consensus to move the call to the bar ceremony from the premises of the Bwari Law School to its newly constructed headquarters in Jabi Ward in Abuja, The PUNCH.
Although details are still sketchy, sources say, “the decision was informed by the security threat in Abuja and surrounding areas”.
Some BOB members said the meeting was about how to ensure a successful and smooth call to the bar on Wednesday.
Reacting to the report of an impending attack, the Lagos State government said it had not received any reports of the terrorists plotting to attack the state.
The State Information and Strategy Commissioner, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said so when reached on the phone by The punch tuesday.
He said: “As far as I know, the Lagos State Government has not received any such report of any intentional attack on the state by terrorists.”
Kano State spokesperson for the NSCDC command, Ibrahim Idris, said the command deployed its personnel to various power facilities across the state following the security alert it received from its headquarters.
Likewise, we call on members of the public to report any suspicious individuals or groups of individuals to the nearest security officers for prompt action.
In a related development, the Sokoto State government reacted to the statement by the Nigerian New People’s Party calling for a declaration of states of emergency in some states including Sokoto.
The special adviser on media and publicity to the governor, Muhammad Bello, said that if the party could call for such a thing in certain states, including Sokoto, “what will they demand in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory? , with its current situation? A place where schools are currently calling on parents to come and withdraw their students for fear of being attacked.
“Even in Kano State, where the party leader is from, there is still a report of robbery in broad daylight in the metropolis and if you resist, they will use a knife against you. If you ask me, I will tell you that the statement is just a political statement that does not match,” he noted.
A security expert, Jackson Ojo, expressed hope that the security forces would act quickly on the NSCDC security report and thwart the planned attacks.
Timothy Avele, for his part, said the report came as no surprise after recent events in the country.
He said: “It’s not unexpected with the speed at which things are going now. Frankly, I am afraid of the kind of precise intelligence operations that these terrorists carry out before any of their operations. Unfortunately, they are still 90% successful all the time. It’s worrying.