.           Enugu, Gombe, Plateau also infiltrated

OLUSESAN LAOYE
There is anxiety among top government officials, security chiefs and citizens in Lagos State over the presence of Boko Haram insurgents in the state.

The Department of State Security (DSS) had yesterday in a statement by its spokesperson, Tony Opuiyo, disclosed that there is a “sudden influx” of Boko Haram members in Lagos, while the sect’s cells are now present in Plateau, Gombe and Enugu States as well.

According to the service, the spread of the insurgent group to the South is due to the intense pressure being put on them in the northeast of the country.

“In line with the Department of State Services’ (DSS) re-strategised counter-terrorism measures to combat the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, the service has continued to make significant breakthroughs in this direction.

“This followed the rounding-up of notable commanders and frontline members of the notorious group from different parts of the country. It should be noted that the group’s new pattern of movement and spread is necessitated by the pressure being put on them in their core areas of strength in the northeast.

“Consequently, a number of them have been arrested in Lagos, Kano, Plateau, Enugu and Gombe States between 8th July and 25th August, 2015. Of particular note was the arrest on 8th July, 2015 in Gombe State of those responsible for the coordination and execution of the suicide attacks in Potiskum, Kano, Zaria and Jos.”

The DSS said one of the suspects Usman Shuaibu revealed that he coordinated the attacks under reference with the sum of N500, 000, which was provided by his Amir, one Isa Ali.

“He claimed that the said Isa Ali has links to the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, from where he collects monies to fund operations undertaken by their Markaz. Also, he revealed that he has participated in several Boko Haram attacks, including the attacks at Gwoza divisional police station in 2014.

“Shuaibu admitted being the leader of the team of nine sect members that was dispatched from Sambisa forest to carry out the attacks. He disclosed that four out of the nine of them were used as suicide bombers in executing all the (suicide) attacks.”

DSS said the arrest of Usman Shuaibu, a.k.a Money and the core members of his cell, stemmed the spate of bombings by the extremist sect.

“It would be recalled that Money and his group were arrested on their way to Bauchi State where they had planned to execute another heart-rending bomb attack and this was frustrated by the arrest.

“Furthermore, the sudden influx of Boko Haram members into Lagos State points to the determination of the sect to extend its nefarious terrorist activities to the state and in fact, other parts of the country. The arrest of these confessed terrorist elements has however helped in no small measure to avert devastating attacks in the area. However, the service is making efforts to conclude its investigations and commence prosecution of the suspects.

“Drawing from the above, the DSS reiterates its avowed determination to work with other stakeholders in the fight against terror and other forms of criminality in our country. Citizens and residents are therefore called upon to rise to the occasion by volunteering useful information to the Service and relevant security agencies,” the DSS said through Opuiyo.

The revelation has however jolted stakeholders in Lagos who are currently battling with pre-security measures and strategies to tackle the insurgents’ intrigues before they begin to manifest.

Sources within the Alausa Government House, Ikeja, said that they have been urged to embark on innovations that would get the people highly educated concerning the influx of these perceived members of the dreaded sect whose activities have led to the death of several hundreds of Nigerians in the northern part of the country.

It was gathered that as a result of the porous borders and free movement of goods and services as well as people, it had been difficult for the security operatives to detect them. However, as a way to nip it in the bud, it was learnt that the state government has approved the arrest and deportation of those considered illegal aliens in the state.

These set of people, a source in government stressed, include those from Niger, Benin Republic, Chad and other such countries.

It was also gathered that citizens of the country from the northern part who are considered jobless in the state may be affected.

Before now, Boko Haram, whose terrorist activities has caused the death of about 20,000 people, has only carried out attacks in Northern Nigeria, and particularly also with most of the attacks being concentrated in the north-east.