There was panic in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State, where over 200 female students of Government Girls’ Secondary School were abducted by Islamic militants, Boko Haram, following a letter purportedly written to the people of Chibok by the sect members, informing them of their plans to attack the local government again.
A top local government official in Chibok town, who did not want his name published, revealed this to newsmen in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Monday.
According to him, when the letter purportedly written by the sect was presented to the police, residents were assured of maximum protection.
“Yet, the police are also complaining of shortage of fuel for their vehicles, as petrol was not being sold in the local government for fear that the insurgents may use it to burn houses,” he said.
According to the source, the local government had also assured the security operatives that they would buy fuel and keep it with them for their use.
It was also gathered that the council had asked the security agents to ask for reinforcement, as the number of security operatives in the area might not be sufficient to face the insurgents.
“Whenever Boko Haram tells you that they are coming, they never fail to come. Our fears now is that, we don’t know when and how they are going to come, but our people are in great fear.
“We are calling for prayers, as well as on government to provide adequate security in Chibok,” he said.
Abduction: Committee to submit report to Jonathan this week
The report on the abduction of over 200 girls in Chibok will be submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan by the fact-finding committee, this week.
This was made known on Monday by the coordinator of National Information Centre (NIC), Mr Mike Omeri, while addressing newsmen in Abuja.
Omeri, however, appealed to Nigerians and international communities for more understanding and patience towards the effort of the government to rescue the girls.
In another development, Omeri revealed that Nigerian troops had apprehended seven terrorists who infiltrated Maiduguri, Borno State capital, to carry out terrorist missions.
He said in the course of interrogation, the terrorists said they were asked to carry out some bombings and sabotage activities in furtherance of directives of the leadership of the terrorist group.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) boss, however, said further investigations, patrol and surveillance had been stepped up by the troops.
Speaking on the kidnap of a construction worker in Plateau, Omeri said the victim, who had since been released, is a Lebanese national as against media reportage, labelling him a Briton.
He said that the Lebanese was abducted by some armed bandits in Lantang, Plateau State, on Sunday night, but was freed through the efforts of security forces in Angwan Bala in Wase Local Government Area of the state.
486 ‘Boko Haram suspects’ arrested in Abia
Meanwhile, Hundreds of suspected Boko Haram militants have been arrested in Abia State.
They were arrested by soldiers attached to the 144 battalion of the Nigerian Army, Asa, Ukwa West Local Government Area, Abia State, on Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, on Sunday
The suspects, aged between 16 and 24, were being conveyed in 33 buses when they were stopped at the road between Aro-Ngwa and Imo Gate, on the expressway.
Some of the buses conveying more persons were said to have sped off and escaped arrest.
Although they were suspected to be Boko Haram militants, there was yet no evidence to establish a link between them and the insurgents, who have been unleashing violence on several northern states since 2009.
The suspects reportedly claimed to have come from different parts of the North and were searching for jobs.
Briefing the media on Monday, at the headquarters of the 144 Battalion, Asa, where the suspects were being detained, commander of the battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Rasheed Omolori, said two buses escaped with their occupants.
He said the incident had been reported to the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.
He did not give any further details.
Also at the briefing were the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Charles Ajunwa and the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dr Eze Chikamnayo.
Chikamnayo said the sheer size of the movement made it suspicious, adding that none of the suspects could identify their destination.
He also wondered how such “a long convoy” was not intercepted before it reached Abia State.
“The army and other security agencies in the state were actively investigating the suspects,” he said.