PRESS RELEASE

                           SECURITY IN THE COUNTRY/BOKO HARAM SECT

As mark of commitment and responsibility to our statutory duties, I find it very expedient to address the Press for the purpose of acquainting you and the nation at large with the recent happenings in Bauchi and Borno States.

The Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Abubakar Ringim, NPM, mni wishes to inform the general public that the Police are fully aware of the current threat to security in some parts of the country.

The Police in collaboration with other security agencies are working tirelessly to restore peace and order in the affected areas and the IGP has vowed to bring to book the Islamic sect called Boko Haram and any other group of persons who are behind the current spate of bomb blasts in the country. Considering the previous activities of Boko Haram sect in the country, the sect is responsible for almost daily killings in remote northeastern Nigeria and is thought to be behind a bombing on Thursday 19/05/2011 that injured policemen and soldiers. The explosion followed an attack on a police station late on Wednesday by suspected members of Boko Haram, a group behind frequent attacks in the northeastern states of Borno and Bauchi.

On the 7th of September, 2010 at about 1845hrs during the Magrib prayer, (evening prayer) a group of about 200 suspected Boko Haram fanatics armed themselves with General Purpose Machine Guns and Locally made Bombs attacked Bauchi Federal Prisons and consequently set free 721 inmates. Among the forcefully released inmates were 105 members of Boko Haram sect who were previously remanded in the prison custody. 4 persons were reportedly killed during the incident, among them were, 1 Soldier, 1 Policeman and 2 civilians, while 4 persons were reportedly injured.  
During this attack, the administrative Block, the Armoury and a van were set ablaze; the fire was later put-off by combined efforts of Fire Service and the Police. 171 empty shells and live ammunition of General Purpose Machine Gun were recovered at the scene. Also recovered are two provocative handbills where names of some clerics are written such as: Bishop A.T Moses, Mallam Abubakar and Pastor Sunday Peters among many others. Our investigation has revealed that most of the names and addresses are the people considered as critics and enemies.

Consequent upon this incident, Police has risen to the occasion and re-arrested 35 inmates. Also information has it that, some inmates have started returning to the prison on their own volition. We understand that lack of cooperation from the residents has hindered thorough operation in that area. According to the force spokesman in Borno, Boko Haram had killed 50 officers since its uprising.

Our investigation revealed that Boko Haram is linked with al-Qaeda and on 2 October 2010, an ‘Eid Address’ – also dated 2 October 2010 – from Sheikh Muhammed Abu Bakr bin Muhammed ash-Shakwa, named as the ‘Emir of the Sunni Group for the Islamic Call and Jihad in Some African Lands Known as Nigeria’ [aka the BokuHaram] was released onto jihadist forums. In it, ash-Shakwa makes a lengthy and very robust appeal for Muslims in Nigeria to wage jihad to defend Islam from its ‘enemies’. He says that the group is fully committed to carrying out the ‘programme of the Prophet’ and establishing Sharia law.

He also pays tribute to al-Qaeda, its regional affiliates and respective leaders in Iraq, Yemen and North Africa, as well as the Mujahidin Youth Movement [aka the Shabab] in Somalia, and ‘the mujahidin in Pakistan, Chechnya and Kashmir’. Ash-Shakwa’s address was released in a PDF format by al-Fajr Media and is sourced to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) media division, al-Andalus. It appears to be genuine. This is significant as in February 2010, an address from the head of AQIM, Abu Mus’ab Abdal-Wadoud, entitled ‘The Genocide of Muslims in Nigeria – A New Episode in the Ongoing Crusader War’ was released onto jihadist forums in which he offered to train and arm Nigerian Muslims to conduct attacks against Christians in Nigeria. Following the release of ash-Shakwa’s Eid address, several members on jihadist forums referred to the group as ‘al-Qaeda in Nigeria. On 24 April, 2011 the radical sect, Boko Haram, vowed to continue fighting until the Nigerian Constitution is set aside and Islamic government is established across the country.

However, the security agencies are in the process of identifying and arresting the perpetrators behind this mindless threats and mischief across the country and all persons are advised to be law abiding. The Boko Haram sect and its members are under surveillance and they will all be arrested and prosecuted in due course.  Nigerians should discountenance their threats and go about their lawful duties”.



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