Borno Police, NURTW, UNIMAID Strategise To Curb Insurgency





THE recent increasing attacks and bombings of soft targets, such as mosques, churches, motor parks and markets in Borno State have evolved new security measures by the military, Police and other security agencies aimed at curbing the atrocities of Boko Haram in the affected targeted areas in the northeast of the country.

Even though some victims of Boko Haram insurgency have accepted and commended federal government’s measures at fighting the insurgents to restore peace, the state Police Command has, however, evolved new measures to be ahead of the militants changing tactics.

While institutions like the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) continue to checkmate the operation of the insurgents within and outside the campus, in collaboration of the entire students, staff and varsity security personnel, there were not attacks recorded on the campus this year, including the university communities of Mairi and Gwozari wards, 202 and 303 Housing Estates and Bama road Government Reservation Areas (GRA).

The state Police Command Public Relation Officer, Mr. Isuku Victor, said as the insurgents continue to change their “tactics of attacks and bombings” in the state, the Police have also evolved new means of checkmating their activities.

He said: “The recent upsurge in Boko Haram attacks, using female bombers, is not a new occurrence to the state command, as they have always been using women, because one, if you look at the environment, a lot of people don’t suspect women the way they suspect men in terrorists activities. The attention most times is on the men.

“Some time ago, we use to have instances where men disguised as women carrying Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), but they were promptly intercepted and arrested before carrying out their heinous and criminal acts.

“The type of crimes we are experiencing is
not all we used to in the past. So, crime has evolved. As the crimes evolve, and as the security apparatus improves, the criminals are always trying to be a step ahead.

“They now attacks villages and kill people and kidnapped the women. We have always wondered why that pattern, but from recent happenings, the picture is getting clearer that they have this sinister idea they were trying to perfect on their acts.”

On Police’s new tactics, Victor said: “A lot of attentions don’t go to women. For example, if you are going through screening, a lot of emphasis is being paid on the men and little attention is given to women. That is why they have access to carrying out these acts.

“This Command has deployed female intelligence officers outside too. They don’t have the upper hand because the Police and other security agencies are also evolving new measures of fighting insurgency in the

“As the crime becomes more complicated, so also are the security measures put in place to checkmate their activities.”

He, however, noted: “The only slight difference in using female suicide bombers to attack and kill is the upsurge.”

On the impact of these measures, he said: “We have been having positive results. In about a week ago, we have had some instances where some suicide bombers detonated their explosives along Baga road leading to the Mamalari Cantonment, here in Maiduguri while approaching the checkpoints.

“In one such instance, a vehicle was sighted with female passengers inside and security personnel at the checkpoint asked them to alight from the vehicle for proper checking and identifications, but they refused.

“Before the officer communicated to his superior, they detonated the bombs in their presence.

“For now, whether you are a man or woman, the same security measures will be subjected to you. If you don’t want to be searched by a male police officer or any security personnel, the suspect does the search and checking.

“An example is the recent Baga incident, where the females were asked to lift up their veils, they refused and the explosives hidden under the veils exploded and killed all of them.”

Similarly, authorities of the UNIMAID told The Guardian that “intelligence gathering and usage” should be intensified by the military and other security agencies fighting Boko Haram, as being carried out on campus to save lives and property.

The UNIMAID Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed, said: “What the federal government needs to do to reduce Boko Haram killings and bombings across the country is to at least further increase intelligence gatherings.

“People can now see from what happened in Jos and Zaria, where two days after the suspects were apprehended by security personnel in Gombe, Gombe State.”

On measures the varsity has adopted, Ahmed noted: “This higher institution has always been proactive on security issues. We take the lives of our students and staff very dear.

“We secure people’s lives and property here and the university communities of Mairi and Bama Government Reservation Areas (GRA) from the insurgents’ attacks for the last one or two years.

“The students too are encouraged by the security units to report any suspicious movements of individuals or groups of people to military and other security agents.

“With these measures put in place, we have been having a wonderful time in the university.”

A members of the executive of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Hamidu Ali, said even though they cannot enforce any security measures in motor parks and markets, their leaders, however, provide them with security tips, while plying the roads and highways prone to incessantly attacked by insurgents in the last three years.

On safety of motor parks and markets, he said: “It is the government that can take measures in fighting Boko Haram in the state.

“What our members can offer to protect lives and property is to provide useful suggestions on safeguarding the lives of our members and passengers in motor parks, roads and other highways while commuting to various destinations.”

Ali, however warned: “Whenever nightfall comes, our drivers locate a big town or settlement that has security and sleep there. Drivers should not travel by night.

“And whenever there is no vehicles on the roads or highways, our drivers or members should stop and enquire on the security situation of roads before proceeding to their respective destinations.

“Members should also ask of what is happening on the deserted roads and if there is nothing unusual driving on the roads, they should proceed and travel until they reach their respective destinations in the state safely.”

He added: “But if there is anything happening on the roads, they should quickly return to the motor park. Anything that has not killed someone will also not kill our members in rendering transport services within and outside the state.

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