Security agencies are working on fresh clues that Boko Haram leaders may have been relocating to Nigeria from Mali.
Some key operational bases of the sect, such as Kano, Bama, Potiskum, Damaturu and Maiduguri, are under watch because security agencies suspect that some Boko Haram (Western education is a sin) leaders are in hiding in these places. But, despite the ceasefire announced by a faction of the sect, the Federal Government has ordered the military and other security agencies to be on the alert.
The Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke(SAN), said the government was waging a war against terrorism to avoid erosion of the nation’s democratic values. Security agencies are working on fresh clues that Boko Haram leaders are retreating back to Nigeria from Mali where foreign forces, including Nigeria’s, have routed Islamist pushing to take over power. Mali is believed to be stronghold of al-Qaeda, which is believed to be backing the insurgency in some part of Nigeria.
A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We think that the ceasefire by a faction of Boko Haram might be a consequence of the devastating effects of France and the UN Intervention Mission forces in Mali. “There are intelligence reports indicating that some key leaders of the sect have retreated to Nigeria from Mali. That is why we have placed some of their operational bases under watch, despite the ceasefire. These bases are in Kano, Bama, Potiskum, Damaturu and Maiduguri, among other border towns.” Responding to a question, the source added: “The government is cautious on the declaration of ceasefire because it might be a ploy by the retreating Boko Haram leaders to regain the control of lost bases and unleash more devastating mayhem on the country. “We cannot afford to take things for granted or be carried away by the proclamation of a ceasefire.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibrhim Ola Sa’ad, has asked Boko Haram leaders to prove their commitment to the ceasefire within 30 days.” Another source said: “In spite of the ceasefire, security agencies have been directed to mount water-tight security in volatile states in the Northeast and Northwest. “So, we will increase the tempo of the present security arrangement in terror-prone states.
The recent change of GOCs and top military commanders of some the Army, the Air Force and the Navy is part of plans to step up security nationwide.” Adoke yesterday gave an insight into why the government has been fighting Boko Haram and other terror-related organisations. Adoke , who spoke at a two-day peace and security summit of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, said the government cannot handover victory to terrorists. “There is no doubt that challenges to internal security can erode democratic gains and indeed our mutual co-existence as a pluralistic society.
“The wanton and indiscriminate deprivation of innocent lives and the infliction of harm on countless others by the wave of attacks carried out by the terrorist group, known as Boko Haram coupled with the spate of kidnappings in the country must be seen as direct attacks on the core values of democratic governance, namely the rule of law; the protection of the dignity of human beings; mutual respect among people of different faith and peaceful resolution of conflict.
Adoke said: “Although, views differ on the approaches that have been adopted in our fight against terrorism and the relative successes so far recorded, we are mindful of the need to ensure that our core democratic values are not eroded in the process, to do that would amount to handing victory to the terrorists “As a democrat, I firmly believe in the sustainable approach we have adopted in the current challenges. Our strategy aims to: protect individuals and communities; stabilise existing conflicts and discontentment; counter- harmful and extremist sentiments and ideologies; and deploy adequate response to economic and social insecurities that contribute to the growth of terrorism.