The killing of a 20-year-old innocent boy was all the youths needed in confronting three gun-totting Boko Haram members who invaded Rigasa and Mahuta, a suburb of Kaduna metropolis yesterday.
The brave youths arrested the two suspects, aged between 17 and 22, who had gone to the compound of the District Head of Afaka, Alhaji Abdulwahab, in a bid to kill him. The Boko Haram members were bearing an AK-47 rifle at the time they invaded two neighbouring Rigasa and Mahuta communities on a motorcycle at 9a.m.
Also, in what seemed like divine intervention, an attempt by the sect to bomb a branch of Living Faith Church (aka Winners’ Chapel) in Okene, Kogi State failed yesterday as the bomb went off at the main gate.
In the Kaduna incident, an eyewitness said, “the gunmen came and said they were looking for the ‘Hakimin Mahuta’ (District Head of Mahuta), disguising as members of his subjects. So, when they allowed them into the house, the ‘Hakimin’ was not comfortable with them, so he ran back inside.“The suspects ran after him and shot at him severally, but their shots missed him, instead a small boy, Nura was hit. When they discovered that the ‘Hakimin’ had escaped through the back exit, they came back outside and picked their bike and trailed him to Mahuta.”
On getting to Mahuta, the three gunmen started shooting sporadically, but the youths dared them. They moved nearer, even as they were firing at them. An elder in the community, who identified himself as Mallam Abdullahi, told our reporter that “the young gunmen came on a bike and started shooting, but having discovered that, our youths were ready for them, they started withdrawing into the bush and the youths were closing in on them with bare hands”.
According to Abdullahi, “at a point, their bullets got finished and they loaded another round of ammunition, but despite that, the youths were able to apprehend two of the three gunmen, while the last one ran away.” Abdullahi, however, said that although, they shot seven of the youths, who were being treated at some undisclosed hospitals in Kaduna, but none of them died.
“A 20-year-old boy was killed in the process. And I also heard that they attacked Mahuta community. I also saw the boys who wanted to kill me after their arrest by Mahuta youths”, he said. Confirming the incident, the police spokesman for Kaduna State command, DSP Aminu Lawal, said, “two gunmen were arrested by residents of Mahuta community near the National Eye Centre in Kaduna today (Sunday).”
“The two gunmen in the process shot and injured seven residents of the community during the face-off. They are now receiving treatment at the hospital,” said Lawal. He thanked members of the community for their vigilance and quick response which led to the timely intervention of the Joint Task Force, made up of the military and the police. In Kogi State, Daily Sun learnt that an explosion occurred when the suspected car conveying the bomb targeted at the Living Faith Church was prevented from entering the premises by the security. In the process of manoeuvring the car by the driver, the bomb exploded immediately.
Worshippers at the Winners’ Chapel and the Deeper Life Bible Church located within the vicinity of the blast scampered for safety. There was no report of the number of casualties at Press time. Sources, however, said that the security personnel around the area have arrested a man in connection with the bomb blast at Obeira in the Okene area The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr.Ile Simon, confirmed the incident, saying that there was a bomb blast by the suspected Boko Haram sect.