A suspected Boko Haram enclave came down in rubbles yesterday in Jos.
Its last occupants included Hauwa Mohammed, said to be the widow of the suspected ThisDay suicide bomber who attacked the newspaper office in Abuja, last month.
Five other women, believed to be wives of Boko Haram operatives, were among the residents. Seized from the house before a bulldozer was called to duty were over 1000 assorted ammunition and ten bags of fertilizer suspected to be part of the materials used by the sect members to make explosives. The building was demolished by the Special Task Force (STF) on the Jos crises in conjunction with the Borno State Joint Task Force.
A few hours after the operation, Vice President Namadi Sambo told the sect members to grab the opportunity for dialogue offered them by the Federal Government. The women were traced there from Maiduguri by the Borno JTF which stormed the village at about 4am yesterday accompanied by their counterparts in Jos.
The soldiers first cordoned off the area only for some people to throw an explosive at them, according to a military source.
The next stage of the operation was for them to search the area. They found some explosives which they detonated. This was followed by the evacuation of the residents and the ammunition, and then the demolition of the building. The entire operation was completed at about 5pm.
The women were taken to the STF headquarters in Jos for interrogation.
The operation was originally planned for Friday but was put forward by 24 hours on religious consideration.
Jos has witnessed repeated religious crises between Muslims and Christians over the last few years.
Rikkos village has had its own share of the crises with several churches there coming under attack.
Hauwa Muhammed was allowed to talk to reporters before she was taken into custody.
She said: "My name is Hauwa Muhammed. I am from Damaturu, I came to Jos a few weeks ago. I was brought by my late husband, but three days ago I was told my husband had died in an accident. "Another man promised to take care of me in Jos here."
Military sources said Hauwa’s husband was the suicide bomber in the attack on ThisDay’s office, Abuja. Following the bombing, the man’s widow and wife and 11 children were relocated from Maiduguri to Jos.
The STF, in a statement yesterday signed by its media officer, Captain Markus Mdahyelya said two generators, four Improvised Explosive Devices ( IEDs), and assorted chemicals including sodium oxide, potassium chloride, lead nitrate, aluminium meter powder and one remote control were impounded.
He warned landlords against giving out their houses for use by terrorists, saying landlords should thoroughly screen their tenants and report any suspected person to the appropriate agencies for prompt action.
The village has been placed under heavy military surveillance.