Gunmen strike in Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Kano •Kill 2 soldiers, retd SSS, lawmaker, 6 others

A suspected Boko Haram child-soldier was said to have gunned down two military personnel of the Joint Task Force on Operation Restore Order in Borno State on Monday, Nigerian Tribune learnt.

A source who spoke to Nigerian Tribune on Tuesday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, said he was arrested by men of the JTF at about 5.00 p.m. on Monday while returning home from his working place.

According to him, the soldiers had arrested so many people around 21 Brigade area in Maiduguri and they were taken to custody in the Brigade.

He said, “We were there praying for our lives because the situation in Maiduguri, as you know, cannot be explained. I was praying that God should come to my rescue because I know that I am not a criminal, neither have I ever been found wanting, not even as a witness in police station.

“I looked at my watch when the soldiers beckoned that I should come, it was just after 5 O’clock and I heaved a sigh of relief. It was just after the rain, and I thought they wanted to ask for something, because it was at that junction that leads to the house of former ANPP secretary, Alhaji Yusuf Adamu. When I got closer, they asked me to sit down which I did. Few minutes later, I saw some soldiers coming with other people arrested and at that time I knew immediately that something was wrong.”

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He said they were led to the army vehicles and were carried to the barracks where they were all asked to get down and sit on the ground. “I don’t know how many of us were there but we were many and what I cannot explain is that it was not during the curfew hour. However, as I said, we had no option but to pray for our lives.”

He said at about 9.00 p.m. another military vehicle came in, but with corpses inside. “They were dead soldiers. The JTF people asked some of us to go and bring out the bodies from the vehicle and asked us to guard the corpses while they attend to some issues. When they came to us, we heard them saying that, “their comrades were gunned down by a small boy used by the sect members as child soldier. They also said that the two soldiers killed were indigenes of Kaduna State.”

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According to him, in the morning, the soldiers allowed some of them to leave while others were still being held in the barracks. “This is a horrible situation for me and I cannot pray for even my enemy to find himself in such a situation.”

When Nigerian Tribune sought confirmation from the JTF spokesman, Lieutenant-General Sagir Musa, he said, “as we speak, I am in Azare on my way back. I have no knowledge but as soon as I am back I will get back to you, but you can go ahead with what you have from your investigations.”

Also, unidentified gunmen on Tuesday killed the Deputy Leader of the Yobe State House of Assembly, Alhaji Adamu Degubi.

The Public Relations Officer of the Yobe State Police Command, Mr Adamu Salihu, confirmed the killing of the legislator.

“We have not ascertained those behind the killing and their motive.

“Investigation is going on to establish those who killed him and why he was killed,” Salihu said.

The late legislator was elected into the state assembly in 2011, to represent Nangere state constituency.

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He was elected deputy house leader last month, following a minor reshuffle in the assembly.

Meanwhile, the Gombe State director of the State Security Service (SSS), Mr Bitrus Asher, announced on Tuesday that unknown gunmen had killed a retired officer of the SSS, Malam Aliyu Abubakar, in Gombe.

Asher told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Abubakar was shot by gunmen in Yulunguruza Quarters, Gombe, at about 6.30 p.m on Monday, while he was performing ablution in his friend’s house.

The director said the deceased was shot in the back and was immediately taken to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Gombe, where he died.

Asher said the deceased was buried on Tuesday, adding that security operatives in the state were investigating the incident, though no arrest had been made.

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