Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar has ordered a 24-hour security surveillance of places of worship and other flash points in Okene and environs in Kogi State.
The order came on the heels of gun attacks on worshippers at the Deeper Life Bible Church, Okene on Monday night. No fewer than 20 died.
In a text message sent by police spokesman Frank Mba to reporters in Abuja yesterday, the IGP also ordered immediate deployment of additional Mobile Police Force units from other Squadrons to beef up security in the state.
He said: “The IGP also appealed for calm, promising that the perpetrators of this heinous crime will certainly not go unpunished. He advised the general public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious movements to the police.
“He also advised parents to keep watchful eyes on their wards and protect them from all negative external influences.”
The IGP’s order also coincided with the police confirming the killing of of an evangelist with a Pentecostal church in Maiduguri, Ali Samari.
He was allegedly killed by gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect on Monday evening.
Samari, 57, was with the Good News Church (GNC), Maiduguri and was reportedly killed at his Mafoni residence around 6.30pm.
An eyewitness said the evangelist was trailed to his house by two gunmen, after closing from work.
A source said the evangelist sometimes this year received a warning in writing from men believed to be members of the Boko Haram asking him to vacate his residence.
He said though the evangelist discussed the threat with a few people close to him, he, however, dismissed it, insisting that “it is the Almighty God that protects. I leave everything in the hands of God.”
Borno State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Gideon Jibrin, in a telephone conversation, said the police was informed of the killing yesterday.
He said Mafoni, where the murder happened, is one of the black spots identified by the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the police.
He said: “It is a place where some members of the Boko Haram use as a hideout and from where they launch attacks on other part of Maiduguri metropolis. The area has been condoned off by JTF with the blocking of three roads, while the stop-and-search was being intensified at the military posts of Lamisula and Dandal Divisional Police Stations.”
He said no arrest has yet been made, but said investigations have begun with the police acting on the little information provided by some residents and eyewitnesses.
Sokoto Police Commissioner Aliyu Musa yesterday spoke on how a police station was attacked in Shagari village on Monday. He said no life was lost in the attack by hoodlums.
He said: “The hoodlums came to the station on three motorcycles with one Jeep accompanying them.
“As God made it, our men were able to repel the attack but the hoodlums threw some hand grenades at the police station.
“This set the building on fire and it was completely razed down. Two Hilux patrol vans were also burnt by the assailants.’’
Musa said that two of the hoodlums were shot at and injured but they were carried away by their colleagues and fled.
He said the number of the hoodlums was not known, adding that the police had began investigations into the incident which occurred about 5.30 p.m. and lasted for minutes.
Musa appealed to members of the public to give the ‘’usual cooperation by rendering useful information that will prevent recurrence of the incident.’’
NAN observed in Shagari on Tuesday that smoke was still smouldering from the burnt station.
Eyewitnesses said the hoodlums unleashed mayhem on the station from its northern flank where it bordered with a millet farm.
The witnesses, who wanted to remain anonymous, said several documents, a motorcycle and some electronics were also burnt at the police station.
The District Head of Shagari, Alhaji Sani Abdullahi, told NAN in Shagari on Tuesday that “we were rudely shocked by the unexpected incident. We are also calling for the deployment of more police officers to the division as well as the provision of welfare, arms and ammunition to them.”