Detained Boko Haram kingpin Abul Qaqa has made further revekations on the modus operandi of the sect. Qaqa, who was recently arrested by operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) in a dramatic move to checkmate the increasing activities of the sect, has revealed how the sect carries out different suicide bombings in the northern part of the country.
A source close to his interrogators also confided in LEADERSHIP last night that the former spokesman of the sect revealed how the vehicles used for the bombings were snatched at gunpoint, and how the inexpensive cars are used for suicide bombing.
“We snatch those vehicles at gun point. We use the less exotic ones for suicide bombings and just load vehicles with bombs, drive them near our target, park, get out of it and leave them to explode thereafter,” he said.
Qaqa said the exotic cars were converted by the sect’s leader, Shekau, for his personal use while he promises the sect members that they would be sold to raise funds for the Jihad.
He further revealed that the leadership of the sect used the more expensive cars to hoodwink security agents at checkpoints by posing as if they were some influential personalities on a fancy ride.
Qaqa also revealed the controversy which brewed over the disbursment of largesse. According to him, the leadership gave out favours to members on grounds of tribalism and favouritism, a development which, he said, angered those who did not benefit.
He said: "The leadership (Shekau) takes the expensive (exotic) cars, always saying that he would arrange for them to be sold and the proceeds put into the Jihad. This is never done, anyway. Most of those vehicles end up with him and the Kanuri members of our sect.
“They use them to pose and deceive security agents at checkpoints. The distribution (utilization) of these stolen vehicles is on 'man-know-man. 'Man-know-tribes man' became another source of anger and acrimony, but you have to bear it or you die. Once you are in, you are in. If you attempt to leave, you are seen as a traitor who must die."
JTF Kills 8 Boko Haram Members, 3 Civilians Wounded
Meanwhile, business activities at the Baga Road Market in Maiduguri metropolis of Borno State was yesterday afternoon paralyzed, following a gun battle between the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the Boko Haram members.
In the encounter that lasted many hours, eight members of the sect were reportedly killed by the superior powers of the JTF while three civilians were seriously wounded.
Confirming the incident, JTF spokesman Lt. Col. Hassan Mohammed, said, the JTF killed eight Boko Haram members who attacked and wounded three civilians at the Baga Road Market.
He further revealed that the JTF demobilised three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which the sect members had planted, while other dangerous weapons in their possession were recovered.
Meanwhile, the three civilians that were wounded, according to Lt. Col. Hassan, have been taken to the hospital where they are receiving treatment. The entire market area was cordoned off by the soldiers.
But the Agence France Presse (AFP) quoted a witness as saying that 30 people died during the shootout.
“It’s true the number of dead could not be less than 30,” a Maiduguri hospital nurse told the AFP. A witness gave a similar death toll.
Police Arrest Five Suspects Over Bomb Blast In Suleja
In a related development, the police have arrested five major suspects behind the Sunday bomb blast that rocked the parking space of the Christ Embassy and Crasia Hotel, along Morocco Road in Suleja, Niger State.
LEADERSHIP gathered that immediately after the blast, the police in Niger State mobilised the special squad of the command to black spots and the five suspects were apprehended late Sunday night.
It was further learnt that the police had worked on eyewitnesses to get tip-off which helped to crack down on the five suspects.
The commissioner of police, Niger State Command, Alhaji Ibrahim Maishanu, confirmed that the five suspects had been arrested and transferred to Zone 7 headquarters in Abuja for further investigation.
The commissioner said that, after the incident, the police launched an investigation and five people who were suspected to be the mastermind were arrested.
Maishanu said that it was discovered that the explosive was planted in a vehicle in front of the Grasa Guest Inn, which was a few metres away from the Christ Embassy Church.
According to him, when the bomb exploded, it damaged four vehicles parked at the scene and inflicted injuries on five people which included two carrot sellers and a small baby.
The chief medical director of the Suleja Hospital assured that three of the victims would be discharged while the other two had been referred to the Specialist Hospital, Gwagwalada, for further medical attention.
The commissioner, who refused to give the names of the suspects, said: “Investigation is in progress, the case has been transferred to Zone 7 headquarters in Abuja for further investigation.”
The police boss said that the blast would have been more devastating if not for the vigilance of security agents and the alertness of people to keep off before the explosive went off between two cars.
The commissioner said the state command had supported the families of its officers who lost their lives to attacks by unknown gunmen last week in M I Wushishi Housing estate Minna and Maje in Suleja with N700,000.
Maishanu said N200,000 was given to each of the families of the three late officers – two at Maitumbi division and one at Suleja division – while the sum of N100,000 was given to the injured police officer who was still in the hospital.
Army Disowns Captain Bahago
Also, the Nigerian Army has refuted a media report that one of its officers, Captain Bahago, was a fleeing Boko Haram suspect.
In a press statement signed by Col. O U Abdul, director of army public relations, and made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, the Nigerian Army insisted it had no such name in its employment, saying that the suspect might have adopted the name in order to impersonate and probably hide his real identity.
It regretted that the source did not consider it necessary to contact the authorities in the Nigerian Army before rushing to pres.
It therefore advised that the Nigerian Army should be contacted before such reports are published as it borders on national security.
A national daily (not LEADERSHIP) had reported last weekend that Captain Bahago along with seven others had been declared wanted by the police in connection with Boko Haram activities.