From Paul Orude, Bauchi
Four suspected Boko Haram insurgents have been arrested by soldiers over the Christmas 2015 bomb blast that killed 44 persons and wounded 75 others at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church Madalla, Niger State.
The suspects were paraded before the Chief Army Staff (COAS), Lt General Tukur Yusuf Buratai and journalists yesterday by the Brigade Commandant, 33 Artillery Brigade, Bauchi, and Brig-General Abraham Luka Dusu.
“We received reports from the locals in Alkaleri town in Bauchi State that somebody had been loitering around the mosque claiming he wanted to convert to Islam and he is not from that location.
“They suspected him and hinted our troops, who arrested the suspect, whose name is Victor Moses. He confessed that he was conducting surveillance for Boko Haram and sometimes he stayed in the shop of one Abubakar Shetima Bama, who is based in Jos while the other two accomplices, Salisu Mohammed Bello and Umar Madaki, are based in Gombe.
“With the information given to our men by Moses, the other three suspects were arrested,” Dusu said.
According to him, “Victor Moses said he was part of the surveillance that made the bombing in Mandalla successful and that he was staying with Abubakar Shetima in Jos motorpark. They are now going to be handed over to the Joint Intelligence Centre in Maiduguri, Borno State for further interrogation and investigation.”
Boko Haram, which is gradually becoming the world’s deadliest terror group, draws inspiration from Afghanistan’s Taliban movement. The insurgents are fighting for a strict interpretation of Shari’a in Nigeria.
The United States (US) at the weekend pledged to assist Nigeria flush out Boko Haram from the north-eastern part of the country and neighbouring West African states.
Washington will deploy special forces from the United States African Command (USAFRICOM) to work with the Nigerian Army.
“At the request of the Nigerian government, the SOCAFRICA (Special Operations Command Africa) component of USAFRICOM conducted a preliminary assessment regarding the feasibility of resuming a limited advise-and-assist mission alongside select Nigerian units,” USAFRICOM said.