From Fred Itua, Abuja
A Senator yesterday raised the alarm over the infiltration of towns and villages in Taraba State by Boko Haram insurgents fleeing from military bombardment.
The issue which came under a motion tagged: “The need to urgently flush out Boko Haram insurgents re-assembling in Taraba and halt the ongoing silent genocide in the state”, was sponsored by Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP, Taraba South).
Bwacha said the fleeing insurgents were relocating to safe havens in Taraba. He reminded his colleagues of an incident that occurred on February 10 when a notorious Boko Haram kingpin, Kabiru Sokoto, who masterminded the bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madala in Niger State on Christmas Day 2014, was arrested in Mutum-Biya in Taraba State.
He recalled how the former military Director of Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, revealed that suspects arrested in Gidin Dorowa in Taraba confessed to be Boko Haram terrorists.
He said the suspects had confessed that they were involved in terrorism in Borno and Yobe states and that they were sent to Taraba to continue with their mission under the guise of herdsmen.
Bwacha said: “There is a change of tactics by these insurgents who now parade as herdsmen to make it more difficult for the unsuspecting public to identify them. The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Solomon Arase, recently confirmed that the herdsmen involved in most of the senseless killings are not the same Fulani we know. They go about grazing with AK 47 rifles. The insurgents caught with over 300 cows in Borno State by the JTF, adds credence to the assertion.
“These Boko Haram attackers, masquerading as Fulani herdsmen, have killed over 2, 000 people between December 2013 to date in the state. The killings, kidnappings and destruction of property by these terrorists are still ongoing. Some villages are near extinction because of activities of these people. The rampaging Boko Haram insurgents have over-concentrated their activities in the central and southern parts of the state,” he said.
The Senator representing Kaduna Central who is Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Domestic Debts, Shehu Sanni, failed in his bid to compel lawmakers take a stand against tagging Fulani herdsmen as terrorists. His position was overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate.