Boko Haram Relocates To Burra Forest, Bauchi

IM

The Boko Haram insurgents are
establishing a new base in
Bauchi state, a senator revealed
yesterday.
Senator Isa Hamma Misau (APC,
Bauchi Central) said the insurgents were relocating to
the area from their stronghold in
Sambisa Forest.
Hamma Misau, a retired Police
officer, told Daily Trust in an
exclusive phone interview that the insurgents had started
establishing themselves in Burra
Forest in Ningi Emirate Council of
his constituency.
He said the Burra forest is linked
through a corridor to the Falgore Forrest in Kano state and
Saminaka in Kaduna State.
“The Boko Haram insurgents are
relocating to the Burra Forest. It
is a very large forest extending
to three states and it is from there that the terrorists are
going to other places to unleash
terror on people.
“It was because of their activities
that a new Police division was
opened in Burra but the police cannot carry out operation in the
forest because it is a high risk
operation.
“They kidnap people daily, and
receive between N3million and
N5million as ransom,” he said. The senator said the terrorists
told their victims that they
relocated from the Sambisa
Forest, the hotbed of the Boko
Haram insurgents in Borno state.
“They also said the terrorists are in hundreds and that they
coordinate their operations from
the forest,” he said.
“They have collected so much
money from the people but
because the place is in remote area, it has not been given
national prominence.
“The people are highly
sophisticated, and to tackle
them, we need serious
surveillance, intelligence and equipment.”
He said when the Senate
reconvenes next month he
would sponsor a motion with a
view to attracting the attention
of the security agencies to it. “I’m going to write to the
National Security Adviser, the
Chief of Army Staff and the
Director of DSS for them to
intervene. There is need for
combined efforts of all security agencies in order to tackle the
terrorists,” he said. We’ll flush them out wherever
they relocate – DHQ The Defence Headquarters
yesterday confirmed that Boko
Haram militants who had been
dislodged from Borno state were
relocating to new basis in forests
and hide outs in the country. The defence spokesman,
Brigadier General Rabe
Abubakar stated this yesterday,
when contacted over reports of
activities of Boko Haram in some
areas and forests in Bauchi State. He said: “It is not out of place if
the terrorists are relocating
because of ongoing operations
by the military and equally
because of operations of the
Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF).”
Abubakar noted that the MNJTF
on operation Gama Aiki recently
pounded the positions of Boko
Haram, using aerial precision
equipments, adding that:” it won’t be out of place as a result
of that, they are moving and
relocating to other places.”
He said: “However, wherever
they go, the military, with other
security agencies will intercept them. The next phase of the
operations will take care of
them.”
General Abubakar further said:
“The inhabitants of that general
area should be on the lookout of new persons and cooperate
with security agencies. They are
fleeing not only to Bauchi but
other place.” Kidnappings not in Burra alone
– Bauchi Gov Speaking on alleged infiltration
of Boko Haram elements into
parts of Bauchi State, including
Burra forest, the special adviser
to Governor Mohammed
Abubakar, retired General Yusuf Ladan, said the security
challenges they had were not
posed by the Boko Haram
insurgents but by bandits.
“When cases of kidnappings and
rustling became a common phenomenon, Governor
Abubakar sought the
intervention of the military and
operation is ongoing along
Burra Forest.”
He said it was the local population that sometimes
mistook military operatives as
Boko Haram insurgents.
“The operation is being carried
out without prior notice and the
local population sometimes got scared when they see military
operatives whom they normally
suspect to be insurgents.
“Both ground and aerial
reconnaissance is on-going, not
only in Burra area but around Toro Local Government Area
where the District Head of Tama
was abducted. Initially,
cooperation from the people
there was disappointing but we
summoned the community leaders for a meeting in Bauchi
and the governor read the riot
act for them. They are now
cooperating.
“On Thursday, two notorious
bandits, including Mai Rakumi and Dogo Mai AK47, in addition
to nine culprits were arrested.
He said it was only in Balmo
Forest, near Darazo in Ganjuwa
Local Government, which shares
border with Jigawa State that some elements of Boko Haram
were tracked down recently.
“The issue of kidnapping and
cattle rustling is not restricted to
Burra forest only; it’s common in
northern parts of Nigeria and some of those disturbing us
actually relocated from Zamfara
(state) axis where military
operation was launched lately.
“Senator Hamma Misau should
have contacted us to get the true situation of things. Yes, he has
his points but we are here on
ground and everyday
interfacing with relevant security
agencies on how to address the
menace. “We had cases of kidnappings
and rustling along the Dass-
Tafawa Balewa but troops from
the 33 Artillery Brigade have
cleared the area. We also had
issues along Dindima in Alkaleri Local Government Area which
have been cleared through
collaboration between security
agencies and local vigilantes.
“Of course, as a result of
persistent kidnappings, the same troops that are now in
Zamfara had carried out
clearance operation along
Alkaleri-Kirfi axis here in Bauchi
State.”
Our correspondent recalled that in July 2014, there was massive
operation by Nigerian troops at
the Balmo forest resulting in the
killing of scores of Boko Haram
insurgents.
Initially, the Bauchi State government at the time denied
the presence of Boko Haram, but
following the clampdown, one
Mohammed Zakari, 30, a senior
member of the Boko Haram
terrorists’ was arrested. The suspect, who hails from
Kaigamari Village, Daptchari in
Darazo Local Government Area,
Bauchi State was the “chief
butcher” of the insurgent group
at the Balmo forest camp and was linked with the slaughter of
seven (7) people, including
women and children. Saraki demands probe of
recruitment in IDP camps The Senate President, Bukola
Saraki, has urged security
agencies to probe reports that
Boko Haram members are
recruiting young Nigerians in
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
In a statement by his media aide
yesterday, Yusuph Olaniyonu,
Saraki said it was important for
Nigeria’s intelligence apparatus
to take such rumours seriously. “Seeing that ISIS has been
recruiting members from
European refugee camps, and
the Kenyan government recently
had to shut down the world’s
largest refugee camp because Al-Shaabab was using the place
to train and recruit young
people as extremists, it is
important that we take the
rumours about Boko Haram
recruiting from IDP camps seriously,” he said.
He also called for a
comprehensive probe of the
diversion of relief materials
meant for the Internally
Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-east.
He applauded the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC) for investigating and
arresting a contractor who
diverted 60 trucks of grains that were allocated to IDPs in Borno
State by the federal government.