31 May 2011

Nigeria: Boko Haram Militants Kill Shehu of Borno's Brother

Maiduguri/Abuja/Lagos — Boko Haram made real on Monday night its threat to take its offensive beyond state government officials, as gunmen suspected to be its members shot dead Abbah Anas, the younger brother of the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Garbai El-kanemi.

Abbah, 30, a senior officer of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps (NCDC), was killed in his home in the Gangamari area of Maiduguri.

The gunmen stormed the home at about 9 p.m. and opened fired on the victim, who sat in front of the home.

They fled, leaving him in his pool of blood.

Police Public Relations Officer, Lawal Abdullahi, confirmed the killing and said the gunmen will soon be tracked down and prosecuted.

Abdullahi appealed to the residents of the state to help the police fish out the serial killers.

Abbah was laid to rest at about 11 a.m. on Tuesday, as sympathisers thronged the home of El-kanemi to commiserate with him.

Tension remains thick in Borno with heavily armed policemen and soldiers mounting the streets with sand bags.

They search vehicles and ask pedestrians to raise their hands above their heads at check points.

In its reaction, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) urged President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently summon a national security summit to give stakeholders a forum to proffer solutions to the incessant bombings ravaging the country.

A statement issued by ACN National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said the problem should be treated as a national emergency.

Mohammed noted that the bomb blasts on Sunday and Monday in Abuja, Bauchi, and Zaria left many dead and injured.

The party warned that it is obvious that the government alone cannot stop the explosions, which have left hundreds of innocent Nigerians dead or maimed, and which risk scaring away foreign investors at a time Abuja says it is embarking on a journey to transform the country in all spheres.

"After every bomb attack, the government will vow to get the culprits and punish them. Then more explosions will occur and the government will repeat its vow. This is not reassuring to the people of Nigeria as well as foreigners who may want to do business in the country.

"Therefore, it is now clear that, in spite of its best efforts, the government alone cannot stop the bombers. It is time for all patriots to put heads together to identify the culprits and their grievances, and seek the way forward," Mohammed said.

The ACN noted that the way the explosions went off on the outskirts of Abuja as well as in Zaria and Bauchi shortly after the inauguration of Jonathan shows that the only reason the inauguration itself was spared was because of the lock-down of Abuja and the shutdown of telecommunications services as part of stringent security measures during the ceremony.

"But what happens now that the lock down of Abuja has been lifted and telecoms services restored? Is it not worrisome that those behind the explosions have continued to target public institutions and security agencies?

"Is it now becoming clear that these terrorists can now strike at a place and time of their own choosing, if they can detonate explosives in such high-security areas as military barracks?"

The ACN expressed concern that these explosions have recently been concentrated in the Northern part of the country not usually prone to such, despite incessant ethno-religious crises there, and wondered why this is so.

Senate President David Mark condemned the spate of bombings and called on all security agencies to buckle up by unearthing the perpetrators.

A motion tabled at Senate plenary on Tuesday by Information and Media Committee Chairman, Ayogu Eze, decried the bombings and described them as "alien" to Nigeria.

Senator John Shagaya blamed security operatives for failing to apprehend the perpetrators.

Senate Chief Whip Kanti Bello urged Abuja to find the motives behind the attacks and tackle the masterminds.

Away from Abuja Progressive Action Congress (PAC) National Chairman, Charles Nwodo, said in a telephone interview that long term measures are required to deal with terrorism and the government should initiate programmes to curb youth restiveness.

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