British security agents have alerted British Prime Minister, David Cameron, that terrorist group, al-Qaeda was determined to make Nigeria a base for plotting terror attacks on the Western nations just as an explosion believed to have been carried out by Islamic sect, Boko Haram, yesterday killed five persons including Mallam Mustafa Baale, a prominent leader of the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP) in the state and injuring 10 others at a bar close to a police barracks in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.
The group had on Saturday shot and killed 7 persons in Umarari area of the state capital.
Alhaji Baale, a former member of the Borno State Legislative Assembly was the caretaker chairman of Jere Local Government area before he was killed.
Commander of a Joint Police and Military Task force on Boko Haram, Major General Jack Nwachukwu, who confirmed the attack said "five people have been confirmed dead while 10 others sustained various degrees of injuries."
Yuguda, Goje apologise
Meanwhile, Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State and former governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Danjuma Goje have offered apologies to Boko Haram for any rights violations suffered during military crackdown on its armed uprising in 2009.
They made their apologies in separate statements:
"I apologise to the members of Jama'atu Ahlussunnah lidda'awati wal Jihad for perceived injustices caused them as they have the full rights to be protected by the law," Yuguda said in a statement released on Saturday.
"I hope this will further the healing of the trauma on Jama'atu Ahlussunnah, ...open the door to meaningful dialogue that will end hostilities and usher peace for which the religion of Islam is all about," he added.
Goje, now a senator, said "as a true Muslim, who believes in peace and brotherhood ... I hereby tender my public apology to the organisation for any wrong done to it in the course of performing my duty as the then govearnor of Gombe State."
The statements from the politicians appeared to be in response to the Boko Haram's demand for apologies as a precondition for dialogue with government.
The group's spokesman, Abu Zaid, had said they would hunt down the governors of Borno, Bauchi and Gombe states in comments published a week ago.
"We would not relent in our efforts of searching for them until they come out publicly and apologise," Zaid had said Kashim Shettima, the newly elected governor of Borno State had already made overtures to the group.
He offered an amnesty to those of its members who renounced violence, a move backed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Ihejirika vows to deal with terrorists
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, yesterday, vowed that terrorists apprehended with explosives for sinister motives or offensive weapons with intention to cause dangers to lives and property will be prosecuted in accordance with the anti-terrorism law.
General Ihejirika who was speaking during the Interdenominational Church Service to mark this year's Nigeria Army Day celebration at the All Saint's Military Protestant Church, Mogadishu Cantonment, said:"We are happy that currently, the Anti-Terrorism Bill which makes it an offence for any one engaging in terrorist's acts like kidnapping, throwing of bombs and other life threatening activities is in place. The days when people were apprehended for unpatriotic terrorists act and nothing happened are over.
So no matter the connection, any body caught for terrorist act will face the law as stipulated by the Anti-Terrorism bill".
General Ihejirika who was speaking during the Interdenominational Church Service to mark this year's Nigeria Army Day celebration at the All Saint's Military Protestant Church, Mogadishu Cantonment, commended the Federal Government for the passage of the bill, saying: "The passage of the terrorism bill is a major achievement towards encouraging security agencies to be more serious and committed to their jobs."
He regretted that "previously, there have been cases during which saboteurs', kidnappers and other persons had been arrested for these acts and they were released under one excuse of the other because the law had not provided adjudication on issues like this".
Reiterating the Army's readiness to tackle unfolding security challenges in the nation, the COAS said, "As soldiers, we have got all what it takes to do our job. We have got good salaries, good welfare, and good motivation.
Now the anti-terrorist bill has made it possible for terrorism related offenders to be apprehended and dealt with. The days when such persons get away easily because there was not law to mete out punishment, is gone"
With Agency Reports