The General Officer Commanding the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Maj.-Gen. Joseph Shoboiki, has alleged that Boko Haram decided to attack the division to avenge the arrest of a suspected gunrunner, Alhaji Nuhu Marafa.
According to him, the sect also embarked on the unsuccessful suicide bombing of the formation on Tuesday because soldiers from the division arrested the sect’s spokesman, Abu Qaqa.
Marafa, who was arrested along with one of his sons, Musa, was alleged by the Army to have links with “a terror group.” His second son, Yusuf, who is currently on the run, was also declared wanted by the Army for allegedly firing at soldiers during the arrest of his father and brother.
Marafa was on Friday arraigned for two counts of gunrunning and alleged financing of a terror group, one month after his arrest at a Kaduna Chief Magistrate’s Court.
Chief Magistrate Bashir Bello however ordered the Army to hand over the suspect to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police in Kaduna for further investigations.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Lt. Col. Abubakar Edun, said the GOC 1 Division, explained to the Minister of State for Defence, Chief Olusola Obada, during her visit to the division headquarters to assess the extent of damage caused to the formation why the Boko Haram sect attacked the division.
He said in a statement, “The Commander, 1 Division Intelligence Group, Colonel Digol Golo, narrated to the minister how the suicide attack was carried out on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at about 12.18pm. While briefing the minister, the General Officer Commanding 1 Division, Nigerian Army, informed her that the troops of the Division are involved in internal security operations across the state, contributing to the peace and security of the nation. He said further that the Division arrested a suspected gunrunner and a spokesman of the Boko Haram group which is believed to have led to the attack.”
Obada said since terrorism had become a global phenomenon, there must be an effort to combat the menace.
She commended the Armed Forces for their role in combating terrorism, adding that the military should not be deterred by the attacks on them by the sect but should continue to strive to give their best to the service of the nation.
“The minister thanked the Almighty God for sparing the lives of officers and soldiers of the Division who have been giving their best to the service of the nation and encouraged them not to be deterred by the attack,” the statement added.