The military authority in Borno state has declared three days of trekking for residents of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, to avert alleged plots by the extremist Boko Haram sect to detonate multiple bombs in parts of the troubled city using different kinds of vehicles.
According to the military, the Boko Haram insurgents, which has now discreetly infiltrated the city after many months of being fenced away from it by the Civilian-JTF, have perfected plans to mar the Eid-El-Fitri (Muslims’ end of fasting celebrations) by using cars for suicide bombings at various Eid prayer grounds.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Muhammad Dole, a colonel, said the insurgents had perfected plans to use all kinds of vehicles, including motorcycles, tricycles and even bicycles, to detonate bombs when men, women and children converge at various prayer grounds to perform their prayers.
PREMIUM TIMES can report that there are at least 10 Eid prayer grounds around the city of Maiduguri with each having at least 2000 worshippers congregating.
Mr. Dole’s statement initially said the ban would take effect from July 28 and would remain in force till July 30.
But the policy, which take-off date was hinged on the date announced by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) for Eid-El-Fitri festivities, has now taken effect on Sunday (today) with the Sultan of Sokoto and the President of the NSCIA , Abubakar Sa’ad, announcing the sighting of the moon on Saturday and the end of Ramadan.
What this means for celebrating Muslims in Maiduguri is that some of them may not be able to perform their Eid prayers long distances away from their homes, while some residents would most likely restrict their movements to their localities or possibly remain at home.
Read full statement by the military below:
“The report at the disposal of the security agencies reveals that the terrorist have perfected plans to launch multiple bomb explosions in Maiduguri metropolis. Their main targets include sallah praying ground markets and other public places by using vehicles such as Volkswagen Golf, Pick Up vans, Keke NAPEP, Motorcycles and Bicycles.
“In view of this, all vehicular movement within the Maiduguri city is banned from Monday, 28th – Wednesday, 30th July, 2014. Members of the general public are advised to perform their Eidil Fitri prayer at prayer grounds nearest to their residences. While necessary security measures are being put in place, people are requested to comply fully with this ban as defaulters will be severely sanctioned.
“Member of the public are also requested to report any suspicious movement of persons or vehicles to the nearest security agencies”.