The Commissioner of police in Borno State, Damian Chukwu, has said that operatives of the Explosive Ordnance Department (EOD) under his command defused 67 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) buried by Boko Haram insurgents at the military barracks in Bama.
Mr. Chukwu, who spoke to journalists on Sunday evening, said the explosives which have since been evacuated, may have been planted in the barracks shortly before troops of the Nigeria military liberated Bama town.
He said the defused bombs had enabled reconstruction workers to carry on with their work without any hitch.
The CP noted that Bama town, which now temporarily serves as the seat of the Borno government, following the relocation of the governor from Maiduguri last Wednesday, has been beefed up with more police to ensure the adequate safety for the visitors and workers alike.
“As the governor and his team were going to Bama to monitor reconstruction work, we put together various components of my operational units, the Police Mobile Force, the Counter-Terrorist Unit, the Special Protection Unit, the EOD i.e. the bomb disposal unit, the intelligence group as well as the conventional police, to go with them,” said Mr. Damian.
“In the process of doing reconstruction work in the military barracks, the soldiers and other people there saw some buried IEDs — about 67 of them — and called the attention of my men.
“It is believed that the insurgents buried those bombs while they were there, especially when the military came back to displace them.
“We had to deploy the EOD unit who brought out the bombs and destroyed them and then gave way for reconstruction work to continue.’’
The CP added that more police personnel have been deployed all the liberated local government headquarters with a view to protect the returnees and prevent the return of the insurgents.
“There are quite a number of other local governments where we are presently deployed in,” he said. “We are in Konduga Local Government, it is midway between Maiduguri and Bama.”
“We also have Mungono, it is midway between Bama and Baga; In Baga, a town that shares boundary with Chad, military operation is still going on there but the town has been liberated except for the pockets of insurgents in the outskirt,” said the CP.
Meanwhile, the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, had Sunday commended the Nigeria police in Borno state for deploying additional 200 operatives of its Mobile Police unit (MOPOL) to Bama.
The governor said such deployment would further encourage the workers to remain calm and carry on with their work.
The governor had however called on the deployed police personnel to cooperate with other sister security agencies and the army to achieve “ a common goal. He assured them their N20,000 monthly would be paid as at when due till the reconstruction work ends by December.