Posted by Garba Ahmad, Kaduna | 15 July 2013 | 4,806 times
Some wealthy individuals who are in sympathy with Boko Haram and its activities have moved to replenish the arms stock of the insurgents, security sources have revealed.
The sources spoke at the weekend, alleging that the unnamed individuals are the sponsors of the huge cache of arms meant to be used to beef up those already on ground in Sokoto with the aim of launching a heavy attack on the seat of the Caliphate as the month of Ramadan progresses.
The sources however said the evil plot has been thwarted with the interception, by operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) and soldiers of the 1 Battalion Nigeria Army, Birnin Kebbi, of a petrol tanker loaded with arms and ammunition at the Sokoto and Kebbi State border area in Nigeria’s North-East.
The petrol tanker belonging to Total Nigeria Plc with Reg. No. Kano XE 147 RAN fully loaded with various high caliber ammunition was said to be heading for Sokoto from Kano when security agents on joint patrol acting on a tip-off intercepted and arrested it.
The arrest took place at a village called Malisa, between Sokoto and Kebbi states under Gwandu local government area of Kebbi state on Thursday night.
Two out of the three occupants of the truck escaped into the bush on sighting the security operatives while the third person who could not make it early enough was promptly rounded up and taken to the headquarters with the tanker.
It was revealed further that total Nig. Plc tanker averted the direct route to Sokoto because of the heavy security check points along the roads but decided to follow long distant rural roads from Kano to Birnin – Gwari in Kaduna State to Tegina-Kotangora road in Nigeria state, through Yauri, Koko in Kebbi State. It was finally intercepted at Malisa Village some few kilometers to Sokoto State.
Addressing Newsmen over the weekend in the evening the Commanding Officer, 1Battalion Nigeria Army, Birnin Kebbi, Lt.col Sunday Ayorinde Ilori, stated that joint efforts of the security agents on patrol paved way for the arrest of the tanker and the occupant. He added that those who took to their heels on sighting the security men would soon be apprehended.
Ilori who praised the gallantry efforts of the society operatives also urged members of the society to be very vigilant and feel free to report any suspicious movement around them to the security agents.
He said: “Samples of the arms and ammunition that were stock piled in the petrol tanker that the caliber of the weapons especially the PMG is enough to destroy a whole city within a day.”
The commanding officer who did not entertain question from newsmen said investigation was still ongoing and in shortest possible time his command will brief the press.
He explained that security agents alone cannot achieve this without the concerted efforts of the members of the public, adding that any useful information given shall be treated as confidential.
The only suspect arrested with the vehicle who gave his name as Umar Yusuf, said that six of them were involved in the crime but only three of them made the trip of which two had escaped.
He said he was co-opted into the deal with an offer of N500,000 which he declined but was threatened with death if he refused to come along with them.
Weapons contained in the tanker includes various brand of AK47, Rocket launchers, PMGS, explosives and bullet proof jackets among other dangerous weapons.
•Photo shows Nigerian troops at a checkpoint in Nigeria’s troubled North-East region.
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