The Nigerian Army on Thursday called on people in the north east to be security vigilant to guard against suicide bomb attack by Boko Haram insurgents during the yuletide.
Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Maiduguri.
Nwachukwu said that it was imperative for the people to be vigilant and monitor suspicious persons in their communities, places of worship and other public places during the festive season.
He said that the insurgents were taking advantage of the relaxed vigilance and security measures in the society to attack soft targets.
“Additionally, an assessment of recent trend of Boko Haram insurgents Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) campaign indicated a deliberate targeting of places of worships as witnessed in the disheartening incident of the suicide bombings.
“One of the reasons adduced for easy infiltration by suicide bombers is the absence of measures to scrutinize and identify persons accessing these facilities.
“Most places of worship have been found to exhibit similar deficiency and have lowered their guards, thereby exposing themselves to preventable attacks”.
Nwachukwu noted that with the yuletide around the corner people should be more vigilant and devise security checks in their respective places of worship and social gatherings.
He called on community and religious leaders to sensitize and mobilize their people to be security conscious to prevent insurgents’ attack.
Nwachukwu disclosed the troops had sustained onslaught against the Boko Haram insurgents in the ongoing clearance operations at the fringes of northern Borno.
He added that several insurgents were killed, hundreds of yhe terrorists captured while many others voluntarily surrendered.
“Some of the insurgents, however, escaped with gunshot wounds and might be seeking help and treatment in any available health facility.
“Unsuspecting persons have inadvertently provided such fleeing insurgents with support without recourse to the security agencies,” Nwachukwu said.
The army spokesman called on communities to report such fleeing wounded insurgents to security agencies.
Nwachukwu added that the insurgency left several Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) and IEDs scattered within the theatre of operation, noting that the bombs were harmful to unsuspecting members of the public.
According to him, the EOD teams of the military and the Nigeria Police Force were conducting clearance operations to sanitize the war ravaged communities in the northeast.
Nwachukwu stressed that in view of the dangers posed by this development parents, children, farmers, herders, traders and artisans traversing the hinterland should be wary of strange objects and not to fiddle with them.
“Discovery of such objects should be reported to security agencies”.