Repented Boko Haram members attack police station, NDLEA, and Customs checkpoints in Borno

Some repented Boko Haram members have attacked a police station, NDLEA, and Customs checkpoints in Maiduguri, Borno State in an attempt to set free their colleagues who were earlier arrested for alleged drug offences.

It was gathered that the insurgents, wearing military uniforms, stormed the Kasuwan Fara Divisional Police Office at about 7:40 am on Wednesday, May 2, 2024.

According to security analyst and counter-insurgency expert, Zagazola Makama, the drug suspects were arrested and 426 bottles of spirits were confiscated on April 24, 2024, during a raid carried out by the police on the notorious spot at the criminal-ridden Kasuwan Fara.  

The Divisional Police Officer alongside his men were able to repel the attack while the perpetrators fled.

Consequently, the group, in an apparent transfer of aggression, reverted to attacking the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and the Nigeria Customs Service checkpoints along the Maiduguri-Gubio road at Kasuwan Fara, chasing away personnel on duty and setting ablaze all structures at the checkpoints.

Spokesperson of the State Police Command, Kenneth Daso, who confirmed the incident to the Daily Trust said that the assailants were repelled by police officers on duty.

Daso said the security breach was heralded by an operation carried out by the police.

“On the 30/04/24 at about 1745hrs in a joint operation raid at the Kasuwar Fara, following an intelligence report that some drug peddlers, smokers, repentant and Boko Haram insurgents are indulging in nefarious activities, eight persons were arrested including seven male and a female in that operation with 476grams of illicit substances,” he said.

“As you know, such activities have been banned in the area by the state government since last year

“A few hours after the arrest, some unscrupulous persons, so-called repentant Boko Haram, dressed up in military attire tried to invade our police station at Ibrahim Taiwo but were repelled immediately

“Thereafter, they went and attacked Nigeria Immigration Service and NDLEA check points after the welcome to the township gate and they burnt it down.”

ASP Kenneth said a serious investigation is currently ongoing to unravel those who were behind the acts.

However, some eyewitnesses told the publication that the attackers, dressed in military camouflage and wielding cutlasses, forcefully gained access into the police station and whisked away some suspects.

“About 20 of the attackers forced their way into the police station and escaped with some of the detained members,” a witness said.

“They left some policemen on duty wounded; they also went on rampage attacking passers-by with cutlasses, before reinforcements by the CRACKS team arrived.”

Another witness said the police operatives in the station did their best to repel the attackers but were subdued.

“Some of the police operatives took to their heels but returned when reinforcements came. We were told that the actual suspects could not be freed, only some people at the counter escaped. It was a sad incident,” he said.

Residents in the area said they were scared by the development, saying the incident was a clear indication that Maiduguri is no longer safe.

Fanta Modu, who owns a restaurant around the area, urged the government to reconsider its approach to issues around the de-radicalisation exercise of the federal government

“I was relatively young when followers of Mohammed Yusuf (Boko Haram founder) launched simultaneous attacks on Maiduguri in 2009. They also attacked the police headquarters at that time,” she said.

“Honestly, the recent event reminds me of that terrible incident. I am of the view that the so-called repentant Boko Haram members have not fully repented. They are not well refined because if they have been fully reintegrated into the society, why would they go back to drugs to the extent that they had the audacity to attack security posts?” she asked.

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