It was an anxious weekend in Hotoro North, Nassarawa Local Government Area, Kano State, over a military operation leading to arrests of some residents of Filin Lazio area, over allegations of connection with Boko Haram insurgents.
The military operation, held Saturday night, targeted a house newly moved-in by occupants said to be originally from Borno State. An official statement on Sunday confirmed the arrest of 13 suspects during the raid.
Hotoro was previously an epicentre for insurgents’ activities in the state, before the terrorists were flushed out by concerted efforts of security forces and residents.
Members of Boko Haram sleeper cells in the area typically attacked security men and churchgoers in drive-by attacks between 2011 and 2013, when they were largely decimated.
The weekend raid, according to a resident of the area, Malam Muhammed Amadi was conducted without drawing much attention.
He explained that the army arrived at the suspect’s residence around 9:15 pm where they surrounded the residence and whisked away some members of the household.
He added that those arrested didn’t resist the arrest and as such not a single gun was fired during the raid.
A source in the area told Daily Trust that the suspected residence has been a centre of concern to many residents as it has become a joint for a lot of migrants from the North-East, especially Borno State, who have gradually flooded the area recently.
“The flamboyant lifestyle of the people and their peculiarity has raised serious concerns among residents and I believe the arrest made was an outcome of these raised concerns.
“I have heard stories that the suspects were arrested in a mosque, this is just a speculation as they were arrested in a house, not in a mosque,” the source revealed.
Unease among residents
Daily Trust investigations revealed that there was a silent campaign on social media platforms intimating the general public on the influx of people from North-East and how they have been acquiring and building houses in some areas along the Eastern Bye-pass, Mariri, Danladi Na Sidi among other areas.
It was also revealed that this silent campaign awakened many them to be on the alert of the activities of these people.
According to Malam Sule Wakili, the eastern bye-pass was heavily inhabited by people from the north east who have now settled in Kano.
He explained that for about two years, people from the Maiduguri axis have been acquiring and building houses in the areas. This he said has raised a lot of concern even though they legally obtain the land to erect their houses.
Similarly, the silent campaign against the massive exodus of Maiduguri people and their concentration at a particular axis has made residents to be very vigilant on their activities as well as their movement.
Aliyu Garba Hakimi is a resident of the area and according to him, he had received the warning signal on various platforms on social media.
According to him, he was not aware of what has triggered the campaign until he noticed the strange presence of many people from Borno around the area.
“Though they are never hostile to anyone but their reserved nature and their introverted attitudes became a source of concern to many of us. Indeed the campaign that was started by an anonymous individual got the attention of many people and as such people became very vigilant,” he said.
Army confirms raid, sues for calm
The Nigerian Army has asked residents of Kano not to panic following the arrest of the 13 suspected Boko Haram terrorists by troops of 3 Brigade of the army.
The army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, in a statement allayed fears of the residents, saying there was no cause for panic.
“The general public, especially residents of Filin Lazio Hotoro, are enjoined to go about their lawful businesses as security forces are on top of the situation.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to use this medium to appeal to the peace-loving people of Kano State to maintain a high level of vigilance and continue to report suspected movement of strange individuals or groups in their environment to the relevant security agencies for prompt action,” Yerima said.
He noted that the ongoing operation was predicated on the need to apprehend criminals who might want to hibernate in any part of Kano State.
Source:- Daily Trust