In its determination to frustrate violent extremism in the country, the Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested a total of 61 suspected terrorists, kidnappers, as well as bomb making experts across the country.
Among those arrested were three suspected members of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) who, the DSS said, had perfected plans to attack the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bauchi State, and their contiguous territories.
The IS commanders – Bashiru Adams and Rufai Sajo – were arrested in Kukuntu village, Gwgwalada, Abuja. In a statement by Mr. Tony Opuiyo, the secret service disclosed that the operations spanned a few months. According to the secret service,
“Determined to continuously thwart the budding cells of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) and Boko Haram, the Service conducted special operations on identified targets.
“This led to the successful arrest of Bashiru Adams and Rufai Sajo, commanders of the group on May 5, 2018 at Kukuntu Village, Gwagwalada Area Council, FCT, Abuja.
“Relatedly, the Service had, on April 28, 2018, at Muda Lawal Market, Bauchi, Bauchi State, arrested another member of the ISWA, Umar Dogo. “The suspects were discovered to have concluded plans to not only perpetuate the ideals of the Movement in the area, but to, in collaboration with Boko Haram, carry out heinous violent attacks on innocent persons.”
The arrests of the ISWA suspects came few months after President Muhammadu Buhari received intelligence of their infiltration of the Benue Valley, to unleash terror on the people.
The announcement also came few days after a foreign news platform, The Sun of UK, had jolted the public of the sneaking of Jihadists into the country, by Islamic State in Syria (ISIS) fighters.
The development, according to the report, was to recruit, train and prepare the ground for terrorist attacks on Britain and her interests. But, the secret police has since vowed to deny Boko Haram, its collaborators, and other criminals freedom to operate anywhere in the country. According to the secret police, the string of successes was recorded during operations that were undertaken by its speciallytrained operatives who, in some instances, undertook a joint onslaught with elements of the military and the police.
“The DSS wishes to apprise the public of its successes in its determination to rid the country of crime. “It is to this end that the Service singularly, or in conjunction with sister security agencies, embarked on series of operations aimed at degrading or eliminating the capabilities of unscrupulous elements, including suspected kidnappers, cultists, fraudsters, militia members and terrorists,” the service said. It further disclosed that the successful counter-insurgency operations were executed in Benue, Cross River, Kogi, Ondo, and Lagos states. Among suspected kidnappers arrested were Ada Kajo James, Tikaa Ornen Desmond, and Joseph Ikpa.
They were said to have links with wanted suspected kidnap kingpin, Terwase Akwaza (aka Gana). The secret police said: “Between 9th and 29th May 2018, several associates of the dreaded kidnapper, Terwase Akwaza (aka Gana) were arrested at various locations in Benue State. “During the discreet operations, the service noted that two IEDs experts were apprehended.
“Following intelligence reports, Adamu Hassan (aka Bale) and AbubakrAbubakar (aka Alhaji / Buba), experts in IEDs assembly, were arrested. “Also on 12th and 19th April 2018, at Gassol and Ardo LGAs of Taraba State, Mohammed Saleh (AKA Azrak) and Iliyasu Abubakar (aka Ruwa), Boko Haram members and cattle rustlers were respectively apprehended. “During the period under focus, 14 suspected cultists operating on Kogi State University were taken in. “On June 6, 2018, at the Boys’ Hostel of Kogi State University (KSU), Anyingba, 14 suspected cultists were arrested over repeated cult clashes at the institution.
“On June 17, 2018 at Karu Village, Abuja, two members of the dreaded Basakube kidnap group, namely Uaman (aka Siddi) and Ibrahim Muhammed (aka Ganaja) were apprehended.
“It will be recalled that the duo had been involved in several kidnap activities, notably those of Senator Ayodele Arise on December 5, 2017 in Kogi State and a Portuguese National, Emmanuel Machada (late) earlier on October 24, 2017 during which two policemen were killed in Kogi State. “On March 27, 2018, at Calabar town, Cross River State, five members of a kidnap syndicate were arrested.”
The DSS stated that: “With these arrests, it is envisaged that calmness will return to otherwise volatile areas where these criminals had held sway.” Items recovered from the operations, according to the statement, include: 1 AK-47 rifle; 3 empty AK- 47 magazines; 38 rounds of live ammunition; 2 live rounds of 9mm ammunition; 1 Mossberg pump action rifle; and 15 live cartridges of ammunition. Others were: 2 AK-47 Rifles, 1 G3 rifle, 3 dane guns, 2 cutlasses, and 4 motorcycles, 1 locally made pistol, 1 Browning pistol, 1 shot gun, live cartridges; an axe, a machete and GSM phones.