Lagos was spared the horror of a terror attack by members of the Boko Haram sect by the swift action of the Nigerian Military. The Nigerian army disclosed that 8 suspects who confessed ties with the terrorist group were arrested in connection with plans to attack facilities in Lagos and are being held by the military.
The New Vision gathered on Sunday that the insurgents made attempts about two weeks ago to attack one of the universities in the state, but operatives of the 81 Division beat them to their game.
Four persons directly involved in the botched plan were arrested and immediately whisked to the Army Headquarters in Abuja for further investigation.
It was gathered that four other suspected members of the terrorist group were arrested within that period. They allegedly confessed their membership of Boko Haram.
General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division Maj.-Gen. Olu Irefin, said the eight suspects had been transferred to Abuja.
He assured residents of Lagos and Ogun States that there was no cause for alarm, adding that there was solid security architecture in place.
The GOC said Exercise Crocodile Smile IV had kicked off.
He said: “We have started on the background. We have gone for simulation with all the security agencies involved in the Exercise.
“The exercise proper would kill off on November 19. It was supposed to start on November 11 but was shifted because of the NA’s Small Arms Firing Exercise holding between November 11 and 15 at Ibadan.
“There is no cause for alarm within 81 Division’s area of responsibility. We have been on top of our game on this Boko Haram issue. We are not sleeping and the people are assured of their safety throughout this period and beyond.
“Citizens can go about their lawful duties without panic because security agencies are doing a lot to protect them.”
But the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Zubairu Muazu, said there was no cause for alarm.
He assured residents that adequate security was in place.
“Lagos is safe. There is no Bono Haram scare and the people should not be afraid. We are not sleeping,” he said.
Some newspapers reported plans by the insurgents to attack Lagos, including last year’s alleged attempt on the Third Mainland Bridge and some shopping centres, have consistently been prevented by the military. Many leaders of the sect who fled to Lagos were arrested.
Over 60 suspected Boko Haram suspects have been arrested in different parts of Lagos since 2015. Arrests were made at Kara Market, Agege, Alaba Rago, Lagos Island and Isolo.
In Septmber 2017, three suspected Boko Haram members, hiding among the Hausa community in Isolo, Lagos Mainland, were fished out by leaders and handed over to security agencies.
The Civilian Joint Taskforce (CJTF) on March 29, last year, arrested a suspect said to be the fifth in command of the sect in Lagos State.
He was moved to the North for onward handover to the Department of State Services (DSS) who had declared him wanted before army operatives intercepted them in Bauchi State.
On December 21 last year, a Boko Haram leader, identified as Umar, alleged to be behind the Kuje and Nyanya bombings, was arrested by the Inspector-General of Police (IG) Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in Lagos at a relative’s place where he was hiding.
The Department of State Services (DSS) on January 10, 2017 said it arrested four suspected members of Boko Haram-Fanayi Hassan, Butame Hassan, Kologoni Bukar and Amina Abubakar – at Oko-Oba, Agege, who fled the northeast to evade arrest.