With millions of residents in Lagos State preparing for the end-of year celebrations, which is barely a week away, the Police hierarchy and indeed, the state government, may have been put on security alert with regard to an alleged plan by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group to bomb selected locations in the mega city.
Competent police sources at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos, told our correspondent that a female suicide bomber, who is currently in custody, disclosed to the police that the sect had plans afoot to attack strategic locations in the state on December 31.
The Point gathered that the girl, simply referred to as Zainab, had voluntarily reported herself to the police two weeks ago. She was later arrested and is helping the police with further investigations into the alleged plan.
According to one of the investigators, the suspect claimed to have arrived Lagos two weeks ago, having fled from Chibok in Borno State where, alongside four other girls, she was being trained for the mission to bomb Lagos.
Upon arrest, the suspect was said to have been taken to the office of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, who listened to her story through an interpreter.
Zainab reportedly told the Police hierarchy of how members of the outlawed Boko Haram sect had picked on her and four others girl, kept them in confinement and were brainwashing them as part of training for the Lagos mission.
“Five of us were trained for target bombings in Lagos. But after realising that there was more to life than committing suicide in the name of religion, I lost interest in the mission and fled,” Zainab reportedly told the Police.
The Point was informed that the Lagos State Police leadership thereafter referred her to the men and officers of the State Criminal Intelligence Bureau, which is directly under the umbrella of the SCID.
The extent of investigation since her arrest remains sketchy. But a police source told our correspondent that detectives are already working on many leads with recourse to the story.
Another competent police source further revealed that detectives had also been dispatched to locations in Chibok, with a view to ascertaining some claims made by the self-confessed suspect.
The suspect reportedly told her interrogators that she managed to escape from the group’s cell before running to Lagos for fear of being tracked and killed.
She reportedly further disclosed that, going by the plan, the other girls ought to have, by now, been deployed to Lagos with strict instructions.
But she disclosed that she would not know their actual whereabouts since she fled before the deployment. “The Police have not taken her statement with a pinch of salt. This is why we are carrying out painstaking investigations ahead, with a view to quashing such plans if they ever exist,” the source said.
However, attempts by our correspondent to get the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Fatai Owoseni; the state Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos; and the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, to react on what measures were being put in place to forestall any untoward occurrence with regard to the alleged plan, proved abortive.
Recall that in the last one year, the country has witnessed increasing feminisation of terror by the Boko Haram sect. The group’s new approach to terror involves the indoctrination of
young girls as vanguards of terror.
Since it began its onslaught in the country, the group had employed diverse violent tactics such as assassinations, ambush, drive-by shootings and suicide bombings, among others, in attacks against security agents, religious and traditional rulers, worship centres, schools, traders and locations in cities within the country.