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How De-radicalized Boko Haram Members Invaded Police Station In Borno, Freed Suspects

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Information has emerged on how some repentant Boko Haram insurgents on Tuesday night invaded a police station in Maiduguri in an attempt to set free their colleagues that were arrested earlier over alleged drug offences.

Some witnesses on Thursday told the Daily Trust that the attackers were dressed in military camouflage and wielding cutlasses.

However, the Police Public Relations Officer in Borno State, Kenneth Daso, an ASP, who confirmed that there was an incident at the police station, said the assailants were repelled by officers on duty.

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

He said, “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.

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

“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,” he said.

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

But some eyewitnesses told the newspaper that some detainees were set free by the invaders, explaining that they forcefully gained access into the police station and whisked away some of the suspects.

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“About 20 of the attackers forced their way into the police station and escaped with some of the detained members.

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

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.

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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-radicalization 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.

The Street Reporters Newspaper reports that a number of members of the notorious Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād, otherwise known as Boko Haram terrorist group, have reportedly surrendered to troops and have been rehabilitated as repentant insurgents and reunited to the society amid concerns on the effectiveness of the rehabilitation exercise of the government.

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