By Simon Echewofun Sunday
At least five different terrorist camps believed to be Boko Haram are reported to be hiding in forests in Abuja, Nasarawa and Kogi states, and are planning attacks on selected targets, says the Nigeria Customs Service.
Customs has alerted its internal circular on the five camps to warn its security apparatus.
The circular from August 20 was signed on September 4 by a comptroller of enforcement at the Customs headquarters in Abuja.
According to information from the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), there is the existence of Boko Haram terrorists’ camps within and around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“Further reports have it that they are planning to attack some selected targets within the territory. They are reported to have set up their camps in the identified enclaves.”
The circular from the Customs boss, identified five locations:
the Kunyam Bush along airport road off DIA staff quarters in Abuja,
Rubochi/Gwagwalada in the FCT,
Kwaku forest in Kuje in the FCT;
Unaisha forest in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State,
Gegu forest close to Idu Town in Kogi State.
The circular directed the Office of the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) and the Office of the Customs Police to immediately swing into action.
“Consequently, you are to be alert and security conscious of your environment at all times. Ensure wide circulation please,” it added.
The internal formations consist of the Zonal Coordinators, Customs Area Controllers, Customs Marine Commands, the Federal Operation Units (FOU) Zone A, B, C and D, and coordinators of the CG’s Strike Force Team
It also alerted the Coordinator of the Operation EX-SWIFT Response at Customs.
The exercise is an inter-agency taskforce exercising the partial border closure being coordinated by the National Security Adviser (NSA).
The circular further corroborates a Daily Trust report on August 28, 2020, eight days after the circular was prepared but not signed yet for distribution.
Another terrorist organisation Darul Salam, dislodged in Niger State over 11 years ago, has re-emerged in Toto LGA of Nasarawa State in North Central, about 140km from the FCT.
The group was discovered on August 26 during a clearance patrol by troops of Operation Whirl Stroke following an intelligence report.
The area in Toto could be easily connected to the spots in Gegu in Kogi, the Kuje and Gwagwalada areas in the FCT, it was observed as they share common boundaries.
Contacted to verify the authenticity of the circular, the Public Relations Officer of Customs, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah, told Daily Trust that the source was unknown by his office at the moment.
“We are investigating, I don’t know the source. We are still investigating it,” he said.
Daily Trust has found the internal apparatus mentioned in the circular are factual and that the circular conforms to similar internal circulars and letterheads issued by the Service on other issues.