A middle aged man recently visited Malam Ahmed Asheikh, 35, a prominent tea seller in his makeshift shop located opposite the headquarters of the Chad Basin Development Authority in Maiduguri.
He instantly requested for a cup of tea, some fried eggs and a loaf of bread and he was served as a normal customer.
However, after taking the meal, he refused to pay and the development resulted in distasteful exchange of words between him and the tea seller.
Eventually, a fight broke out attracting a crowd as individuals made efforts to intervene and separate them.
Unknown to anyone in the crowd, the customer was a Boko Haram suicide bomber, aiming at achieving maximum casualty as he detonated explosives trapped on his body killing some people in the crowd and injuring others.
A few days after that, another suspected suicide bomber approached a mosque at the Goni Kachallari community in Maiduguri during a congregational prayer.
Unable to attack because of the security, he decided to provoke some vigilantes that were guarding the mosque by choosing to stay in an area demarcated for women only.
A fight began when he was challenged by the vigilantes and the crowd was large with some neighbouring onlookers.
Suddenly, the suicide bomber struck, killing many people while some people sustained injuries.
These are just a few cases on the antics of the Boko Haram terrorists to kill people in suicide bomb attacks in Maiduguri in recent times which have caused concern for the residents of Maiduguri.
For instance, Malam Ahmed Babagoni a local vigilante popularly called Civilian Joint Task Force said the trend of suicide bombings had become worrisome to security stakeholders.
“Everybody is worried about the development, especially after the successes recorded by the military against the terrorists.
“What they are doing now is trying to make noise as much as possible so that people will still believe that they are strong,’’ Babagoni said.
He said the terrorists had been taking advantage of the dominance of some unofficial Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the remote parts of the town to gain access to the society.
“These attacks are taking place around unofficial IDP camps because they are areas where many people of unknown character flock at ease; previously, they were using the camps around Muna Motor Park, Maiduguri, to launch their attacks.
“But since the beginning camps were dismantled they moved to other camps in other areas,’’ Babagoni said.
He made reference to recent multiple suicide bombings in Zannari Community where more than 16 persons died.
“They got access to the community by disguising as IDPs because of the concentration of the displaced persons living in different areas in the place.
“I think government has to do something on the issue of IDPs living in unofficial camps in the guise of host community,’’ Babagoni said.
Malam Ba, ana Shettima, another resident supported this suggestion, insisting “that terrorists are taking advantage of the unofficial camps to launch attacks because they are no man’s land and people easily go in and out without questioning.’’
He advised the state government to close all unofficial IDP camps in Maiduguri as a first step towards addressing the problem.
Shettima also called on the military to buckle up towards ending the suicide bombs attacks as well as the Boko Haram terrorism in the north-eastern part of the country once and for all.
But Mr Damian Chukwu, the Borno Commissioner of Police said the police and other security agencies were aware of the antics and they were working to address the problem.
“The military is giving heavy blows to the insurgents’ strongholds in the forest and the only way they can make noise is through what they are doing now.
“Very soon, these incidences of suicide bombings would be a thing of the past, I can assure you,’’ he said.
Chukwu said the police had been reaching out to the people by sensitising them to the need to be security conscious always.
He said the police had also been gathering intelligence reports on the clandestine activities of the insurgents.
“On daily basis, we gather intelligence information on these people, our personnel send daily information on their activities and when we get the information, we pass it to the military.
In fact, there are military operation going on to dismantle some identified suspected bomb factories,’’ Chukwu said.
“Contrary to peoples’ belief, the bombs are made inside nearby forests by the insurgents; they are not made inside the town,’’ he said.
Chukwu, therefore, solicited more collaboration from the public by supplying credible information on strange movements or activities in their neighbourhood to eliminate the activities of insurgents.(NANFeatures)
Ali Inuwa, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)