Starting from today, Wednesday, all forms of vehicular movement in Maiduguri and parts of Borno State have been banned for five days. This is part of measures by military authorities to forestall attacks being plotted by Boko Haram terrorists during the Christmas celebration in the state. Some parts of Adamawa state has also been put under similar vehicular restriction.
The army at the 7 Division headquarters in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, in a statement on Tuesday, said it had gathered copious intelligence that Boko Haram had intention to launch a major offensive on parts of the state, with Maiduguri city, a major target while Christians are celebrating Christmas.
In the statement signed by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, the army said it had “security reports that Boko Haram was planning to launch a massive attacks on unidentified parts of Borno state “and particularly the state capital during the Christmas celebration”.
Mr. Usman said it was “consequent upon this that the 7 Division in consultation with the Borno state government another security agencies decided to ban all forms of vehicular movement in the state from 6:00pm on Wednesday 24th December to 7:00am on Sunday 28th December 2014”.
It would be recalled that similar restrictions were announced and carried out on two occasions when Muslims celebrated Sallah in 2013.
The vehicular restriction will not only compel residents and those observing the yuletide to walk on foot within the metropolis and towns of Borno state, it will also hinder inter-state commuting while the ban lasts.
However, the ban excludes government officials on essential services as well as journalists that are duly authorised by their establishments from the directive.
The army at the 7 division wished the people of Borno state “a hitch free celebration”, and asked members of the public “to be more vigilant and security conscious throughout the period and report any suspicious person or movement to the nearest security agency”.