Abuja bombings: Police comb IDP camps for suspects

There are strong indications that the police are combing camps of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Abuja as part of investigations into the multiple blasts that claimed 20 lives in Nyanya and Kuje, two satellite towns in the Federal Capital Territory, last Friday.

It was learnt on Sunday that investigators were working on the theory that insurgents might have infiltrated the IDP camps located in different parts of the FCT.

It was gathered that detectives had been dispatched to some of the camps as part of efforts to get to the root of the blasts.

No fewer than 3,000 persons displaced by Boko Haram in the North-East are living in different parts of the FCT, including Durumi, Area one, New Kuchingoro, Games Village, Pegi village, and Kuje.

Sources informed our correspondent on Sunday that the police were not ruling out the possibility that the explosions might have been carried out by terrorists who had been hiding among the displaced persons in the FCT.

A source said, “The bombings could not have been carried out by terrorists from outside Abuja, but by insurgents who have been hiding in the FCT, particularly among the IDPs.

“The police are focusing on the displaced persons because they believe some of them could be Boko Haram sympathisers, who are working for the sect.”

When contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Kolawole, said investigation was ongoing, adding that no arrest had been made.

When asked if investigation was being extended to IDPs, the police spokesperson said she could not disclose the focus of the probe for now.

“Investigation is ongoing and the focus is general, so we cannot specify the focus of the investigation for now,” she said.

A senior security officer stated that the location of IDP camps in FCT was not a wise idea from a security point of view, noting that in other countries, such camps were located very far from the nation’s capital and ran by the military.

He said, “I participated in a peace-keeping mission in Darfur and I can tell you that the closest IDP camp to Khartoum (Sudan’s capital) was about two hours’ drive. No IDP camp was located close to the capital because some of the displaced persons could be terrorists hiding in the camp.”

The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Muhammadu Sani-Sidi, had earlier in June, 2015, branded the IDP camps in FCT as illegal, noting that they were not recognised by his agency.

However, the agency did not take any action to dismantle the camps or make alternative arrangements for resettlement outside the FCT.

Commenting on the blast, a former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Tsav, said security agencies must pay attention to events at IDP camps, noting that some persons there could constitute a security threat.

He said, “What I expected from the police and the Department of State Services is to send some of their personnel to the camps to mingle with the IDPs in order to get information on what is happening.

“During the colonial era, this is how the police got information and intelligence ─ by sending plain-clothes operatives to mix with the people to obtain information. I don’t know why our security agencies find it difficult to do this and obtain critical intelligence to combat the security challenge facing the country.

 

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