BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI & NDAHI MARAMA

Members of the Jaamatus Ahlus Sunnah Lid Daawatis Wal Jihad, a.k.a. Boko Haram yesterday celebrated the inability of the Federal Government to celebrate the nation’s 51st independence anniversary at the Eagle Square owing to threats by the group and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), to bomb the nation’s capital city if the celebration went ahead.

Members of the sect have also restated their determination to continue to unleash terror on government and its security forces, should the federal government refuse to meet their earlier demands.

It will be recalled that after the federal government announced that the celebration will be low keyed and denied insinuations that the low key celebration was due to fear of MEND or Boko Haram, there was a military and Police parade inside the Presidential Villa, with foreign ambassadors, High Commissioners’ and Chief de missions present at the villa to celebrate Nigeria’s 51st Independence anniversary.

Vanguard was told by security sources, that they have intelligence reports indicating that members of the Boko Haram sect celebrated their ability to restrict the independence anniversary to Aso Rock rather than the national ground, Eagle Square, where such occasions are usually held.

Incidentally, security measures put in place following the threats of the two groups are still in place and will remain for days as security agencies feel, both groups especially Boko Haram were put at bay because of the heavy security presence and checks going on in the FCT.

According to the source, “we have not rested since last Thursday and there is no indication that we would rest soon because we may be deceived that they have had a change of mind to attack. So the security cordons will go on until we are satisfied the risk threats have reduced”.

Meanwhile, spokesman of the group, Abu Qaqa in an email message sent to newsmen written in Hausa language yesterday said that “the country would not have peace until there is 100 per cent implementation of Sharia law in the country as enshrined in the holy Quran as well as immediate release of all our members who were detained and in the custody of security agencies for no just cause”.

He said the group was not satisfied with the report of the Presidential committee on Security in the north on possible negotiation with the federal government, adding that the members were even surprised that the committee told the world, that they have had a meeting with the sect in the course of their investigation, insisting that no committee ever sat with the group.

He dismissed the recommendation of the committee on the involvement of the Sultan of Sokoto, Emir of Bauchi or Abubakar Giro in the negotiation talk saying, “all these people are not respected by the sect members, and could not mediate for them”.

Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen yesterday shot and killed an Igbo butcher in broad daylight at the popular Baga Road Market. There was also a reported incident of an explosion at the same Baga Road which claimed two lives while some were seriously injured. Following these incidents, most shops in the market remained closed.

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