The Defence Headquarters has ordered the strengthening of security in and around Maiduguri, following alleged dropping of fliers by Boko Haram insurgents of a planned invasion of the Borno State capital.
Giwa and Maimalari barracks, both of which the insurgents have threatened to target in their attacks, have been fortified and movement restricted to only soldiers and authorized family members.
The military and other security agencies have also been placed on the alert in the 18 Local Government Areas of Borno State largely unaffected by the worsening insurgency.
A well placed security source, who spoke with The Nation newspaper, said the Defence Headquarters and security agencies are investigating the alleged dropping of threat fliers by the insurgents.
The source said the development called for the beef-up of security in Maiduguri adding that the insurgents might have hidden under the cover of the prolonged outage in the state capital to circulate the fliers.
Reports from Maiduguri indicate that the state capital has been without electricity supply for more than four months now following the destruction of installations by the insurgents. However, that is set to change as the federal government has concluded plans to reconnect the area to the national grid.
The source said: “The military and other agencies are investigating the authenticity or otherwise of the fliers and their origin.
“The DHQ has directed all formations to ensure tight security for Maiduguri. We are not taking any information, no matter how suspicious, for granted in view of the guerrilla tactics of the insurgents. Troops have been asked to protect everywhere in Maiduguri and some towns and villages in the state which have not witnessed insurgency.
“Nigerians should appreciate that the insurgents have this style of driving fears into the citizenry. Given heavy military presence in Maiduguri, there is no way Boko Haram will attack the town because they paid dearly for it when they attempted it twice.
“The good thing is that, apart from the military, everyone in Maiduguri is psychologically prepared for the insurgents”.
Another source said: “I think the insurgents took advantage of the outage in Maiduguri to drop the threat fliers through their agents or contacts.
“This is why civilian task force, called Civilian JTF, has been fishing out suspected Boko Haram members and agents in Maiduguri. I think the insurgents will be coming for suicide mission if they dare attack the state capital”.
On the situation in Giwa and Maimalari barracks in the town, the source added: “These formations have been fortified and movement restricted to only the soldiers and their relations.
“Though it is normal in war situation for relations of troops to relocate from the barracks, we have not reached that level in Maiduguri”, the source added.