A senior military officer at Nigeria’s Defense Headquarters in Abuja has shown a correspondent of SaharaReporters how soldiers in Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna State, had to dig a tunnel to gain entry into the home of a Boko Haram kingpin. The military operation took place last Sunday, said the source, who took our correspondent to the location.
According to our military source, the Boko Haram operative died in an exchange of gunfire at his home located in the Kinkinau area of Kaduna town.
The military officer disclosed that the Islamist kingpin and a few lower level terrorists had fled Boko Haram’s violence-prone northeast to different locations before arriving in Kaduna where they resettled with their families.
According to our source, the Islamist henchman and his cohorts had virtually integrated themselves into their community in Kaduna and had adapted to the local setting. He stated that they had started gathering guns and explosives-manufacturing ingredients before security agents traced them to their location based on vital information revealed by Boko Haram militants under military detention.
The officer, who traveled with a correspondent of SaharaReporters from Abuja to the scene of last Sunday’s attack in Kaduna, added that Nigerian troops fighting Boko Haram deserved commendation instead of unjustifiable criticism.
“You can now see the sacrifice our troops are making for the preservation of Nigeria's sovereignty and territory. The terrorists were hiding here for months until our breakthrough,” he said, pointing to the abode of the former Islamist terrorist kingpin.
The officer added, “Our soldiers had to dig a hole to enter the house as you can see. The [Boko Harm] men gave our soldiers a tough time, but we triumphed over them.”
He declined to answer some of our correspondent’s questions, pleading that he did not want to jeopardize an ongoing investigation.
He told our correspondent, “I have brought you here from Abuja to see what we have done, because the men we killed here had their hands in several severe attacks carried out by [Boko Haram] in the northeast and other parts of the North. Just imagine what they would have done in Kaduna and surrounding areas if they were able to establish a footing here.”
The officer pointed out that the Nigerian Army was making greater use of intelligence gathering and deploying other innovative methods in its campaign to combat the attacks of Boko Haram insurgents.