Sunday, 30 October 2011

Islamic cleric killed in Borno…As another blast targets JTF

An Islamic cleric was shot dead in Maiduguri
over the weekend by gunmen suspected to be
of Boko Haram sect, even as an early
morning bomb blast targeted against the Joint
Task Force (JTF) men rocked the city
Some gunmen were said to have stormed the
residence of the Islamic cleric, Ali Gana at
Kaleri ward on Saturday at about 7.15pm and
shot him severally, leaving him in his pool of
Daily Sun also learnt that the early morning
bomb blast occurred at a check point at
Bulabulin Ngarnam ward within the
metropolis at about 7.30 am yesterday, a
development which made many residents to
panic. However, no life was lost in the blast.
Confirming the blast and assassination of
the Maiduguri cleric, Operation Officer of
the Joint Task Force (JTF), Col. Victor
Ebhaleme told Daily Sun on phone that the
blast went off early in the morning. “The
improvised explosive went off early in the
morning and our men were the target at a
checkpoint but it only raised dust, nobody was
injured and no life was lost,” he disclosed.
He also said the JTF operatives were still in
search of the perpetrators of the killing of the
Islamic cleric even as he said there was no
arrest as at the time of filing this report.
“The man was killed on Saturday night but we
are combing the area in search of the
hoodlums. We haven’t made any arrest yet,
we’re still looking for the perpetrators,” he
Col Victor who expressed dismay over a report
published by an Abuja-based daily on its
Sunday title, claimed the report was
misleading and untrue. “How can a newpaper
that ought to help educate the people choose to
mislead?” he asked, adding that the report
which claimed that the streets of Maiduguri
were deserted and that 90 per cent of
businesses have relocated out of the state was
done in bad light.
“It is also reckless for Daily Trust to say that
JTF was arresting and beating vendors in
Maiduguri. The report which was purportedly
generated from a paper presented by the
newspaper north east regional manager was
untrue and highly sentimental. The public
should know that Daily Trust has been
consistently biased and this is not journalism.
We known journalism is a noble profession
and newspapers were not established to
promote religious or sectional interest,” he
Commenting on the October 31 ultimatum for
those in possession of illegally acquired
weapons to surrender to some designated
centres, he maintained the JTF would not
extend the date. He urged those still having
arms to surrender within the remaining days,
warning that “anybody found with such
illegal arms would be treated as criminals.”

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