Nigeria: Govt's latest Boko Haram alert dominates front pages in Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Government's warning on Friday that the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents were planning fresh abductions of pupils, students and foreigners overshadowed all other stories in Nigeria this week.

"The kidnap of the Chibok girls in 2014, which attracted global attention to the terrorist group, is what it is now trying to repeat, hoping that it can find vulnerable targets, especially schools or a group of foreigners outside the frontline states," the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said in a statement Friday in Abuja, Nigeria's capital city.

The GUARDIAN, under the headline "Boko Haram Plans Abductions For Ransom, FG Alerts", reported that the Federal Government has warned that Boko Haram terrorists, who have been beaten and put on the run by the military, are planning another sensational abduction of pupils/students or foreigners in a desperate effort to raise funds, through ransom for food, medical and arms supply.

The paper quoted Alhaji Mohammed as saying that the planned abduction is in line with the terrorists’ new modus operandi of focusing on soft targets, having been routed from their strongholds and their capacity to stage spectacular attacks substantially degraded.

Mohammed said while the largely defeated terrorists have now concentrated their attacks on soft targets, like motor parks, schools and entertainment centres, they have been decimated to a level that they are now incapable of staging spectacular attacks like they used to do.

The plan by Boko Haram, Mohammed said, is also part of an overall strategy by the terrorists to seek to negatively impact on the psyche of the gallant troops who have routed them (terrorists) from their stronghold and also give the impression that they have not been largely defeated by the December 2015 deadline given by this administration to effectively degrade the insurgency in the North-east.

"This is why we have decided to issue this alert to enable the authorities of both public primary and secondary schools in remote locations, particular in the northern states, to upgrade security arrangements. It is also aimed at alerting the general public, operators of hotels and entertainment centres, motor parks and similar facilities to also upgrade their security arrangements for the holidays,” the minister said.

He assured that the Federal Government would build on the successes recorded by the military, which has largely met the deadline to degrade the capability of Boko Haram.

The NATION headlined its story "FG issues terror alert, says Boko Haram plots another sensational abduction of students or foreigners", reporting that the Federal Government Friday alerted Nigerians to alleged plan by the terror sect, Boko Haram, to embark on “another sensational abduction of pupils/students or foreigners.”

The plot, according to the government,  is “a desperate effort to raise funds, through ransom, for food, medical and arms supply.”

Information Minister Lai Mohammed, in a security alert statement in Abuja, said that the terrorists are resorting to this ”new modus operandi of focusing on soft targets, having being routed from their stronghold and their capacity to stage spectacular attacks substantially degraded.”

‘’Smoked out of their hideouts and badly bruised by our gallant military, the Boko Haram terrorists are desperate, especially in the face of the depletion of their food supplies. In their desperation, they will not hesitate to embark on actions they feel can still make them relevant or enhance their survival. But the military is ready and able to prevent that,’’ the Minister said.

The SUN newspaper treated the same story under the headline "FG issues security alert, says Boko Haram plans abductions for ransom".
-0- PANA VAO 19Dec2015

19 december 2015 07:23:36

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