A clamp down on members of the Boko Haram extreme Muslim group after a series of violent attacks in Northern Nigeria has been hailed as imperative given the growing civil unrest ahead of forthcoming national elections. 92 suspected extremists have been arrested.
According to reports, Policemen raided the house of the sect’s alleged bankroller where chemicals used in bomb making, audio tapes of the late sect leader’s preaching and machetes were found.
“We have arrested 92 suspected members of the sect in raids we carried out on many parts of the city Wednesday through Thursday in connection with yesterday’s attacks, including a man in his 70s we believe is the sect’s major financier,” AFP quoted Borno state police commissioner Mohammed Jinjiri Abubakar as saying.
Abubakar added that the suspects had been taken to the police headquarters in Nigeria’s capital Abuja for further interrogation.
A day after a radical Islamic sect claimed responsibility for Christmas eve attacks that killed dozens of people in the central Nigerian city of Jos, suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed a policeman and a retired police officer on Tuesday while three civilians suffered gunshot wounds.
Boko Haram group also claimed responsibility for multiple explosions in Jos in which at least 80 people were killed in attacks and in reprisal killings, and also attacks on three churches in Maiduguri on the same day in which six people were killed and a church was burnt down.
Analysts described the arrests as imperative because members of the Boko Haram had begun to cause civil unrest across the country ahead of elections set for April.
Religious authorities have often attributed the unrest in Jos to the struggle for economic and political power between the Christian Beroms, seen as the indigenous ethnic group in the region, and the Hausa-Fulani Muslims, viewed as the more recent arrivals.