FG moves to block access to explosives by insurgents

Babagana Monguno

Army denies harassing Taraba people, arrests suspected killer
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), says the Federal Government has identified some of the frequently used fatal explosives by Boko Haram and their sources and would soon block access to them.

Speaking yesterday while opening a five-day national chemical security training conference organised by his office in collaboration with the Chemical Security Programme (CSP) in Abuja, Monguno noted that government had got means through which the insurgents got materials to make these improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for the execution of their deadly attacks on innocent citizens.

He said relevant agencies in the procurement, use and control of harmful chemicals are to ensure that Nigeria complies with global best practices in the importation, storage, transportation and distribution of chemicals nationwide.

Represented by the Coordinator of the Counter Terrorism Centre, ONSA, Rear Admiral Y E M Musa, Monguno said: “The Office of the National Security Adviser has over the years investigated a series of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) incidents, within the urban terrorism and insurgency theatre of operations and has been able to identify the prevalent types of explosives, accessories, fertilisers and precursor chemicals used in the preparation of the IEDs.

“IED attacks have become an integral part the Boko Haram terrorist tactics. Over the years, nations faced with the threats and dual use of chemical substances and precursor for illicit and criminal activities have evolved strategies to mitigate, pre-empt and respond to such threats.

“ Similarly in Nigeria, we have also included counter-IED initiatives in our National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST). The focus of this strategy is to attack the criminal network of sourcing for the materials used in preparing the IEDs, including the various dual use of chemicals, explosives/accessories and specific blends of fertilizers.”

He continued: “Working with relevant stakeholders such as ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), we have emplaced strategic measures to control the importation, transportation, storage and use of these sensitive substances, thereby taking them out of the reach of criminal elements.

“The MDAs are engaged as follows:  The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) – for chemical control; Ministry of Solid Minerals Development – explosives and accessories’ control and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development – fertiliser control.”

However, the Nigerian Army has refuted the claims that Operation Ayem Akpatuma was harassing, intimidating and brutalising the people of Taraba State.

The Takum Youth Forum had recently made the allegation but in a swift reaction, the commandant of the operation, Brigadier General Adeyemi M. Alabi, clarified that the exercise was for the military to end the clashes between farmers and herders in parts of the federation.

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Babagana MongunoNACTEST
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