It was on the morning of Tuesday, October 20, in a suburb of Nigeria’s federal capital Abuja. Two suspected Boko Haram terrorists dressed in army uniform drove to the gate of Government Primary/Secondary School, Idu, near Karmo, in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). A kilometre away, the Karmo Tuesday Market was filling up.
Pupils and students hurried past the car in which the terrorists lay, in a bid to join the morning assembly. The evil men stopped two students, brought out what looked like a laptop bag and asked the boys to take the “gift” to their laboratory. “We’ll come back,” one told the boys.
They were smart boys. Sensing danger, they ran in different directions, shouting. The terrorists vamoosed.
Soon, security agents were alerted and they intensified searches along the Life Camp-Karmo-Idu-Gwagwa-DeiDei-Zuba route. But the terrorists escaped. The DPO of Gwagwa police station sent word to all public schools in the area to be more vigilant.
The schools responded by shutting down and sending their students/pupils home. Parents invaded private schools to withdraw their children. At some of the government secondary schools in the area, students were told to go because there was need to fleet the school and clear it of rodents and reptiles. Although the schools were closed for just one day, some parents may not let their wards attend school for some more days.
Boko Haram is believed to have a cell at Dei-Dei. The evil group once attempted to establish a cell at Jiwa but failed, it was gathered.
Until recently, armed robbers operated freely in the Dei-Dei district comprising Gwagwa, Jiwa, Zaudan and Dei-Dei area. Many robbery suspects have been arrested in their homes in the slums scattered there.
Only recently, Boko Haram attacked Kuje and Nyanya, also suburbs of Abuja, killing scores and injuring scores.
Greater vigilance is likely in the markets at Dei-Dei, Gwagwa, Karmo and others near the spot Boko Haram sought to commit mass murder of schoolchildren on Tuesday.