Nigerian military on Wednesday announced that troops at a checkpoint in Gombe State had arrested the mastermind of the bombing in the Sabon-Gari Local Government Area secretariat, Zaria, Kaduna State, in which 40 persons died.
The Nigeria Union of Teachers said 37 teachers perished in the Tuesday’s explosion while many others, who sustained grievous injuries in the bombing, were in critical conditions in various health centres in the state.
The Military said in a tweet on its official twitter handle on Wednesday that the mastermind of the Jos and Zaria attacks had been arrested by a combined team of troops and operatives of the DSS at a military checkpoint in Gombe State.
“Following an operation by a combined team of military and DSS operatives, troops have arrested a mastermind of the Jos and Zaria bombings at a checkpoint in Gombe.” the tweet read.
The military is however silent on the identity of the suspected mastermind of the bombings.
It was learnt that the security operatives had trailed the Boko Haram suspect to the military checkpoint in Gombe, where he was eventually picked up.
Two other suspected members of the sect were also said to have been arrested alongside the mastermind.
A security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the troops shot one of the two suspects in the company of the suspected planner of the bomb explosions when he attempted to escape troops.
The suspects were said to be in custody as of the time of this story.
“He was not the only person arrested. He was taken into custody with two other persons in his company.
“They were trailed by a combined team of security operatives, comprising soldiers and operatives of the DSS, to the checkpoint in Gombe where they were arrested.
“One of them was shot when he tried to escape while being arrested at the checkpoint.”
The Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, confirmed the arrest of the suspected mastermind to one of our correspondents on the telephone on Wednesday.
“It is true that the suspect of the Jos and the Zaria bomb attacks have been arrested at a military checkpoint in Gombe” Olukolade said.
He however declined further comments on the operations that led to the arrest of the three terror suspects.
The President of NUT, Mr. Micheal Olukoya, at a programme commemorating NUT founder’s day in Abuja, gave the number of teachers that perished in the explosion at the Sabon-Gari Local Government secretariat at a time civil servants were undergoing biometric verification at the venue.
“272 teachers have lost their lives to the atrocious activities of the Boko Haram sect in Borno State alone, over 19,000 teachers have been displaced in the North-East since insurgencies broke out in the country,” Olukoya added.
The NUT president raised the alarm that the war against insurgency in the country needed to be firmed up, saying that daily attacks by the sect indicated that the insurgents were still waxing strong.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress has expressed alarm at the increasing spate of mindless killings by the Boko Haram sect in Zaria, Jos, Kano and Potassium, among other cities in the North.
The General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said in an electronic mail on Wednesday that the frequency of occurrence of the bombings only indicated that Boko Haram had regrouped and would continue to wreak havoc on soft targets.
He said, “We are appalled by the senseless massacre of innocent workers (by suicide bombers) who had gathered for screening at the local government secretariat in Zaria. It defies comprehension.
“A few days earlier, we had had similar fatal explosions in Kano, Jos, and Potiskum. We had also recorded wholesome invasions and massacres in some border communities in Borno and Yobe states.
“We condemn in very strong terms this renewed coordinated violence against innocent and law-abiding citizens who are just beginning to put together what was left of their lives.
“The frequency and ease with which these incidents happened seem to suggest that Boko Haram has regrouped and will continue to pick on soft targets.”
Also, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has strongly condemned latest attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria, Niger and Chad.
In a statement late Tuesday, Ban also denounced what he called the deliberate targeting of Christian and Muslim worshippers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Borno and Yobe states.
“The Secretary-General takes note of President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to root out this menace, and commends the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin for their steadfast efforts in the fight against Boko Haram,” the statement said.
Recent extremist violence against both Muslims and Christians left 44 people dead in Zaria, Kaduna State on Tuesday.
In his statement, the UN boss extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims.
“The Secretary-General renews his calls to support the operationalisation of the Multi-National Joint Task Force through the provision of the requisite political, logistical and financial resources and necessary expertise, consistent with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law,” it said.
The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Jama’atul Nasril Islam, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad III, also condemned the renewed terrorists attacks in Borno, Yobe, Kaduna and Kano states.
The Sultan, in a statement by the Secretary-General of the JNI, Dr. Aliyu Khalid, in Kaduna on Wednesday, condemned the attack.
“We, however, use this medium to once again condemn in the strongest terms the recent attack unleashed on innocent civil servants undergoing screening at the Sabon Gari Local Government Area secretariat, Zariam, in Kaduna State,” the Sultan said


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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