DHQ to post images of wanted persons at embassies, strategic places

The Defence Headquarters has said it will place the banner containing the names and pictures of the people it just declared wanted in strategic locations across the country.

The DHQ had earlier declared wanted no fewer than 97 persons, including terrorists and insurgents, among others, for allegedly being behind violent crimes in the country.

Among those declared wanted is the Finland-based Simon Ekpa, who is the factional leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and also the self-acclaimed Prime Minister of the Biafra Republic Government in Exile.

The IPOB factional leader has consistently called for a sit-at-home in the South-East and often makes statements considered as inciting against the government and military personnel.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, while appearing before the House of Representatives in November 2023 had described Ekpa as a menace to Nigeria.

Musa had said, “In the South-East, Simon Ekpa has become a menace to this country. The country must act on it diplomatically. Simon is having a freeway because they (Finland) encourage him to do what he is doing.

“His utterances and actions are affecting what is happening in Nigeria. We should never allow that; our foreign service should step in.”

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba, exclusively revealed the names and pictures of the people declared wanted to our correspondent on Friday.

Our correspondent had last week exclusively reported that the military high command was planning to declare some terrorists wanted.

Unlike in November 2022 when the military declared no fewer than 19 bandit leaders wanted with a bounty of N5m placed on each of them to encourage Nigerians to volunteer information that could lead to their arrest, this time no bounty was placed on the 97 persons declared wanted.

The names and pictures were those of suspected terrorists in the North-East and North-West as well as insurgents in the South-East and the North-Central.

Forty-three persons were declared wanted in the North-West, which is being ravaged by banditry, among whom are: Alhaji Shingi; Malindi Yakubu; Boka; Dogo Gide; Halilu Sububu; Ado Aliero; Bello Turji; Dan Bokkolo; Labi Yadi; Nagala; Saidu Idris; Kachalla Rugga and Sani Gurgu.

In the North-East ravaged by Boko Haram and Islamic State for West Africa Province terrorists, 33 persons were declared wanted. Some of them are Abu Zaida; Modu Sulum; Baba Data; Ahmad; Sani Teacher; Baa Sadiq; Abdul Saad; Kaka Abi; Mohammad Khalifa; Umar Tella; Abu Mutahid; Mallam Mohammad; Mallam Tahiru Baga; Uzaiya and Ali Ngule.

Twenty-one insurgents and violent criminals were declared wanted in the South-East and North-Central regions. They include Simon Ekpa; Chika Edoziem; Egede; Zuma; ThankGod; Gentle; Flavour; Matthew; David Ndubuisi; High Chief Williams Agbor; Ebuka Nwaka; Friday Ojimka; Obiemesi Chukwudi, aka Dan Chuk; David Ezekwem Chidiebube; and Amobi Chinonso Okafor, aka Temple.

It was, however, observed that Hallilu Sububu from Sububu village in the Maradun Local Government Area of, Zamfara State; Bello Turji from Fakai village, Zamfara State; and Ado Aliero from Yankuzo village in the Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara, were among those declared wanted in 2022.

Turji is regarded as one of the most dangerous bandit kingpins and was allegedly involved in the killing of about 200 persons, including women and children, in January 2022.

He was also said to be behind the attack on Garki village in Sokoto State, where over 80 people were murdered overnight in 2021.

Turji was also alleged to be engaged in mass abduction after his father was arrested by security operatives. He escaped being killed by troops on many occasions.

Both the military and the police have Aliero on their wanted lists.

The Katsina State Police Command declared him wanted after he allegedly masterminded an attack on Kadisau village in the Faskari Local Government Area of the state, which led to the murder of over 52 persons in 2022.

Sububu is believed to be the wealthiest bandit leader and narrowly escaped being killed by troops on several occasions, particularly an airstrike on October 24, 2022, where at least 30 terrorists were killed.

In an interview with our correspondent on Saturday, Buba noted that the assistance of relevant agencies in the country would be sought to ensure that the wanted insurgents and terrorists were apprehended.

He also noted that their names and pictures would be submitted to embassies and airports in the country.

Buba said, “Yes, the DHQ will be working with other security agencies to arrest those declared wanted.

“Also, this list will be submitted at airports and embassies to help in apprehending them.”

While explaining why the banners would be placed at strategic locations, he said it was for easy recognition and arrest of the wanted suspects.

Buba, however, urged the citizens to cooperate with the military.

He said, “The banners will be deployed in strategic areas across the country. The deployment of the banners is for ease of recognition and arrest of the wanted persons. The public is urged to cooperate and report to security agencies whenever any of the wanted terrorists is sighted.”

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