The Nigerian Army has warned residents in the north-east to be wary of unexploded improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and ordnances “dotted around the region”.
In a statement on Thursday, the army also charged citizens to be more security conscious to avert attacks from the Boko Haram insurgent group.
The army said while the continuous decimation of Boko Haram members by troops has weakened the group, it has “manipulatively concealed its weakness by callously employing the use of suicide bombers and other forms of improvised explosive devices (IED)”.
“This is undoubtedly a devious tactics to portray seeming invincibility by taking advantage of the indifferent attitude of some members of the public,” the statement issued by Onyema Nwachukwu, spokesman of Operation Lafiya Dole theatre command, read.
“This has unduly exposed and presented soft targets to the BHT, which ordinarily, could have been prevented, if only members of the public within the theatre of operation would complement the efforts of the security agencies by being a little more vigilant and conscious of their environment.
“It has also been observed that the BHT IED campaign has left several unexploded ordnances (UXO) and IEDs dotted around the north-east theatre of operation, which are harmful to unsuspecting members of the public while going about their routine activities.”
The statement said though the EOD teams of the command as well as police officers were doing their best to address the situation, members of the public who traverse the hinterland are urged to be wary of “strange objects of metallic nature and not to fiddle with such objects.”
It added that troops have discovered that suicide bombers are now targeting mosques, churches and other prayer centres as witnessed in the suicide bomb attack of Angwan Medina mosque in Arahan Kunu village of Mubi local government area.
It said the insurgents were able to infiltrate the mosque due to the absence of security measures.
“Most places of worship have been found to exhibit similar deficiency and have lowered their guard, thereby exposing themselves to otherwise preventable attacks,” the statement read.
“With the Yuletide around the corner, several social and religious gathering will be inevitable, therefore, members of the public are implored to be more vigilant and places of worship and other forms of social gatherings are advised to emplace security checks and measures in their facilities.
“Paramount rulers, village heads and spiritual leaders are enjoined to sensitize their respective subjects and members on these BHT schematics to prevent infiltration and any untoward occurrence.
“They are also urged to encourage neighborhood watch efforts in their communities.”