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2 council officials with alleged links to Boko Haram insurgents were arrested in Borno; five cultists killed who engaged Army in gun duel in Rivers

Two council officials with alleged links to Boko Haram insurgents have been arrested in Borno State.

They are Alhaji Shettima Lawan, chairman of Mafa Local Government and the Vice chairman of Kaga local government also in the state.

The Nigerian Army on Thursday confirmed the arrest of the two men for alleged links with the Boko Haram terrorists.

Maj.- Gen. Lucky Irabor, The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, made the confirmation during a news conference at the headquarters of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Maiduguri.

“All I can say is that the Chairman is a big supporter of Boko Haram.

“We heard that he harboured Boko Haram members along with his father. That he kept the Boko Haram members because the father begged him to do so.

“The Chairman was in the habit of accommodating people that had fled from the bush.

“At some point he was valuable to us being with the Civilian JTF to fight Boko Haram. But that does not mean we cannot investigate him for a crime especially one like this.

“We have also arrested the Vice Chairman of Kaga Local Government and he is undergoing interrogation,” Irabor said.

ARMY KILLS FIVE CULTISTS

Nigeria soldiers on Wednesday killed five suspected cultists who engaged the Army in gun battle in Omoku in Rivers state.

Omoku is in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers state.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Port Harcourt, Maj.-Gen. Kasimu Abdulkarim, confirmed the killings.

He said the battle was part of “Operation Clean up” of cultists and militants terrorising residents.

According to him, troops have so far recovered five AK 47 assault rifles from cultists in the area since January 1.

“Army 6 Division has recorded appreciable successes in its bid to rid the local government of cultists and brigands,” Abdulkarim added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), gathered from community sources that the incident started when troops stormed the area after receiving distress call from rival cultists.

Eyewitness account said the suspected cultists invaded Omoku town on Tuesday night and shot dead two unidentified young men before making attempt to escape.

“After killing the men, they shot sporadically before soldiers closed in on them”, an eyewitness said.

The Army recently launched a major operation in the area shortly after a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr. Mohammed Alkali and his orderly were beheaded by cultists during the Dec. 10 legislative elections in the state.

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