3rd January, 2012
Following attacks by the Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, the Federal Government has increased security on the country’s borders with Cameroon.
The government had earlier shut the country’s borders with the Republic of Chad and Niger Republic to contain the activities of the sect.
Residents in Nigeria’s northeast reported Monday that the frontier with Cameroon was being shut.
One resident who crosses into neighbouring Cameroonian villages to hawk petrol said he was not allowed to cross at the Banki frontier. Military personnel had taken over the border post, he said.
â€œThey are heavily armed and have taken control of the border,â€ he said.
â€œThey have stopped all cross-border movements. I tried crossing the border through the other two border posts, but the situation is the same. All the borders are sealed.â€
In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, residents reported increased patrols on Monday. Soldiers had been entering homes in search of weapons and bombs, they said.
After the searches, soldiers told residents to report any unusual behaviour or abandoned vehicles which may contain planted bombs.
Spokesman for Boko Haram, Abul Quaqa Monday issued an ultimatum to Christians in the countryâ€™s north and threatened troops after the president declared a state of emergency in hard hit areas.
Meanwhile, Nigeria began sealing off part of its border in the countryâ€™s northeast as part of the emergency declaration, while security agencies plotted their next moves in dealing with the Islamists.
Abul Qaqa, who has spoken on behalf of the group blamed for scores of attacks in Africaâ€™s most populous nation numerous times in the past, said he was giving southerners living in the north a three-day ultimatum to leave.
â€œWe find it pertinent to state that soldiers will only kill innocent Muslims in the local government areas where the state of emergency was declared,â€ he told journalists in a phone conference.
â€œWe would confront them squarely to protect our brothers.â€
Speaking in the Hausa language common throughout the north, Qaqa said, â€œwe also wish to call on our fellow Muslims to come back to the north because we have evidence that they would be attacked.
â€œWe are also giving a three-day ultimatum to the southerners living in the northern part of Nigeria to move away.â€
Boko Haram is believed to include different factions with varying aims, its structure remains unclear and other people have claimed to speak on its behalf.