Residents of Plateau State were apprehensive on Friday over a letter purportedly written by members of the Boko Haram sect threatening to attack certain institutions and personalities in the state soon.
The list of institutions allegedly threatened by the sect included the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru; University of Jos; Plateau State University, Bokkos; Federal College of Education, Pankshin; College of Education, Gindiri; Major Seminary, Katako, Jos; Federal Government College, Jos; and Science School, Kuru.
Other institutions slated for attack are Command Secondary School, Jos; St. John’s Vianey, Barkin Ladi; St. John’s College, Jos; St. Murumba College, Jos; St. Louis College, Jos; Government Secondary School, Laranto, Jos; two secondary schools in Bokkos Local Council, and Church of Christ in Nation, Dadin Kowa, Jos-South Local Council.
The sect said three members of the group, who were assigned to trail the state governor, Jonah Jang, and the state House of Assembly member, Daniel Dem, had been given enough time to carry out their operations.
When contacted, the Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Prof. Mohammed Tijjani-Bande, said it was not proper for the institution to respond to issues of security in the media.
He said, “It is not proper for us to start responding on pages of newspaper. They have written to us and we are aware. We have a copy of the letter and it is good that we know they intend to attack the institute. We are doing something and we can’t disclose what we are doing.”
One of the participants of the Senior Executive Course, SEC 36, who spoke anonymously, said, “We have security professionals among us. We have about seven commissioners of police, participants from the Defence Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Agency, Department of State Securities, top officers of the Nigerian Army, the Navy and the Air Force, and they are advising us. They are telling us what to do and what not to do; where to go and where not to go.”
On Friday, security agents started combing the premises of the institution for explosive devices.
Men of the bomb disposal unit of the Plateau State police command have also been sent to the institution to protect the participants, staff, and their families.
It was also gathered that all security agencies had been given orders to protect the institutions threatened by the sect.
On their part, authorities of the targeted schools said they were planning to vacate as soon as possible so that students could go home for the Easter holidays.
At the Federal Government College, Jos; Command Secondary School, St. Murumba College and Government College, all located along Zaria Road, apprehensive parents urged the authorities to close schools since most of the students had finished their examinations.
Efforts to speak with the spokesman of the Special task Force were not fruitful, but a senior officer, who spoke anonymously because he was not authorised to do so, said, “Do you want us to disclose our operational modalities? Those things are internal and only known to us. You cannot tell your enemy how you want to protect yourself.”