One of America’s most wanted member of the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, Momogu Bama, has been killed by the Joint Task Force in Borno State.
It is believed that he met his death the same day with his father, Alhaji Abatcha Flatari, who based on information gathered is said to be a spiritual leader for the sect.
Momogu, the second-in-command to the sect’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, had a N25m bounty put on his head by security agencies for information that could lead to his arrest.
While briefing Newsmen, the Director of Defence Information, Brig.- Gen Chris Olukolade, who confirmed his killing, described him as a vicious Boko Haram leader who took delight in personally slaughtering the sect’s victims.
In his statement, he also added that Momogu was the expert in charge of mounting anti-aircraft weapons for the sect and coordinating members in Yobe and Adamawa states.
Olukolade said in an electronic mail on Wednesday to one of reporters that Momogu was identified by insurgents arrested during one of the recent encounters between the JTF and the insurgents in Bama.
He said, “As troops intensify pursuit of terrorists who have been unleashing mayhem in Borno and Yobe communities, the death of Momogu Bama, said to be the Second-in-Command to Shekau has been confirmed by other arrested terrorists. This followed encounters with the terrorists around the Bama corridor.
He added that “Momogu Bama personally led the attacks against troops and innocent citizens in the communities of Yobe and Adamawa. A specialist in manning the anti-aircraft guns of the group, he is known to be vicious and heartless with a penchant for personally slaughtering and executing victims.
“Momogu Bama has been a most wanted terrorist with a N25m bounty already placed on his head.”
Olukolade, who added that the JTF had intensified aerial patrol to secure communities in Borno and Yobe states, said that 17 insurgents were killed and 24 arrested during the Bama encounter.
“Others that died in the operation included Momogu’s father, Alhaji Flatari, who is also one of the spiritual guiding lights of the outlawed terrorists group. Seventeen other terrorists also lost their lives in the encounter while 24 were arrested.’’
He said the JTF had intensified aerial patrol to secure communities in the two states.
“The troops are continuing the pursuit of the terrorists while intensifying aggressive aerial and land patrols to ensure better security cover for the communities especially in the two states,” he said in the statement.
Meanwhile, eight women may have been arrested in Maiduguri by the JTF operatives for using their veils to conceal guns for insurgents.
A JTF source, who made this known did not say exactly when the women were arrested and the number of guns seized from them.
He stated that the operatives were stunned when they stopped the women and found out that what they were “transporting” with their veils were guns.
He said, “The troops could not believe what they saw. A soldier just suspected the women and decided to stop them but when they were asked to unwrap what they were transporting, they hesitated, thereby making some of the soldiers to forcefully remove the veils. They saw a number of guns neatly concealed with the veils and the women were promptly arrested.”
Olukolade said that the JTF in the North-East had intensified patrols in the north of Borno where 44 people were killed by Boko Haram members during an attack on a mosque on Sunday.
He said that the JTF was combining aerial and ground patrols to ensure effective protection of the communities in the area.
The DHQ spokesman said, “There is a regular and more aggressive patrol in the area; the patrols have been increased with the additional troops that are on the ground.
“It is not possible to station troops in all the villages in the area because they are very far from each other.The solution is to step up patrols; we also have air patrol activities.”