Update: Gunmen Kills Four, Destroys MTN’s Office, Masts in Maiduguri

Gunmen, suspected to be members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect on Wednesday killed four persons and set in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State in North-East Nigeria.

The extremists group also set ablaze the office of MTN Nigeria and destroyed at least nine telecommunications masts ablaze.

Abusidiqu.com gathered that the four men were on Tuesday night  killed in the homes at Layi Yorubawa, Gwange area of Maiduguri. The incident was confirmed by the state’s police spokesman, Gideon Jubril. This is even as no fewer than 15 masts of telecoms service providers were destroyed and the MTN office in the state capital burnt to ashes in the early hours of today by suspected Boko Haram militants.

While the MTN office at West End round-about in the metropolis was said to have been set ablaze at about 2 am local time today, the telecoms firm’s strategic masts and those of others located in places like Dala Lawanti, Mai Deribe Mosque, Polo Waya, Biyu Adam Kolo, Gwange III Primary School,
Bulabulin Nganaram, were either pulled down or vandalized.

It would be recalled that the sect had in February this year in a statement by its spokesman; Abu Qaqa threatened to launch attacks against GSM service providers and the National Communications Commission (NCC) for allegedly assisting security operatives to track down their members through their call logs. The state police commissioner, Abdullahi Yuguda confirmed the attacks even though he said he was yet to get the details.

Meanwhile, MTN and the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ALTCN have both reacted to the development. Chairman of the body, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo said “we received what I will call for now, unconfirmed reports about some telecoms sites being destroyed by some agents in some part of northern Nigeria. The details are not clear yet but we have been told, according to the reports that a number of operators’ sites were affected and they appear, from first view, as willful damage to those infrastructures. We were told that some sites were bombed and they belong to different operators which means that the act cut across many networks. The reports as confirmed are numbering over 10 base stations.”

In its own reaction, MTN through its Corporate Services Executive, Akinwale Goodluck said: “it is true because we received reports today that telecommunications towers of major telecoms operators were being bombed. However, I cannot tell you, for now, how many of our base stations or other telecoms infrastructures were affected because information available to us is still scanty.

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