The Nigerian military authorities have described a 15-year-old Alli Goni teenager, a Boko Haram bomb maker, as “the most deadly Boko Haram member who had mastered various techniques that can cause maximum destruction of lives.”
The confession of the 15-year-old boy, who said he ran away from militant camp to surrender to the army, has brought to fore the challenges in the prosecution of the war against insurgency in the North East of the country.
Goni was said to have confessed that he made over 500 wearable Improvised Explosive Devices used by insurgents for suicide missions on soft targets in the last five years.
Goni was only 10 years old and in Primary Six when he was allegedly kidnapped in Bama.
Army intelligence sources said that the suspect was “the most innovative bomb maker” to emerge in recent years.
Goni, who is undergoing rehabilitation at a military detention camp in Maiduguri, said that he assembled IEDs with fragmented materials and configured them for suicide missions.
He said he introduced the use of padlocks to IEDs strapped on bombers that can hardly be demobilised or detected by bomb detectors.
“I was kidnapped along with my mother in Bama’s Kawuri Street by Baba Kaka, a dreaded Boko Haram commander. They took us to Sambisa and kept us in a camp called Kwalfata.
“We underwent various training in the camp. During the course of our induction training, I was selected to be trained on bomb making technique, bomb detection as well as identifying and demobilising explosives.
“I refused initially, but they said they would kill my mother just like the way they killed my father when they stormed Bama. So, I eventually agreed.
“During the training, many of my colleagues died while trying to make bombs. At the end, I emerged the best among all.
“My job was to make bombs that would be used for suicide missions. I was working under the supervision of Baba Musa, a 70-year-old. Musa also taught me the new techniques of making underwear IEDs with padlock.
“At some point, I was the only bomb maker when all those I was trained with were killed by the military during several attacks. So, they took me from camp to camps to make IEDs for suicide missions.
“I was in Kangarwa, Pulka, Banki and other camps. I managed to escape when the military bombed our camp in Baga.
“I ran to Cameroon, where I surrendered to the Cameroonian forces. I was later handed over to the Nigeria military.”
Goni hoped to be a soldier in future to help the military in identifying IEDs.