Responsive Ad Slot

eSCAPE Book
Latest

Sports

Relationship Matters

Opinion

FG Deploys More Troops in Adamawa as Boko Haram Seizes Two Borno Villages

FG Deploys More Troops in Adamawa as Boko Haram Seizes Two Borno Villages


Residents of two Bura villages in Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State now live in fear after Boko Haram insurgents struck and ordered non-Muslims to convert to Islam within 24 hours.

The insurgents were said to have invaded Shaffa and Tesan Aledeh which are predominantly Christian communities on Wednesday evening.

Before they left unchallenged, they vowed to return if their ultimatum was not met, and killed two retired army officers and an ex-policeman.

The insurgents were said to have killed one of the former officers in Tesan Aledeh before leaving for the nearby Shaffa where they took the lives of the second retired officer and the ex- policeman.

A source, who disclosed this to one of our correspondents on Thursday, said the developments caused fears among Christian communities along the Biu-Hawul-Garkida-Mubi Road.

He said, “There is widespread fear of possible attacks by the insurgents among Christians in communities along this important road. People are worried that at the end of the ultimatum, the Boko Haram may also attack them.

“The Boko Haram members have started focussing attention on Christian communities in Southern Borno now; Yesterday (Wednesday), they attacked Tesan Alede and Shaffa in Hawul Local Government Area .

“They killed a retired police officer in Tasan Aledeh and warned the people of the community to convert to Islam within 24 hours.

“The people are now panicking because they are really helpless. First, there is no concentration of soldiers there. The soldiers only come in the afternoon and after patrolling for the day, they go back.

“Another thing is that there is no civilian JTF in the area. The people did not form the Civilian JTF because they were warned not to do so to avoid attracting the attention of the insurgents. Now they are harassing them.

“The Boko Haram members are openly addressing people in Shaffa and other Hawul communities. And because of the killing of the three ex-service men, many people are relocating.”

The Punch learnt on Thursday that the insurgents had on Saturday burnt many houses and churches in Debiro, Biu Local Government Area in Borno State.

Among the churches allegedly burnt were the EYN and the ECWA worship centres The residence of the Pastor of the Deeper Life Bible Church was also said to have been affected.

Many residents, including a former Commander of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta, Maj. Gen. B.A Debiro, were said to have been displaced.

A source said the insurgents stormed the community in two hilux vans and 20 motorcyles .

They were said to have headed straight for the residence of the District Head, Lawan Thlama, where they ordered that five young men should take them round to identify the residences of Christians in the community.

It was gathered that when information reached the Christians, they fled into the bush for safety.

However, another source said that five insurgents were arrested at Tafawa in Balewa LGA of Bauchi State and in Jalingo, Taraba State.

FG deploys additional troops in Adamawa

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has deployed additional 500 troops in Adamawa State to give more bite to the fight between the military and Boko Haram insurgents in the state.

The Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday while updating journalists on the war against insurgency in the North-East.

Omeri said, “The military has mobilised additional troops to protect Mubi and to restore order to Michika, Gulak, Baza and the surrounding villages.

“The Nigeria military has continued to enforce its presence in the challenged communities in the North-East.

“Contrary to media reports of striking of some towns in Adamawa State such as Mubi; the military has confirmed the new redeployment of more than 500 troops to support the expectation around the area, including Gulak and Michika. We believe with this commitment and effort, the situation will be brought under control.

“The situation report indicates that Mubi is calm while troops, including the police and other services are on patrol there.”

FG replies Borno elders

Omeri also dismissed the claim of Borno Elders’ Forum that Maiduguri had been surrounded by Boko Haram insurgents.

He said during a telephone interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja on Thursday that the statement issued by the forum that the insurgents had been expanding their operations without any threat was false.

He added that the government had been doing much to halt the spread of insurgency as signified by the government of Borno State.

He said, “That (forum’s statement) is far from the truth. The Borno State Government even recently commended the military for its effort in halting the spread of Boko Haram.

“The government has stated that it would not concede any part of this country to any group. That statement has not changed and the military is doing its best to protect citizens in every part of the country.

“We know we have challenges with the Boko Haram insurgency but that is not to say that the government will abdicate its responsibility.”

Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria has urged the government to take necessary measures to safeguard the territorial integrity of the country.

Its President, Bobboi Kaigama, said in a statement on Thursday that the call had become imperative following reports that some cities in Borno and Adamawa states had been attacked by Boko Haram.

Kaigama said that the government must be decisive in checking the excesses of the sect.

Bama still under Boko Haram’s control – Indigenes

But in spite of Omeri’s assurance, some residents of Bama came out on Thursday to rubbish military’s claim that the town had been recaptured from the insurgents who overran it last week.

The residents, under the aegis of ‘Bama Development Foundation, told a news conference in Maiduguri, said that on September 1, the Army resisted the insurgents for several hours but were overpowered .

The Chairman of the BDF, Mohammed Hassan, said during the incident several lives were lost either through gunshots and drowning in River Yadzaram while fleeing.

He added that apart from those in Boko Haram captivity, many women, children and old people were still missing.

Hassan added, “As a matter of fact, we are calling on the Borno State and Federal governments to expedite action on reclaiming Bama from the terrorists as those in captivity are under serious trauma as a result of starvation. Those that have lost their lives are yet to be buried.

“After 11 days of the incident, no search and rescue operation was conducted. It is to our knowledge that security and welfare of the people are the fundamental obligations of a good government”.

Hassan appealed to the Federal Government to deploy more troops in Bama so that the people would go back to their community.

In Kaduna, the Arewa Consultative Forum advised the Federal Government to ensure that the 10,000 retired soldiers it planned to recall to fight the Boko Haram insurgents were properly screened.

The forum, through its National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim , said it was also its view that federal character should be reflected in the selection process to ensure fair representation.

It said, “We particularly advise that those who have never been in the military and therefore cannot be re-instated or recalled should be precluded from the exercise. Ex-militants, who have received formal training as part of the amnesty granted by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s benevolence, should not be considered to benefit from the exercise.

“They are not qualified for either re-instatement or recall from the reserve list.

“It has been brought to the knowledge of the ACF that the Federal Government has authorised the reinstatement of 10,000 retired soldiers back into the Nigeria Army. This in the wisdom of government is to boost the strength of the military to confront the insurgency that has engulfed the country.

“ACF welcomes this development However, it wishes to caution the authorities responsible for the reinstatement to scrutinise the retired soldiers thoroughly and ensure that only persons qualified in accordance with military regulations are recalled. Furthermore, the issue of federal character must be reflected in the selection process to ensure fair representation of all sections of the country.

“ACF therefore urges the authorities to display transparency and honesty in the reinstatement exercise.”





Share this post with your friends and also share your thoughts by adding your comments below. Follow us on Social Media - Add us to your Circles, like our Facebook Page, Follow us on Twitter, Follow us on Pinterest or Subscribe to our RSS feed for our latest posts.


No comments

Post a Comment