- Kills 28, razes 3 banks, police station
- We killed, arrested some insurgents – Military
- ‘Enough is enough’, says Gov Nyako
- France offers to assist Nigeria
From Umar Dankano, Yola, Joy Baba, Abuja,
Kills 28, razes 3 banks, police station
Suspected members of the Jama’atu Ahlus Sunna lid Da’awati wal Jihad, popularly call Boko Haram have yet again launched massive attacks on three villages in Adamawa state, killing at least 28 people while burning a police station as well as branches of three banks operating in the communities.
Reports said that the terrorists attacked the villages of Kirchinga, Kubla and Shuwa in Madagali and Michika local governments of the state Wednesday night, leaving behind deaths and destruction. Recently, the insurgent attacks have escalated within the border villages of Adamawa and Borno, resulting in the sacking of over 20 border villages.
During Wednesday night attacks, the gunmen first struck the border villages of Kirchinga and Kubla in Madagali local government where they set houses ablaze before proceeding to Shuwa where they killed at least 11 persons.
A source in Kirchinga said many of the residents fled to Shuwa for safety but the gunmen who seemed hell bent on unleashing terror pursued them up to the next village.
The source added that the attackers drove in a convoy of 13 Hilux pick up vans, shooting sporadically as people scamper into different directions for safety.
The source maintained that the military personnel manning different check points staged a retreat as the gunmen laid siege on the border villages for more than five hours.
A resident of Shuwa, Mr. Kwaje Bitrus said the places attacked in Shuwa include a Bishop’s House, Theological School, police station as well as houses of prominent people in the area.
The Chairman of Madagali local government area, Mr. Maina Ularamu confirmed the attacks, saying “I learnt 17 people were killed between Shuwa and Michika”.
Asked whether there were others injured, he said, “Yes; they were at least eight people”.
The chairman decried that with the upsurge in the attacks, people in the area are living in perpetual fear in both Michika and Mubi, noting that “people feel safer relocating to Yola”.
A pastor who preferred anonymity said the gunmen destroyed three banks and many shops in the area.
“When the soldiers at the military check points saw the number of the attackers they retreated into the nearby bushes as the gunmen operated without challenge during the operation that lasted throughout the night”, the pastor stressed.
Similarly, the Army Public Relations Officer of the 23rd Armoured Brigade, Captain Ja’afaru Nuhu confirmed the incident but said he could ascertain the number of casualties.
We killed, arrested some terrorists –DHQ
Meanwhile, military authorities have said that they killed six terrorists and arrested two while nine of their vehicles were destroyed in a bid to repel the early morning attack in Michika, Adamawa state as troops close insurgents.
Director of Defence Information (DDI), Major General Chris Olukolade stated this yesterday at the Defence headquarters in Abuja while addressing journalists on recent developments in the troubled North-east.
The DDI also said troops have commenced a specialised campaign in furtherance of their effort at apprehending terrorists in the fight against insurgency.
Olukolade said this special operation will take place simultaneously in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
He further said that the current activities of the terrorist group is actually at best a reaction to the renewed offensive against the terror, adding that the rising spate of attacks on soft targets by the insurgents was a ploy to intimidate people into subscribing to their false claim of invisibility.
He denied allegations that the military troops left their check point close to Federal Government College, Buni-Yadi, Yobe state just before the recent attack.
According to him: “We have mobile troops deployed to that area. They come in for a while and move on to other paces as part of their patrol duty. Troops are not static.
“Those troops that moved went for another assignment related to offensive. It is unrealistic for the troops to be stationed anywhere”, he said.
‘Enough is enough’, says Gov Nyako
Disturbed by the continued frustration and anxiety caused by the incessant killings in the North-east, Adamawa state governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako yesterday declared that ”Enough Is Enough,” decrying that the Boko Haram crisis was getting out of hand, and that new measures were required to tackle it.
Governor Nyako, while reacting to the latest Boko Haram attacks in Madagali and Michika, maintained that the state of emergency slammed on Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states respectively has been defeated with the continued attacks being witnessed.
He strongly criticized the federal government’s failure to foil the Yobe college attack that seemed predictable since school children had previously been murdered that way in the same state.
”There is no excuse whatsoever; we want to know more from the authorities. By now, the authorities should be able to know what is happening. We should be able to know where this arm is manufactured and even the signatures of the weapons.
“We ought to know who ordered it, who paid for it, how did it come to the country; where were they shipped? Which port in Nigeria when they arrived? Who cleared (them)?
”The other aspect is that Army withdrew from a checkpoint before the attack in Buni-Yadi; who ordered the withdrawal? We also have a case where General Shuwa was killed by so called Boko Haram. There are Army units there but they didn’t respond during the incident; who told them not to respond when Shuwa was being attacked?
”These are questions that need answers. So either this thing is controlled by unknown fellows, or unknown Boko Haram strategic commanders in the Defence system or staged-managed. We have reached a point to come out and tell them our displeasure over the way the situation is escalating”, Nyako who was obviously angry stressed.
He reiterated emphatically that the bloody assault that stirred a nation fatigued by Boko Haram killings has ridiculed President Goodluck Jonathan’s claim of success against the sect.
Reports indicate that protests demanding firmer government action against Boko Haram and other security challenges plaguing the country are likely hold very soon in some parts of the country.
France offers to assist Nigeria
French President, Francois Hollande, yesterday promised Nigeria support in the battle against Boko Haram, saying his country would always be ready to help combat extremism in defence of democracy.
“Your struggle is also our struggle,” Hollande told delegates at a security conference in Abuja ahead of Nigeria’s unification centenary celebrations.
“We will always stand ready not only to provide our political support but our help every time you need it because the struggle against terrorism is also the struggle for democracy”, he said.
Hollande lamented some of the recent violence perpetrated by suspected Boko Haram fighters, including the massacre earlier this week of at least 59 students in their sleep at a secondary school in the Islamists’ Northeast stronghold.
Despite crises in several regions, the French president maintained that there was reason for optimism in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
“Africa has a great future. It’s the continent of tomorrow,” he said. He however warned that such promise could be “impeded by insecurity”.
He then vowed to double French overseas development aid to the continent within the next five years.
Hollande, guest of honour for the celebrations to mark 100 years since Nigeria’s unification, was expected to hold talks on trade and investment with Jonathan.
There were reports however that the insurgency is aided by a foreign power to which some of Nigeria’s neighbours are subservient.