From Umar Dankano, Yola with agency report
Many people are feared to have died, as suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked Mubi, the second largest town in Adamawa state, freeing prison inmates, according to residents who fled the area.
Reports said the insurgents, who arrived the commercial border town around 10 am yesterday, had earlier shot some people in Uba town, were on their way to Mubi from Michika, where they had been occupying for the past two months, and also engaged Nigerian troops in a deadly shoot-out.
There were unconfirmed reports that the group has hoisted its flag in the town, while many of the soldiers and residents reportedly fled to neighbouring local government areas.
According to an eyewitness, who spoke to Peoples Daily, “They sacked the military formation, Mubi-South divisional headquarters and area command before moving to prison where they freed the inmates.
“As I am talking to you now, the Boko Haram militants are at the Emir of Mubi palace. Though the emir is still in Saudi Arabia, some of his family members are believed to be trapped in the palace”, a resident of Mubi, who simply identified himself as Aliyu said.
Sources said many residents of Mubi who were prevented from leaving the town by the military shortly before the attack were trapped in their homes, while those that fled headed towards Digil village looking for escape towards the Republic of Cameroon, as the road leading to Yola is for now a no-go area, with heavy presence of the insurgents said to be in convoy of Hilux vans.
Also trapped were students of Adamawa state University and Federal Polytechnic Mubi.According to one of the victims, a student of the Federal Polytechnic Mubi, from the Department of Business Administration who preferred to speak on the condition of anonymity, “We were in school when suddenly we heard gunshots. The gunshots were so sporadic that we fled for our lives.
“As I speak, we do not know if anyone was killed by the terrorists or even if we can find our way out of this lonely place, where we have been trapped. But we fear that the whole place has been surrounded by the terrorists.”, she stated.
Lamidi Kery, a female resident and a widow who lost her husband to a similar attack in Mubi, confirmed that people died during the attack. “The town is deserted now; people have all fled into nearby bushes and hilltops. We have seen soldiers in their vehicles retreating,” she said.
Another source said that the Boko Haram insurgents overran Madagali down to Bazza both in Adamawa state. “They are having a field day. Even yesterday I sneaked into Michika town to evacuate my aged mother, but surprisingly only insurgents could be heard around, there were no soldiers. Mubi has now become a shadow of its former self; people in hundreds are scampering for their lives.
“Even here in Maiha, we saw soldiers vehicles zoom-off towards Yola, the state capital,” said a local source in Maiha, another town in Adamawa.
The spokesperson to former Adamawa state governor, Murtala Nyako, Ahmad Sajor, told Premium Times his daughter was missing after news broke of the advance of the insurgents early Wednesday.
“This morning I got a call from my daughter, who is a 200 level student of Adamawa state University, Mubi; she was hysterical. I was in Abuja for a meeting, but her information forced me to head back to Yola immediately,” Mr. Sajoh said.
“According to her, the insurgents were approaching the town which is the second largest in Adamawa State. I ordered her to leave the hostel and join her cousins to escape the town. I called my father who confirmed the story. By the time I arrived Yola airport, the town had fallen to the insurgents. My parents are trapped while my daughter and her cousins are missing. We lost contact for the past six hours.
“My colleague Mallam Iliyasu of the Bursary Department Adamawa State University, Mubi who is trapped in the town said by 2pm the Police Barracks in the GRA was overrun by the insurgents, the Prison was blown open while fighting was going on at the army Barracks.
“The IDP camp at Lamorde was thrown into confusion. The new rulers of the town had issued a decree banning all entry and exit to the town. Students who trooped to the motor park are now stranded with most taking refuge in any House that could welcome them.
“The barracks are the least safe locations in the town. So far there are no reported cases of killings or abductions. But fear and apprehension had taken over. There has so far been no word yet on the incident either by Government or the Military.”
The state governor, Bala Ngillari, has asked the people of the state, particularly those in the affected areas to remain calm saying security agents are on the top of the situation.
“People should remain calm, security agents are on the top of situation,” the director Press and Public Affairs to the governor, P.P Elisha said, on behalf of the governor.