As the Adamawa state government slammed a twenty four-hour curfew in Madagali local government area, due to the activities of Boko Haram, reports from the area has revealed that the insurgents have directed the local residents to defy the Government’s directive, saying they are not after them, but rather, pursuing the troops being deployed.
Residents said that the insurgents, who are now moving freely in the town brandishing their guns, had asked the residents to defy the curfew and continue to their normal business without fear of attack.
“They asked us to ignore the 24-hour curfew, promising not to attack us. They (Boko Haram) told us that they are not after us, but rather, they are pursuing troops being deployed,’’ said a resident of the town, who pleaded anonymity.
A source, who spoke to journalists in a telephone chat, said that even those that were able to cross-over the mountain and flee to the neighboring Cameroun were feared to have been arrested by Cameroun Gendarmes.
‘’Many residents are now on the hilltops, while those that were able to cross-over to Cameroun are reported to have been arrested by Cameroun security operatives.
‘’We are now finding it difficult to cross-over; so many have resorted to stay back here in the town, while on the other hand, Boko Haram continued to take over, hoisting their flags.
“We are now living in an atmosphere of despair and agony,’’ said another resident.
Although, this was not the first time Madagali area was being attacked, the latest attack, which occurred since Saturday, was the deadliest, with quite a number of residents feared killed, before the insurgents dislodged the community and established a settlement there.
The Chairman, Madagali local government area, Mr. James Abu Waltharda, said civilian casualties has been minimal so far, but that thousands of residents have been scattered across the state.
He said that five churches were burnt by the assailants in Sabongari and Hembla settlements in Madagali.
“The insurgents surely are still in Madagali; but the military are currently near there, because I spoke with them. I did not hear any encounter between soldiers and the assailants, but people will not return to their homes until they are certain the insurgents have left completely. Our people have run to Michika, Shuwa and other areas; even in those towns, people are running”, he said.
Reports say that after hoisting their flags at the military base, located at the secretariat of Madagali North Development Area, the insurgents patrolled the streets in the town searching for possible remnants of security personnel.
There are also indications that the siege on Madagali might not be permanent, ‘’the insurgents were there in pursuit of troops from the Nigerian Army, who had launched a failed assault early hours of Saturday, in an attempt to reclaim Limankara and Gwoza’’, said a fleeing resident.
A resident, Musa Madagali, who spoke on phone, revealed that the insurgents killed three civilians with one of them killed accidently by an Air Force bomb.
He added that the residents some of whom were displaced from parts of Borno where the assailants killed hundreds of civilians were wary, hence continued to leave the town.
“How can we trust them after they killed many people in Gwoza and other places? We quickly left and are currently in Michika; and we intend to move further, because the people hosting me here are
contemplating to run to Mubi because the rumour of imminent attack has circulated widely”, he further said.