Monday, September 8, 2014

Boko Haram Takes Over More Nigerian Towns

The highly dreaded Boko Haram sect on Sunday continued its expansionist drive by overrunning Michika and Uba in Adamawa State. The capture of the two towns brings to 13, the number of communities now controlled by the sect in the North East.

The others are Gwoza, Buni Yadi, Gamboru Ngala, Damboa, Marte, Bama, Bara, Banki, Gulak, Dikwa and Madagali.

News of the capture of Michika and Uba coincided with lamentation on Sunday by the Secretary to the Borno State Government, Baba Jidda, that most parts of Borno had been taken over by Boko Haram.

A security source said the sect which took over Gulak on Friday night, moved from there to Uba.
He confessed that when soldiers on guard saw Boko Haram arriving in over 50 pick -up vans and hundreds of motorcycles, they retreated because they were outnumbered...

The source also told Punch that the arms and ammunition in possession of the insurgents were superior to those held by the soldiers.

The insurgents, it was learnt, moved from Uba to Michika, which is the hometown of a former Lagos State military administrator and Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship aspirant, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.)

It was gathered on Sunday that they also headed for Mubi, the host community to the Adamawa State University.

A source, who confided in one of correspondents, said that the military later deployed fighter jets and helicopters in the areas to chase out the insurgents .

He added that eight trucks carrying some troops were sighted going to the troubled areas.

It was further gathered that the Adamawa State Acting Governor, Alhaji Adamu Fintiri, on learning that many of the residents of the troubled communities were fleeing, dispatched six luxury buses to move them to Yola.

Our source said that the insurgents, who were firing into the air, were advising the people not to flee because they had only come to engage the military in gun battle.

He said, “The Boko Haram members are now in Uba and Michika, the headquarters of Michika Local Government Area.

“The insurgents who were moving in over 50 hillux vans and hundreds of motorcycles, were wielding assorted weapons.

“When they started advancing from Madagali to Uba, the soldiers who were in Uba withdrew to Michika and they(insurgents) headed for Michika and Mubi.

“There was no shootout between them and the soldiers even though eight trucks carrying troops were sighted on the road leading to those communities. Air Force fighter jets were also said to have pursued them.

“Several people fled the communities to avoid being killed by insurgents.”

One of the residents of Michika, who is now taking refuge in Hong, Joseph Kwaya, said, “We left the town based on the instruction of the military. As I am talking to you, majority of the people in the area have left out of fear.

“The situation is very bad and we pray God to intervene and bring an end to the activities of Boko Haram.”

It was not only the people of Michika, Mubi and Uba that fled, their neighbours in Bazza and Marraban also took to their heels on learning that the insurgents were advancing.

A source,who did not want his name in print, said many people from Uba and Marraban Mubi were also seen trekking long distances to find vehicles that could take them to Hong and Yola.

A resident of Hong, Ibrahim Danjil, said, “Our town is now full of people who fled from Uba, Michika, Madagali and Bazza.”

Efforts to contact the Chief Press Secretary to the Acting Governor, Solomon Kumangar, for comments proved abortive.

One of our correspondents also made repeated efforts to get the Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen Chris Olukolade, to comment on the increasing activities of insurgents in Adamawa State without success.

Most parts of Borno now occupied by Boko Haram –SSG
Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Borno State Government, Amb. Baba Jidda, has lamented that most parts of the state were now being occupied by Boko Haram.

Jidda, at a news conference in Abuja on Sunday, added that normal government, economic, social and political activities in the state had been dislocated.

He also said that a huge number of displaced persons was now living in refugee camps in Maiduguri and neighbouring states as well as Niger, Chad and Cameroon

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