Nigerian Military authorities in Abuja have vowed to defend the nation’s territorial intergrity and people at all cost, just as the Boko Haram terrorist group have allegedly taken over five towns in Borno and Adamawa states.
“All Security operations aimed at containing the terrorists menace and activities will not stop until they give up or are completely wiped out. We will assert and defend our nation’s territorial integrity and people at all costs”.
In the last five days, the insurgents have allegedly taken over five towns in Borno and Adamawa states. The towns are Bama, the second largest town in Borno; Bara and Banki as well as Gulak and Madagali in Adamawa State.
Madagali, Gulak, Michika, all adjourning communities in Adamawa state are not far from Gwoza community which is a border town in Borno state that was attacked last week by the insurgents.
While the attacks and counter attacks last, President Goodluck Jonathan, has urged Nigerians to pray for the security forces as they battle the insurgency.
“Yes, we have our security challenges, but none of these things should discourage us, we are working very hard to address the insecurity in some parts of the nation. Our security forces are facing enemies of progress, who do not want our nation to prosper; those who maim and destroy.
“We must all arise and pray for our security forces, we must be encouraged everyday and indeed when the enemy shall arise, the Lord will lift a mighty standard against him. We understand the importance of faith-based organisations in building a strong, peaceful, resilient and prosperous nation; your work in this regard is highly commendable,” he said.
The people of Adamawa Borno States have continued to live in fear, following reports that Boko Haram insurgents were closing in on more towns and villages for eventual annexation from the Nigerian Federal Government.
Residents are said to have fled to neighbouring settlements despite Military efforts to curtail the insurgents’ further moves at seizing of these towns and villages in the troubled North Eastern Nigeria.
Despite military claims of raiding some of the terrorists’ hideout, killing scores of them and the recovery of anti-aircraft guns, armoured tank, artillery gun among others, agency reports say that the insurgents were also close to Vimtim, the home town of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh, where armoured tanks have allegedly been deployed to halt advancing insurgents.
The insurgents, it was learnt, moved from Uba to Michika, which is the hometown of a former Lagos State military administrator, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.)
Kirchinga, the hometown of Adamawa governor Umaru Fintiri, was seized on Saturday, September 6, and the insurgents razed Fintiri’s residence in the town.
It was 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.
Tanko Wazumtu, an aide to Adamawa State Acting Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Umaru Fintiri, also confirmed the attack, saying his own father was among those killed.
Earlier on Saturday, the Adamawa State government in a statement disclosed that Gulak town, another community close to Michika was under the control of the insurgents.
Secretary to Adamawa State Government, Professor Abdullahi L. Tukur in a statement said: “It has come to the attention of the Adamawa State Government that insurgents were in Gulak, the Headquarters of Madagali Local Government Area and had killed and displaced scores of people.
“The state government deeply sympathises with the people of Gulak in Madagali Local Government and other surrounding villages and towns whose areas have been overran by insurgents.
“The concomitant effects of the insurgency like displacement of whole villages and towns create multitudes of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) whose management and welfare the Government is left to bear. The Adamawa State Government will as much as possible, try to soften the sense of anguish and deprivation the IDPs are going through by providing some basic necessities of life.
“The Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA), is conjunction with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), is directed to hasten to the assistance of those affected by the insurgency.
Government is also ready and willing to provide all logistical support to the Military in order to uproot the insurgency from our State. While the curfew imposed in the area is continually reviewed, citizens are advised to be calm and law abiding”, the SSG said.
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.
The Borno SSG said, “At this very moment, most parts of Borno State are being occupied by Boko Haram insurgents. Government presence and administration are minimal or non-existent across many parts of the state, with economic, commercial and social services totally subdued. Schools and clinics remain closed.
“Most settlements in the affected areas in the state have either been deserted or access to them practically impossible, thus majority of the political stakeholders cannot, in real fact reach their constituencies.
‘’So, the threat of insecurity affects everybody irrespective of political differences. The enabling environment for politics and electioneering campaign is simply not obtainable at present in Borno State.’’