Insurgency and the attacks by the Boko Haram sect may be on the decline recently considering the success recorded by the Nigeria troops, civilian joint tasks force and the multinational joint tasks force. However, the scourge of the activities of the sect members in the Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa will live longer than imagine. Ejike Ejike, who was in Adamawa and Borno states, reports on the situation so far.
In the cause of Boko Haram insurgency, many lives have been lost, while properties, worth billions oor trillions of naira have also been lost. According Tumba Kwatri Joseph, who owns and manages a super market in Yola, “the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency seem to have slow down recently, apart of the pockets of suicide bombers here and there. This is as a result of the resurgent determination from the security operatives, who seem to be winning the war.”
However, there are still problems with the Internally Displaced Persons. Joseph noted that in the mountains around Michinka, Madagali and some parts of Borno state, some IDPs numbering over 5000 are scattered and are gradually dying of hunger.
“Can you believe that a cube of Maggie cost as much as N20. 00 over there. They are living in abject poverty and the fear of subsequent attacks on their homes is preventing them from coming back to their recovered homes. As a business man, I manage to seek somethings out to Michinka, where I come from but getting these thing over to the mountains is usually difficult except for those people who know the risks and chooose to go up there to do business,” Joseph narrated.
For another victim of the insurgency, who shuttles between the mountains, Abuja and Cameroon, Yahaya Chiroma, who is Chibok, the story is different. “On the mountains, we stay three to four days without taking in anything. Sometimes, we managed to rice and we mix it with oil to eat. And when you cook, u must have to eat it for at least three days so what we do is to dry it in the sun because we don’t always have the privilege of warming our food.
“However, I managed to cross over to Cameron, with my wife, four children and my late brother’s children too. As God will have it, I ran into our people, who were determined to come back to Nigeria and we found ourselves in Kuje, Abuja where we are all in a settlement waiting for what God has in stock for us. I am still shuttling between Borno and Abuja because all my life, I have ways been around here (Borno).”
While the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been outstanding in offering relief assistance to the IDPs, there is urgent need for improved and concerted efforts by both the state and federal government towards ensuring that these IDPs are catered for and if possible, integrated into any other safe camps across the country.
Women used as bait in recovered villages
While responding to questions on the safety of the recovered villages, Joseph explained that after the recapturing of some villages in Adamawa, the security operatives allowed the older women to go into these places first. It was after the women came back to tell their people of the situation over there that the men and younger ones were allowed to go into these villages.
“The reason is best known to the security operatives but the older women where the first to enter some of the recovered villages. It was when they had come out to declare the villages free from Boko Haram, then others were allowed to enter.
“I would not advise people to rush back to of the recovered territory yet. As you may know, these Boko Haram boys may be observing from afar for the military leave so they could attack again. What I would advise is proper security should be put in place in all the recovered territory so as avoid any further reperisal attack.”
Nigeria soldiers, winning the war against insurgency
On the fate of the citizens of the highly affected areas of the Boko Haram insurgency, Dauda Samuel said “we are very okay here (Yola). I don’t want to believe all the report on the media both foreign and local media because it looks like sometimes, you, the media give us false report.
“For example, you keep reporting that the Chadian or Camroon armies are recovering our towns but that is not totally truth. What about our own security operatives. Nigeria soldiers and the civilian JTF are seriously fighting and winning the war against the Boko Haram boys and they should the commended. The Chadian, Nigerans and Cameroonians are just fighting in their territories but our soldiers are engaged in the real fight and even though I am not a soldier, I will say we have confidence in them.”
According to Brig Gen Aba Popoola, commander, 23rd Brigade, Yola, never again in the history of Nigeria will any insurgent or group take over any community or will the military ever allow the hoisting of any foreign flag in the territory of Nigeria. We have been commissioned to fight for our country and we will die fighting.
NEMA presents relief items to soldiers
Meanwhile, in a bid to encourage the troops fighting insurgency in the Northeast, the federal government through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) donated relief items, mainly food to the security agents in Adamawa, Yola, Gombe and Borno.
Presenting the items to the commander, 23rd Brigade, Brig Gen. Aba Popoola, the Director, Search and Rescue of the agency, Air Commodore Chris Otegba,who represented the Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Sani Sidi, said the donations came from the directives of President Goodluck Jonathan, who has extreme gratitude for the troops who have dedicated their lives to bring about peace in Nigeria.
According to him, “We are here on the directives of President Goodluck Jonathan to present relief materials to the troops engaged in this fight directly and also widows of slain officers and soldiers .
“The president directed that we should also lend support to the troops, their families, widows in addition to what we have been providing to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to boost the morale of soldiers currently tackling the insurgency.”
“The idea is to lend support not only to the widows who lost their bread winners, but also to the serving officers and men in this region, so that you will understand the level appreciation of your work by the government and Nigerians in general.”
Boko Haram still killing and dumping dead bodies in well in recovered towns
Despite the success recorded by the security operatives involved in the fight, pockets of attacks are still recorded.
According to Mallam Nuhu, who operates a taxi in Maiduguri, “ I have been privilege to see some of the effects of Boko Haram attack due to my job. Do you believe that in a place like Bama, which is about 74km from (here) Maiduguri, people are still been killed and dumped in wells.
All the wells in some of these recovered villages should be checked as some elements of Boko Haram, who have infiltrated the town is still killing and dumping people in there silently.
Leadership online newspaper