– Scores have been feared dead following a recent attack by Boko Haram in Yobe state
– The army had claimed only 5 casualties but sources say otherwise
– There are fears that the Boko Haram sect might be moving into Southern Kaduna
There are fears that scores have been killed and many more injured, following a fatal attack by the Boko Haram sect in the Bin Yadi area of Yobe state capital, Damaturu.
According to The Punch, the number of casualties is yet to be ascertained, though it has been confirmed that soldiers were killed after insurgents attacked an Army brigade in Buni Yadi, on Saturday, January 7.
Reports suggest that the attack, which was on the 27 Brigade, occurred around 6pm, during which there was a fierce exchange of gunfire.
It was gathered that several of the Boko Haram members were shot dead, while others escaped into the forest.
Although the 27 Task Force Brigade’s spokesman, Lt. George Okupe, said the attack was successfully repelled by the troops, he did not confirm casualties on the part of the soldiers.
He said, “Buni Yadi came under attack at about 6.15pm. Things are under control. Casualty figures of Boko Haram terrorists yet to be confirmed, but none for now, likewise on own forces. However, details will be relayed to you soon.”
However, according to military sources, a colonel, who was also a doctor, and four soldiers were killed by the terrorists, who also lost some of their members during the gunfire.
A source said two soldiers had also been rushed to the hospital for treatment.
He said soldiers trailed some of the fleeing insurgents and recovered some AK-47 rifles from them.
“The Boko Haram members came from the eastern area of Buni Yadi in large numbers and launched an attack on us. We do not know the casualty figure on the side of Boko Haram, but some dead bodies are seen scattered in the bush,” the source added.
The spokesperson, 7 Division, Borno State, Colonel Mustapha Anka, could not be reached for comments as his line rang out several times as of press time.
Also when contacted, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.Gen. Sani Usman, did not return calls to his mobile on Sunday as of press time.
Meanwhile Senator Danjuma La’ah (Kaduna South) has expressed fear that Boko Haram insurgents might shift base to Southern Kaduna.
He spoke as suspected Fulani herdsmen at the weekend reportedly launched an attack on Tsonje, but the attack was repelled by policemen after almost 24 hours of gun battle between the attackers and the security agents, supported by arms bearing youths.
Two people were said to have died during the gun battle and and two others missing.
Senator La’ah who confirmed the incident in a statement yesterday, said, “death of the two men, identified as Ephraim Ezekiel, 19, and Joshua Ladi, 41, occurred after an almost 24-hour gun battle between the terrorists on one hand and the Nigeria police and local vigilante as the Fulani terrorists tried to overrun a village called Tsonje”.
The Senator who likened the Southern Kaduna incidents to Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, said the insurgents were likely to shift base to Southern Kaduna.
According to him, “I have been reliably informed that after the terrorists retreated to their well known camp behind Pasakori community at the foot of Kagoro mountain, a few kilometres away, two other persons have also been declared missing.
“Information reaching me from around the troubled areas have affirmed that despite the large presence of troops of the Nigeria Army that have been drafted to assist the Police in battling these terrorists, not a single soldier was drafted to assist the police and the local vigilante, in spite of sporadic gun fire that could be heard for kilometers away and throughout the onslaught from Friday morning to Saturday morning.
“This is a very sad development. I had earlier praised the Federal Government when these troops were first deployed to Southern Kaduna sometime last week.
I had absolute confidence that the Nigeria Army will quickly put an end to this wild and cruel onslaught which have not only ravaged but laid to waste peaceful and law abiding communities; and as I speak, Fulani terrorists are still occupying several villages in Southern Kaduna.
“Instead, I only get reports of soldiers brutalising Southern Kaduna natives; intimidating and threatening our brave young ones with arrest as they lay watch over their communities.
“I am bringing this curious development to the attention of the Nigeria Army authority and to the public to appreciate the grave condition under which parts of my constituency have found themselves.
“As you may have been informed, Ninte, Akwa, Golgofa, Gada Biyu, Anjul have already been dominated and inhabited by these Terrorists after many of the villagers were killed, the villages plundered before being set ablaze since May last year. As of Today, the terrorist have moved in to these communities – The unharvested crops of the villagers that have fled, have become food for their cattle.
“Also, Passakori, Mile 1 and Unguwan Missisi all on the ever busy Kagoro-Gidan Waya road in Jema’a LGA have been annexed and are now abodes of the terrorists.
“That is not all, the world has remained silent or has forgotten the killings of persons and the subsequent displacement of communities likeý Kirim, Zakum, Mayit, Agwom, Zakai Gira, Telak Tunga and Magwot.
“Fulani Terrorists have since taken over these villages located strategically on the Attakad hills, in Moroa Chiefdom, Kaura LGA.
“I am making this public to alert the world of a possible re-grouping of Boko Haram Terrorists with Fulani herdsmen terrorists in Southern Kaduna. They are now conquering large swaths of lands, and have now established a base behind Passakori. This was how Boko Haram started in 2009.
“I am appealing especially to the Nigeria military, whose gallant achievements in dislodging Boko Haram terrorist is being praised and hailed nationwide, to step in and assist the Police.
“Again, I call on all Southern Kaduna residents to give their maximum cooperation to the police, security operatives, the Nigeria military and all personnel legitimately deployed to secure us.
“Southern Kaduna natives and all residents must understand that the threat to take over their lands by force is not mere speculation or rumour. Everyone must be ready to sacrifice and assist in securing his/her community through committed cooperation with the constituted authority in place,” he said