Boko Haram infiltrates Bauchi councils, Borno communities
By David Adenuga, Bauchi and Duku Joel, Damaturu
Suspected Boko Haram members on Monday intensified their onslaught on many towns and villages in the Northern part of the country.
In Bauchi State, government raised the alarm over the infiltration of terrorists into four local governments.
The affected councils are Gamawa, where the terrorists vandalised a telecommunication mast belonging to the MTN in Gamawa Local Government Area. The other affected areas are Zaki, Dambam and Darazo.
In Yobe State, no fewer than 10,000 people were displaced during an attack on Geidam, which had been previously ravaged by terrorism.
However, in Borno State, troops thwarted the attempts by the sect to infiltrate into Rann, in Kala Balge Local Government Area.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, said: “Operation Hadin Kai, successfully repelled the insurgents after a fierce fire fight that lasted for almost one hour.
According to Bauchi State government, the influx of people from neighbouring Yobe State has made the affected local government areas vulnerable to attacks by the terrorists.
Addressing reporters at the Government House, Bauchi, shortly after an emergency security meeting presided over by Governor Bala Mohammed, Secretary to the Government, Alhaji Sabiu Baba, said five people have been arrested in connection with the mast vandalism.
He said the suspected terrorists had the intention of blocking communication, in preparation for the attacks.
Baba, however, assured that the state government is working round the clock to beef up security surveillance around neighbouring communities.
He said: “This influx of the displaced people has put the state under security threat. Our facilities are now overstretched and we are not comfortable with the development. We have decided to commence profiling of all the people coming into Bauchi State, particularly in the four affected LGAs to discover those with dangerous weapons and demonise them.”
Baba added: “The state government will ensure that the joint operations of the security agencies will be intensified, particularly air surveillance around the affected LGAs.
“As for those that are displaced persons, government officials will identify them in order to provide relief materials for their well-being because according to him, government will not just watch them suffer.”
The SSG said Governor Mohammed has provided support to security agencies to intensify patrol and surveillance, particularly in the vulnerable border communities, which share border with Yobe.
Over 10,000 displaced from Geidam attack
The Executive Secretary of Yobe State Emergency Management Agency (YOSEMA), Dr. Mohammed Goje, lamented that over 10,000 people have been displaced during the attack on Geidam.
Goje said the attack had unleashed humanitarian crisis, adding that it is not advisable to quickly return to Geidam due to security reasons.
Goje also disclosed that there is a large influx of displaced people into Damaturu, the state capital.
He said: “The cooperation of the host community has been encouraging. SEMA has decided to give a lot of support to the households to reduce the burden of the IDPs on them”.
“The number of displaced people from Geidam keeps increasing. At the moment, we are approaching like 10, 000, based on the ones that we have registered. This is an emergency situation that comes at a time that you least expect. Our contingency plan, for now, is just 10 per cent, which is quite insignificant.
“However, we have been reaching out to people for the provision of food and non-food items, especially the provision of portable water to the people to drink at their transist location
“There were rumours that some displaced people want to go back because they have heard that normalcy had returned. But, we have not been communicated officially. So, we cannot take the risk of returning anybody back to Geidam.
“What we are encouraging people is to be integrated in the host communities through relatives. We have been going round mobilising food items and shelter kits to the households that are hosting them so that they would not overstretch the available facilities.
“Currently, our trucks to Mazagum, Bayamari, Yusufari and Yunusari with food items have been mobilised. For Damaturu, we have reached about 1000 individuals as at Wednesday night. Our target is five days within which we will stabilise the situation and see if people could return.”
Goje said the agency had already met with about 65 humanitarian partners that are ready to assist in the Geidam crisis.
He stressed: “If there is an attack in a community and the people are displaced and are also in need of assistance, then, of course, there is a humanitarian crisis. But, the most importantly is how to respond to the crisis.
“We have started mobilising with some humanitarian partners on how to deal with the situation. Already, I have had meetings with about 65 of them, who had indicated interest to fill the gaps. The other aspect we are hoping for is the improvement of the security situation. We hope that the security situation improves so that people can return to their communities because it is easier to take care of people in their communities than outside their communities”.
Troops thwart attempted infiltration of Borno towns by terrorists
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Yerima said terrorists who attempted to attack Kala were resisted.
He said the terrorists withdrew in disarray, adding that many of them suffered fatal injuries, leaving behind their weapons and ammunition.
According to him, equipment recovered from the terrorists included anti-aircraft gun barrel, AK 47 rifle, hand-held communication radio and other ammunition.
The Army spokesperson disclosed that troops also engaged another band of terrorists, who attacked Ajiri town in Konduga council.
He said the terrorists burnt nine houses and killed innocent residents before they were engaged by the troops.
Yerima said, the retreating terrorists escaped with various degrees of injuries while the gallant troops were on their chase.
He added: “However, two personnel paid the supreme price in the resulting encounter.
“The Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, commended the troops for their resilience and determination to keep their areas free of terrorist activities.
“He further charged them to sustain the renewed vigour in discharging their duties.”
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