From Vanguard, one of Nigeria's most prominent newspapers
The insecurity situation in the country worsened weekend as Boko Haram and its sister formation, Islamic State of West Africa, ISWAP, again launched attacks on communities in Borno and Adamawa states, killing people and rendering thousands homeless.
No fewer than nine persons, including three soldiers, were killed in Damasak, headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State, while United Nations’ facilities were set on fire, forcing humanitarian workers to flee for their lives.
In Adamwa, no fewer than 5,000 persons, mainly women and children, were displaced at Kwapre village in Dugwaba District of Hong Local Government Area, when the insurgents invaded the community.
This is even as gunmen kidnapped a 13-year-old boy in Ogun State, demanding N50 million ransom to set him free, just another set of gunmen also abducted a Catholic priest in Imo State but are yet to make demands.
In the Borno attack, residents told Vanguard that the Boko Haram insurgents invaded Mobbar Sunday evening and engaged the military who tried to repel them. It was learned that in the gun battle, some of the insurgents were killed, while three soldiers also lost their lives.
Confirming the Damasak attack and killings, chairman of Mobbar Local Government Area, Mustapha Bunu Kolo, exclusively told our correspondent that the latest attack was very devastating and worrisome, especially as it targeted humanitarian hubs which had been assisting in no small measure to improve the lives of traumatized citizens.
“The insurgents destroyed all humanitarian hubs and their facilities after carting away foodstuffs at one of their main warehouses. “The insurgents also went to General Hospital, and carted away medical consumables with a brand new ambulance stationed at the facility.” Kolo lamented.
From Sahara Reporters
A military source has explained why the Nigerian Army of 5 Brigade and 145 Battalion could not repel Boko Haram attack on Damasak town, Borno State despite heavy military presence. The military source told SaharaReporters that Brigadier General, S. S. Tilawan had asked soldiers to stay back rather than attack the terrorists who invaded Damasak town on Saturday.
According to him, the Boko Haram militants had come through the town where civilians are residing making it difficult for the fighter aircraft to strike. He said the airforce personnel had monitored the movement of the terrorists and informed foot soldiers who ought to tactically combat the attack. He, however, said S. S. Tilawan asked soldiers to retreat, giving the terrorists a smooth operation.
"The airforce personnel tried, they were there on time to attack Boko Haram but couldn't because of civilians. It was supposed to be the duty of the army to enter that town and fish out these bad boys, but we don't even have what to use, talkless of other things. The jet cannot bomb that town because the Boko Haram militants came from where civilians are staying and the governor of this state, Babagana Zulum, has so much confidence in this battalion, that is why he opened IDPs' camp in Damasak to protect his people because he so much loves his people. He wants to ensure that the people live comfortably but now it seems like the army has failed the man due to high corruption in the army, this country is so bad.
“With my five years in the army, even common helmet we don't have, even those who fought first and second world wars used the helmet to fight and in this modern day and age, we don't have a helmet, I am very angry.
“Within a month now, we have lost 18 soldiers in this battalion because of one useless Brigade Commander S. S. Tilawan they brought to us. This man is creating unnecessary work, he scattered the camp. I believe he is an agent of Boko Haram. . .
"People are dying anyhow, and we are here for them. I don't know the number of people who died but I know Boko Haram militants entered the area and looted it. I feel angry because we could not help these people and we are here for them. It is my duty as a Nigerian soldier to protect people but there is nothing we can do when our leaders make decisions against the people."
SaharaReporters had earlier reported how the Boko Haram fighters invaded Damasak town in Borno State on Saturday, burning United Nations facilities and forcing humanitarian workers to flee for their lives.
It was learnt that the terrorists, aided by their deadlier Islamic State West African Province fighters, set fire to the UN office and at least three other international charity organisations contiguous to the UN facility.
“The terrorists came into the town in gun trucks. They first embarked on a looting spree. They carted away aid supplies meant for the Internally Displaced Persons before they set fire to the UN hub in the town and three other buildings belonging to other aid organisations,” a source in the town narrated.