West and North Africa
Boko Haram Ignores Ceasefire, Kills Dozens In Adamawa, Borno
Despite the declaration by the federal government that a ceasefire agreement was reached with members of the Boko Haram sect, various communities in Borno and Adamawa states came under attacks as the insurgents reportedly slain about 40 persons, including the uncle of the immediate past speaker of Borno State House of Assembly, Goni Ali Modu, while they also attacked Sina village in Michika local government area of Adamawa State.
On Friday, the terror group attacked the town of Shaffa in Hawul local government area of Borno State, where they killed eight locals and injured several others, even as hundreds of others were said to have fled their homes.
The gunmen returned back to the town to engage some members of the Civilian-JTF who went to pick the corpses of slain persons for burial in a fight. A bloody gunfight was reported to have ensued, while many might have been killed, including a member of the Boko Haram sect.
A top security official in Maiduguri confirmed the incident to LEADERSHIP Sunday, but declined to give details on the possible casualty figure in the Saturday attack.
According to a resident of Abadam, Aminu Abdullahi, “Dozens of gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect have taken over Abadam. They have been in Abadam since Thursday, but finally hoisted their flags on Friday after killing many prominent people and forcing others to cross over to Niger.”
Abdullahi added that “at least, 30 people have been killed in Abadam alone, but I don’t know the actual number of people killed in nearby localities. A traditional ruler, Ba Mallam Wasak, 75, an uncle of the immediate past speaker of Borno State House of Assembly Goni Ali Modu, was among those killed. As I am talking to you, both my father and mother are still trapped in Abadam and only God will save them. Many people, especially the old, are still in Abadam because they could not flee.”
Abadam is a border community, located about 200km north of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. It is one of the border communities that are literally cut off from the rest of the state by desert sand dunes. It takes four-wheel-drive vehicles to get to Abadam anytime of the year.
Similarly, some trapped but lucky escapees, who are residents of Bama local government area of Borno State where the Boko Haram sect has seized for about two months now, have reported cases of serial killings of helpless residents by the terrorists.
A 50-year-old woman, Fatima Bulama, who managed to escape to Maiduguri on foot last Monday said, “Things are getting worst in Bama; they are killing people selectively every day. Some days before I managed to escape, they gathered all the younger women and divided them into three groups according to their age grade, and then, they took them away. We never knew what would become of them, but I know it would be something terrible.”
In Adamawa, a community leader of Michika, Dr Caleb Filli, who confirmed the latest development to newsmen in Yola, said the insurgents have burnt down houses in the village, forcing residents to flee.
“The gunmen in their hundreds thronged the village in the afternoon, shooting indiscriminately and burning houses,” he said.
Filli called on the federal government to ensure that the ceasefire included the withdrawal of Boko Haram fighters from the areas they already occupied, saying the ceasefire would not be meaningful unless it paved way for residents to return to their homes.
Another resident of Michika, who does not want his name in print, disclosed that about 11 surrounding villages of Michika have been completely pulverized by the insurgents, just as many trapped villagers, mainly the elderly, were feared killed during the attacks.
He said the razed villages include Garta, Kamale, Kuburshosho, Vi, Dlaka, Ghenjawa, Kwabapale, Villagwe, Yambale, Dirgimi and Moda, adding that the insurgents have completely destroyed the said villages while hundreds of trapped residents are feared killed.
“All these villages are completely burnt down by the insurgents as soldiers are not entering them nor providing security for the villagers,” he said.
The source added that before now, they were communicating with the trapped residents, adding that as time went on, communication became impossible as they were no more reaching the trapped victims.
The resident disclosed that before the insurgents launched the latest attack on the villages, he and some relatives of trapped villagers were communicating through phone calls, but for sometime now, all efforts to communicate with the trapped residents have proven difficult, lending credence to the news that almost all the trapped residents have been wiped out by the insurgents.