We are battle ready to defend Maiduguri — DHQ

Following fears expressed by Borno stakeholders that Boko Haram terrorists have surrounded Borno State capital, Maiduguri preparatory to invading the city, the Defence headquarters, DHQ declared yesterday that the troops are battle ready to defend the city.

The alarm by Borno elders that the terrorists have mobilised to invade the Borno State capital, according to the Defence headquarters was meant to cause panic and unsettle the nation.

The military authorities said yesterday that all members of the armed forces deployed to the North East have been put on high alert and they were ready for immediate action should the need arise.

These disclosures were made even as the military admitted that fighting was still ongoing in Bama, Gwoza, Gamboru and other parts of the North East to reclaim the communities, adding that the situation in these areas were being stabilised.

Aside the alertness of land troops, it was gathered that Nigerian Air force fighter jets and Helicopter gunships were on a 24 hours standby for airlift and attack operations at the signal to take off.

The Defence headquarters further disclosed that highly coordinated air and land operations are ongoing and that the efforts are yielding impressive results in the overall move to rid the area of terrorists.

Several tweets posted on the Defence headquarters handle read, “Alarmist report on foreign and online media on Maiduguri is clearly intended to cause panic in the city and the nation. All facets of security arrangements for the defence of Maiduguri has been upgraded to handle any planned attack or attempt to disrupt the city’s prevailing peace. This kind of alarmist report is uncalled for in view of the efforts and alertness

“Situation in Mubi, Michika, Bazza, Gulak, Gwoza, Bama, Gamboru Ngala and other parts of the North East is being stabilized. Citizens are nevertheless enjoined to remain vigilant as they go about their lawful business as highly coordinated air and land operations are ongoing. The efforts are yielding impressive results in the overall move to rid area of terrorists.”

Bama still under siege

Meanwhile, contrary to claims that troops have recaptured Bama town from the insurgents, a group under the aegis of ‘Bama Development Foundation’ BDF has insisted that the town is still under the control of Boko Haram.

Addressing journalists in Maiduguri yesterday, Chairman of BDF, Mohammed Hassan said following Boko Haram attack on Bama on September 1st, the Nigerian Army resisted the insurgents for several hours, but were however overpowered, which led to the capture of the town by the terrorists.

He noted that during the attack, several people lost their lives, some were drowned in river while trying to escape while others were shot dead. He said many others including women, children and the aged were still in captivity, even as many are still missing.

“As a matter of fact, we are calling on the state and federal governments to expedite action towards reclaiming Bama from the hands of terror as those in captivity are under serious trauma, starvations, distress with serious degrees of injuries, while those that died are yet to be buried.

“After 11 days of the incident, no search and rescue operation was conducted”, Hassan stated.

Shehu of Bama still trapped in Maiduguri

It was also gathered that the Shehu of Bama is still trapped in Maiguri as he visited some of his displaced subjects who were being camped in Maiduguri.

He was said to have assured his people, who were apprehensive of going back home that the troops will soon flush out the terrorists. He added that at the present, the town of Bama remains under the firm grip of the Jihadist group, saying”no one goes to or comes out of Bama”

 

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