. As Boko Haram Allegedly Captures Soldiers
As Nigerians across the country trooped out to protest the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State, citizens continue to groan and live in fear of the dreaded Boko Haram sect. The insurgents stunned even the international community with the abduction which many had first believed was in retaliation of the alleged arrest and detention of wives and children of suspected terrorists.
Street Journal’s findings have revealed that gradually, the terrorists are spreading their tentacles across the country. On Tuesday, a citizen reporter revealed on a radio programme on Rainbow FM, Lagos that the Boko Haram sect captured about seven Nigerian soldiers in a location between Mafa and Dikwa in Borno State. The caller, who claimed to be an eyewitness, also disclosed that he was fortunate to have escaped with his life. While giving details of what life in the Boko Haram camp looked like, he stated that not less than two of the schoolgirls who were kidnapped in March might have been killed by their abductors. The caller said he saw bodies. He said the girls were apparently shot while trying to escape and he pointed out that the killing was done to deter others from nursing the idea of escaping.
Where is Abubakar Shekau?
Though he was rumoured to have been felled in a gun battle in Sambisa Forest last year, it has become clear to all that Abubakar Shekau, also known as “Darul Tawheed” is very much alive and well.
The whistle-blowing caller who spoke to Rainbow FM from Maiduguri disclosed that one of the Boko Harm commanders (probably Shekau) lives large and is like the Governor within the Dikwa axis.
According to the source, the Boko Haram leader lives large in the area and is held in awe by the villagers. “To them, he is like the Governor and he comes around regularly in a convoy of about 4 Hilux vans with well armed guards. They patrol the area on a regular basis”, the source stated.
When asked if security forces around could not apprehend the terror kingpin, his response was “yes, the soldiers are trying but the problem is that they only stay in town. They do not leave the tarred roads. The hardly enter the villages. Let me tell you what you might not have heard in town, about 6 or 7 soldiers were captured by these people between Mafa and Dikwa but no one is saying anything.”
Renewed Terror Structure
Checks revealed that the terrorist sect might have revived the cell structure it abandoned about two years ago when security forces clamped down on them in some areas. This revelation followed the bomb attack on the popular Nyanya Park in Abuja.
The attack clearly showed that the terrorists were back in the nation’s capital. Incidentally, not long after the attack, the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau appeared in the video and dared the President and security forces to come after him, claiming he was in the Federal Capital Territory.
Though before the Nyanya blast, indications had emerged that the insurgents might have regrouped in Abuja. The gunfight at the Yellow House, the Headquarters of Nigeria’s Department of State Security (DSS)was all some analysts needed to conclude that Abuja could come under attack anytime.
The authorities had stated that a minder was disarmed by terrorists who were in detention and that there was no external attack. Curious minds have however raised questions that if there was no battle outside the quarters, why was it necessary for soldiers outside the SSS Headquarters to join the battle? Moreover, the SSS Headquarters is not in a location where one could escape detention and move freely without external back up. The conclusion many drew was that just like the attack on Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, shortly before the gun battle that killed 18 terrorists, the insurgents were sure they had men on ground outside the premises to facilitate their movement before deciding to embark on the escape mission.
Who Are The Collaborators?
There were several allegations that a military check point close to the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi in Yobe State was withdrawn about 24 hours before the terrorists swooped on the school and killed more than 40 students.
The terrorists reportedly arrived the school premises almost an hour before midnight in about 29 Hilux pickup trucks and they did not start the operation until midnight, thus raising suspicion that the terrorists either have a good intelligence network that updates them of location of military personnel or they have insiders in the military feeding them with detailed plans and itinerary of the anti-terrorism task force.
The Spread of Terror from The Epicenter
Findings have also revealed that the authorities might have to cope with pressure from areas other than the three states that have been placed under a state of emergency.
Residents in Wukari Local Government Area have reported suspicious helicopter movements in forest zones around the local government. They alleged that the helicopters were seen dropping fighters and materials in forest areas in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State.
Incidentally, only days after the reports, Wukari became a war zone with men dressed in military gear attacking villages and killing at will.
Sadly, most of the activities of the terrorist organization go unchallenged. In most cases, military presence is felt only after murderous acts have taken place leading to insinuations that Nigerian security forces are not proactive enough to stop attacks.
While the Defence Headquarters has not confirmed the capture of any soldier, the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade dismissed claims that nothing was being done to rescue the abducted school girls. “The concern and anxiety from all quarters is quite understandable. Please be assured that as much as the forces may not disclose details of action being taken to secure the freedom of the girls, every information received on the subject is duly analyzed and acted upon as necessary. No information is being ignored in the concerted effort to ensure the safety and freedom of the girls. Just pray for the successful outcome of all efforts please,” General Olukolade said.