Soldiers, with assistance from local vigilance groups have recaptured Mubi, the second largest town in Adamawa State from the Boko Haram insurgents. It was also learnt that five Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) were recovered from the terrorists during the fight to recapture Mubi, which Boko Haram had rechristened Madinatul Islam, City of Islam.
The report on the recapture of Mubi, which fell into the hands of the terrorists about two weeks ago after the insurgents drove away troops and annexed their barracks came yesterday just as a female teacher in Minna foiled an attempt by Boko Haram to bomb Maryam Babangida Girls Science College, Minna.
Sources said yesterday in Yola that dozens of fleeing insurgents were killed by the soldiers who had reportedly laid ambush for them. Although the recapture of Mubi could not be independently confirmed as the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig.- General Chris Olukolade, could not be reached to give details, Adamawa State Governor, Mr. James Bala Ngilari, told reporters that Boko Haram had been chased out of Mubi.
The governor said: “The insurgents have been flushed out of Mubi and are on the run.” Ngilari added that the success recorded in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents is the handiwork of God. “God is in this business of security in Adamawa State. You know in the last one week or so, the government has decided to be working with the vigilante group, “Yan Baka” (local hunters) and Civilian JTF. “They have been working hand in hand with our security forces,” he said.
He said following the success recorded, the insurgents had been completely routed from Mubi and were running towards Askira. He explained that the success recorded in recapturing Mubi followed a synergy among the state government, the military, paramilitary and the vigilante groups Ngilari thanked all those behind the success in flushing the insurgents out of Mubi town, saying “they are heroes who put their lives on the line to ensure that the state is freed.”
“There should be no room for people to panic at all because this is the time to rejoice. We should also in doing so be sensitive on whatever information we come by. Believe me, the victory is one huge success we have recorded. Our people who have left should come back as there is no cause for panic. We have recorded remarkable success and God is on our side. The good old days will be back,” Ngilari stated.
One of the hunters who said he took part in the liberation of Mubi, which began on Wednesday, also told reporters in Yola that some Boko Haram members were arrested. “Sequel to the recapture of Mubi, about 80 insurgents have been killed in Maiha alone by the local hunters and dozens other insurgents were wounded while a number of them have been arrested,” the hunter, who simply identified himself as Kaura, said.
Other sources said the hunters recaptured the 234 Army Battalion, as well as other strategic security formations in the area which fell into the hands of the insurgents when they seized the town and were said to be advancing towards Michika and Madagali which are under the control of the insurgents. Similarly, all the flags hoisted by the insurgents have been uprooted and replaced by the Nigerian flags.
Sources said the palace of the Emir of Mubi, which had been converted to the headquarters of the insurgents, had been taken over by the hunters just as the Boko Haram flags hoisted in the palace had been destroyed. “With the situation, the insurgents have retreated into the bush as the hunters gave them a hot chase,” Ahmadu Bello, a resident of Maiha said. However, efforts by the insurgents to attack another school in Niger State were foiled yesterday by a female teacher.
The teacher, on her way to work, had sighted two unidentified men while trying to put on hijab and join pupils for the general assembly at the Maryam Babangida Girls Science College, Minna. The foiling of the bombing bid came a day after a female Boko Haram member carried out an attack on Federal College of Education (FCE), Kontagora, Niger State, killing three persons.
New Telegraph gathered that the teacher, Mrs. Bezat Doma, was passing through the footpath to the school when she stopped after perceiving the smell of Indian hemp. She sighted two men that had already changed into the school uniform and were about to wear the hijab. On seeing her, they immediately asked her to turn back, if she wants to remain alive. She fled to the school and immediately raised the alarm that threw pupils and other staff members into panic.
The school authority alerted the police and the military personnel came to restore order. The Principal of the school, Hajiya Fatima Madugu, told reporters that the information given by the teacher at 7:30am saved the school from being attacked. According to her, “When the security agents came, they questioned the teacher.
You can imagine the fear that will be created in the minds of these children, especially in view of the security situation in the country.” But the state Police Public Relation Officer, Ibrahim Abiodun Gambari, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (ASP) said the suspects were lunatics, whose presence early that morning created fears in the school.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Kenneth Minimah, yesterday assured the nation that the military would recover all the territories lost to Boko Haram. Briefing the Senate Committee on Defence and Army in Abuja, Minimah stated that troops would soon regain the lost territories. The committee had, on Wednesday, invited the service chiefs to come and update it on the progress of military operations in the North-East and the encumbrances militating against their successful operations.
The summon was necessitated by the growing insurgency in the area, coupled with the recent bombing of the Government Science School in Potiskum, Yobe State, by a suicide bomber, which killed about 50 pupils and injured about 80 others.
In his briefing, Minimah said: “We had a setback in Baza that resulted in the loss of territories up to Mubi; and painful though, but we are working very hard to regain those territories, and very soon we will reclaim those territories and, indeed, other territories held by these elements. “I want to continue to rekindle the confidence of Nigerians who have suffered the pains of this insurgency that the Nigerian Army will continue to do its best as to winning this war and reclaiming the lost territories.”
The meeting between members of the Senate Committee and the army chief, at a point, degenerated into in a shouting match as Minimah refused to brief the senators in the presence of reporters. Chairman of the Committee, Senator George Thompson Sekibo, gave the synopsis of the meeting by informing the army chief that the agenda of the meeting was “very loaded.”
He said while politicians were busy scheming for the 2015 elections, insurgents were having a field day, especially in the North-East. He told Minimah that Nigerians were getting impatient and irritated not only with the military, but also with the government and those who represent them at various levels. Sekibo then asked Minimah to throw light on the issues he highlighted.
Minimah, who was not very comfortable to speak, said: “I came to interface with the Senate Committee on Defence, can the press leave us?” The army chief said operational matters were never discussed on the pages of the newspapers. But Sekibo, pressurising him to talk asked Minimah to “just reassure Nigerians that the military is on top of the security situation in the affected areas.” But Minimah stood his ground despite the intervention of other committee members.