Marte, a town in the north of Borno State, again fell into the hands of the Boko Haram terrorists on Friday according to security sources.
According to reports, the terrorists, who fled from Sambisa Forest camps of the sect and their other strongholds across Borno State had regrouped in Marte, a town north of Maiduguri, the state capital.
The Deputy Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Zannah Mustapha, also confirmed the recapture of Marte by Boko Haram terrorists during a press conference in Maiduguri on Friday.
He said, “It is sad as we have been made to understand that Marte is today (Friday) completely fallen under the control of the insurgents, which to us is a very huge setback.”
Mustapha also alleged that 600 women and girls had been dispatched by Boko Haram terrorists as suicide bombers with the aim of causing multiple explosions in Maiduguri.
The deputy governor, who had to cut short his official engagements in Abuja to attend to the situation in the state, said residents must be patient with the security agencies in spite of the attendant hardships caused by the dusk to dawn curfew.
He added, “It is unfortunate that we are experiencing yet another attack in Maiduguri at this time that we are thinking that the insurgency should have subsided, following the taking over of Sambisa Forest by the military.
“Our thinking was that every other place should have been blocked so that the insurgency would be contained in a restricted area. But that has not been the case,because the insurgents have been fleeing to other communities.
“Initially, we were opposed to the suggestion made by the military, but when we received a security report that about 600 women have been kitted as suicide bombers and are to be sneaked into Maiduguri during the attack, couple with the gory pictures of some of the women, who detonated themselves during the attack, we had no option than to okay the curfew.
“But the curfew has been relaxed from noon to about 5pm to ease the hardship and afterwards it may be reviewed. Our government is going to do everything humanly possible by supporting the military to see that Maiduguri and other secured parts of Borno State is not attacked or taken over by the insurgents.
“We want people to be patient with the government and the security; though 90 per cent of our communities have been liberated but the war is not over yet.
“We though all is over as we were even trying to fight for the reopening of the airport, which was almost okayed by the National Security Adviser before we heard about the attack on Maiduguri. It was indeed a huge setback for us in Borno State.”