With the fight against terrorists in Nigeria north east region becoming more intense daily, hunters in Borno on Sunday appealed to the military to allow them join in the war against insurgents in Sambisa Forest.
Malam Mai-Gana Mai-Durma, the Borno Emir of the Hunters, made the appeal in Maiduguri while addressing newsmen.
Mai-Durma said that the call became imperative because the hunters were familiar with the terrain at the dreaded forest, the hideout and operational base of the terrorists.
“We are appealing to the military authorities to allow us join the fight against Boko Haram at the Sambisa forest.
“We are ready to pursue the terrorists because we know the terrain very well,” Mai-Durma said.
He said that the military should align them with members of the vigilance group, popularly knwon as the Civilian JTF, for effective result.
“We will overrun Sambisa in partnership with members of the civilian JTF if given the opportunity.
“This will help to complement the effort of military in the anti terrorism operation,” Mai-Durma said.
He lamented that hunters from the 27 local government areas of the state had been rendered idle by the Boko Haram terrorism.
“Hunters from all the 27 Borno LGAs are all in Maiduguri with our leaders doing nothing at present because of Boko Haram.
“Rather than idling away, we will want to assist the military in crushing Boko Haram terrorists,” Mai-Durma said.
He also appealed to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai, to assist in forwarding the request to the military authorities for consideration.
Boko Haram has unleashed mayhem on the city of Maiduguri recently. On December 25, Christmas day, suspected Boko Haram group attempted an invasion of the city. The attack commenced at about 6:00 p.m.
The insurgents were repelled by soldiers as they tried to enter Maiduguri via Aladuwari village, which is about 2 km from the Borno capital, witnesses and a security source said.
About two hours later, while the gun battle continued, two suicide bombers believed to be females, detonated explosives near a FOMWAN primary school between Suleimanti and Jiddari area of Maiduguri.
Abubakar Muhammed, a vigilante official, said he saw corpses and injured person as he joined others to flee from the troubled neighbourhood which is close to Aladuwari.
“It was two women that detonated themselves near that FOMWAN school,” Mr. Muhammed said. “Many people got killed and many others were injured.”
A source in the area, Umar Ibrahim, told journalists that as a result of the shoot-out, a rocket propelled launcher fell on a group of people near a borehole at Jiddari Polo area.
A day later, on Sunday, December 27, a lone suicide bomber reportedly caused the death of 15 members of a family, comprising three wives of a village head, their 10 children and two other persons.
Residents of the area said the woman who caused the death went running into the house of the village head in Bakasi layout of Maiduguri claiming she was being chased by Boko Haram. When the members of the household gathered to calm her down she detonated her explosives killing everyone close to her.
“They thought she needed help when she came in shouting ‘Boko Haram is after me, Boko Haram is after me.’ Before the family members could know her real mission it was too late”, a resident of the area, Muhammed Abbas, had said.
At least 20 persons were killed in a fresh explosion in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, Monday morning, December 28, as residents gathered around a mosque.
The explosion sounded as residents speculated that a fleeing Boko Haram bomber abandoned an improvised explosive device in the area during Sunday night’s attack.
“I have never seen such foolishness when people would go peeping into a mosque to find out if truly there was an explosive deposited in a place. But sadly, the bomb went off and over 20 persons were killed and many injured.”
Malam Suleiman, a primary school teacher in the area, said:
“The people normally sit down around the mosque in the morning,” he said. ”The place is like a meeting point where neighbours converge to relax.” “After the morning prayers they just sat down outside the mosque as usual and then the bomb went off. It was not suicide bombing like that of last night. It may have been planted.
A few hours after a bomb went off at a mosque, another attack was launched on Maiduguri. Bombs were detonated by suspected teenage girls.
Many people were feared dead, and several others injured, witnesses said.
Boko Haram insurgents believed to be operating from Sambisa forest had ferried several explosives into the city.
Yunusa Abdullahi, a civil servant who live in Jiddari Polo area of the city, said aside the mosque attack, two girls detonated explosives at a neighbourhood called Buraburin.
“A man saw two girls walking around and he tried to caution them to be careful as it was dangerous for them to be wandering when the two girls detonated themselves, killing the man and some other persons,” Mr. Abdullahi said.
“Since last night, residents have been finding undetonated bombs believed to have been abandoned by Boko Haram gunmen.
“We are under siege and we don’t know how many of these bombs or these female suicide bombers were sneaked into Maiduguri”, he had said.