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In Spite of Ceasefire, Soldiers, Boko Haram In Fierce Battle At Damboa, Borno State


Indications pointing to a flaw in the ceasefire agreement between Nigeria and Boko Haram have started emerging as a batch of Soldiers from the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army last night engaged members of the sect in a fierce battle in Damboa, Borno State.
Witnesses and residents of the areas affected confirmed this to newsmen in Maiduguri.
This is coming as a man who first initiated a dialogue process between the government and Boko Haram, Comrade Shehu Sani described the ceasefire agreement just trucked by the two parties as a fraud.
However, the fight in Damboa was said to have dragged till the wee hours of Monday while the rate of casualty was yet to be ascertained as at now.
A security source said the insurgents had earlier attacked Sabon Gida town which is also in Damboa LGA but were resisted by troops.
“They attacked a military formation at Sabon Gida towards the evening but were repelled successfully,” the source said.
A resident said the fight in Sabon Gida lasted between 5pm and 6pm yesterday.
“I strongly believe that it is a different set of insurgents that went to Damboa,” a senior official of Damboa, the source disclosed.
“From the information I have, the insurgents were armed to the teeth and the Nigerian soldiers were also well equipped.
“Our prayer is that God should protect both the army and our helpless civilians who have started settling in their homes after months of distress,” he said.
The town which is less than 100 kilometers from Maiduguri was occupied by the Boko Haram in the second week of July.
They had hoisted their flag after destroying over 90 percent of the town, according to leaders of the area.
Almost all the surviving people in the town fled to Maiduguri, Biu and Gombe. Damboa was recaptured by Nigerian troops in the first week of August but it took weeks before the fleeing residents started returning to their homes after the Borno State government assisted them.
Comrade Shehu Sani has said the ceasefire pact between the federal government and the Boko Haram sect was a complete fraud.
Sani, who had initiated talks between the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the leaders of the Boko Haram sect, said, “It is either government sat with fake persons or the government was part of the forgery.
“The person who made the claim of speaking on behalf of the group is a fraud.”
Sani recalled that it was not the first time such a hoax had occurred.
He said: “In 2012, one Abdulaziz made claim of speaking on behalf of the group and said they had reached a ceasefire over five times, the group disclaimed the ceased fire.
“In 2013, one Muhammad Marwana also claimed to have spoken on behalf of the group and reached a ceasefire; that turned out to be a fraud.”
He went on to fault the current ceasefire on the number of reasons.
“Number one is that the person addressed himself and the group as Boko Haram while the group does not address itself as Boko Haram.
“Two, he claimed to speak for the group, while it is only the leader of the group that has always spoken for the group. And he even went further by making statements such as ‘our government’, ‘our country’.
“These are words that the group does not consider using,” he said, adding: “I think government has fallen into a scam or it is part of the scam. Hassan Tukur should be able to explain further.”
Sani said he believes that the journalist, Ahmed Sakilda, is still the credible person to get the correct information from as far as this issue is concerned.


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