By Umar Yusuf, Ndahi Marama and Aliyu Dangida
Yola - No fewer than 36 persons were feared killed in Yola and Maiduguri when unknown gunmen attacked the Maiha Prisons, before setting the Maiha Divisional Police Station, the local governmet Education Authority Complex, as well as the Governor’s Lodge in Adamawa State ablaze in the early hours of Friday.
In Musari Community, near Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, 15 people were also killed by some unidentified gunmen in the early hours of yesterday, the Joint Task Force, JTF Spokesman, Leutenant Colonel Sagir Musa has confirmed.
Musa said: “Information available to the JTF, Operation Restore Order indicated that unknown gunmen sneaked in to Musari Community – a village located at the outskirts of Maiduguri and secretly carried out selective killings of five people including a serving Nigerian Police Traffic Warden. The incident happened in the early hours of yesterday, between 1 – 3 am.’’
He added that the JTF troops however responded to the distressed calls and, arrested three suspected assailants and recovered one AK 47 Rifle with 10 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, pointing out that investigation had commenced to apprehend the fleeing members of the gang.
Also in Jigawa State, Ringim town was also thrown into mourning following the reported killing of a young graduate, Malam Rabiu Danladi by a robbery gang on his way back from Kano.
Malam Danladi, 32, who was a teacher at a Police Girl‘s College in Shanono, Kano state was attacked by a gang of armed robbers along Ring road around 7.30pm on Thursday as he was driving a brand new car which he was going to show to his family members for their blessing and prayers.
However, the attackers of Maiha Prisons were said to have freed all the inmates, during the incident which reportedly started around 3am. The attack in Maiha came barely two weeks after another bloody attack on Madagali town, near the area. Maiha Local Government shares common border with the Cameroun Republic.
Eyewitness in Maiha who spoke to newsmen on telephone that that Divisional Police Station, Customs Area office and the Governor’s Lodge, all located in the local government headquarters were completely razed down.
According to the eyewitness, the heavily armed gunmen, in their large numbers, overran the police station, carted away all the arms and ammunition, before setting it ablaze. They later proceeded to the prisons where all the inmates were set free.
They however said that the gunmen had targeted the Local government Education Authority complex which they also reportedly ransacked and set ablaze.
There was pandemonium in the entire town, following the sound of heavy gun fire and the smoke which allegedly enveloped the area. according to the eyewitness.
Adamawa State Police Commissioner, Godfrey Okeke confirmed the incident.
Okeke who spoke on the issue from Maiha, told newsmen on the telephone, and requested not to be disturbed further as he needed rest.
“Nobody should disturb me now. Already, I am in Maiha; you people should allow me to rest,” he added.
The state Police Public Relation Officer, PPRO, Deputy Superintendent Mohammed Ibrahim also said he was with his boss in Maiha to assess the situation and declined further comments.
The state Controller of Prisons, Mr Andrew Barka, confirmed the attack on telephone. Barka, who declined to give details of the attack, said he was on his way to Maiha. “I am on my way to Maiha with the Commissioner of Police,” Barka said.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the young graduate teacher, Danladi, struggled with his attackers in the process of trying to snatch the key when he was shot dead.
The deceased who was married and had three children, has since been buried in accordance with Islamic injunction even as robbery activities were on the increase especially on Ringim-Kano, Ringim-Dutse and Dutse-Kano roads respectively.