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March 9, 2014

Boko Haram: Exodus hits Adamawa, Borno

Boko Haram: Exodus hits Adamawa, Borno

By Umar Yusuf, Yola
They move in droves: men, women and children; even the sick  and those with bullet wounds. The able bodied ones among them carry what is left of their belongings, especially mats, food stuff and  household items. Nursing mothers  strap their  infants to their back and carry  loads on their heads.

They trek  for days  to no destination in particular. All they think of is how to escape insurgency attacks.
As they continue the journey,  some settle in mosques and churches or any other place considered safe from Boko Haram Islamist group’s assaults. They have become refugees in their own country.

This is the situation many residents of  Adamawa and Borno states have found themselves following serial attacks by Boko Haram.
Almost all the border settlements of Madagali and Michika in Adamawa and Gwoza, Bama, Konduga among others in Borno have  been deserted as no single building stands in the communities.

boko-cartoon1The buildings have all been destroyed by  insurgents. The number of dead is unknown even as property destroyed cannot be  estimated.
Villages and communities that are yet to receive  the baptism of fire from the insurgents  and people that survived  attacks in their areas have been on the move.

And they are on a journey without destination. Like Madagali and Michika LGAs in  Adamawa, it  was reliably gathered that thousands of residents have relocated to  neighboring Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi, Benue and other states considered safe.

Some of the displaced people told Sunday Vanguard that they preferred to remain  where the are than to be wiped out by insurgents in their own states. Solomon Tizhe, who hails from Michika, said he lost his wife and four children when  insurgents attacked the town last month.

Besides, according to him, his supermarket with a  stock worth millions of Naira was razed. “So what do you expect me to remain in the area to do?  I know this is where I was born and brought up, but how do I start to return there?” He, like many others, spoke in tears.

Asked why they could not  wait for relief materials from government, Tizhe  retorted: “Wait for relief materials when the Boko Haram people are advancing?. We better find a new abode elsewhere.”
Meanwhile, all the boarding schools and tertiary institutions in the two local governments of Adamawa have been closed.
Their closure followed the latest attack by insurgents on the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe.