By Umar Yusuf
Yola— Defying the purported ceasefire agreement between the Federal Government and Boko Haram Islamic sect, the terrorists, yesterday, overran Mubi, the commercial nerve centre and second biggest town in Adamawa State as well as other neighbouring towns and villages, killing many residents who were unable to escape.
Many of the soldiers and residents were said to have fled to neighbouring local government areas. Residents who fled the town said the insurgents also engaged Nigerian troops in a deadly shoot-out.
Joshua Chinasa, a fleeing resident of Uba town which is about 30 kilometres from Mubi, said several people might have been killed during the shooting spree which was still going on at press time. He said:
“We are in serious trouble as these boys (Boko Haram) have taken over our towns, splitting in groups with some Boko Haram members advancing towards Mararraban Mubi and Vintim, the home town of Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, giving Nigerian troops a hot chase. Mubi has now become a ghost of itself as people in their hundreds are fleeing for their lives. Even here in Maiha, we saw military vehicles zooming off towards Yola, the state capital.”
He said that several people might have been killed during the shooting spree that lasted almost two hours in Uba and other villages.
Ahmad Sajoh, the spokesperson to former Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako, who also narrated his experience, said his daughter was missing after the advance of the insurgents early yesterday.
He said: “This morning, I got a call from my daughter who is a 200 level student of Adamawa State University, Mubi. She was hysterical. I was in Abuja for a meeting, but her information forced me to head back to Yola immediately. She told me that the insurgents were approaching the town which is the second largest in Adamawa State. I ordered her to leave the hostel and join her cousins to escape the town. I called my father who confirmed the story.
“By the time I arrived Yola airport, the town had fallen to the insurgents. My parents are trapped while my daughter and her cousins are missing. We lost contact for the past six hours.
“My colleague, Mallam Iliyasu of the Bursary Department Adamawa State University, Mubi, who is trapped in the town, said by 2pm the Police Barracks in the GRA was overrun by the insurgents; the Prison was blown open while fighting was going on at the Army barracks.
“The IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp at Lamorde was thrown into confusion. The new rulers of the town had issued a decree banning all entry and exit to the town. Students who trooped to the motor park are now stranded with most taking refuge in any house that could welcome them.
“The barracks are the least safe locations in the town. So far there are no reported cases of killings or abductions. But fear and apprehension had taken over. No word yet on the incident either by government or the military.”
A widow, Lamidi Kery, who lost her husband to a similar attack in Mubi, confirmed that people died during the attack. She said: “The town is deserted now, people have all fled into nearby bushes and hilltops. We have seen soldiers in their vehicles retreating.”
Another source said that the Boko Haram insurgents overran Madagali down to Bazza, both in Adamawa State. “They are having a field day. Even yesterday, I sneaked into Michika town to evacuate my aged mother, but surprisingly only insurgents could be heard around, there were no soldiers.
“Mubi has now become a shadow of its former self, people in hundreds are scampering for their lives. Even here in Maiha, we saw soldiers’ vehicles zoom-off towards Yola, the state capital,” said a local source in Maiha, another town in Adamawa.”
Another resident in the troubled town said that one of his siblings had not been seen and every effort to establish contacts with him in the last 24 hours had proved abortive.
“The town has been deserted while the only place safe for us is the military base in Mubi and the situation in Yola, the state capital, is so bad that the residents are apprehensive due to the influx of strange elements into the town”, he said.
Emir of Mubi sends SoS to FG
Worried by the deteriorating situation, the Emir of Mubi, Alhaji Abubakar Isah Ahmadu, issued a Save-Our-Soul, SOS, to the Federal Government to prevent imminent invasion by the insurgents.
The state governor, Bala James Ngillari has asked the people of the state, particularly those in the affected areas to remain calm as security agents were on top of the situation. Mr P.P Elisha, the Director, Press and Public Affairs in the state in a statement said, “it’s unfortunate. His Excellency (the governor) met with security chiefs in the state yesterday to asses the situation. People should remain calm, security agents are on top of the situation.”
Meanwhile, the military authorities have not responded to the invasion of Mubi town by the terrorists as calls and text messages to the Defence Spokesman, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade were unanswered.