A senior military official in Abuja has told SaharaReporters that militants belonging to the Islamist group, Boko Haram, were planning a major assault to attempt the takeover of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. The source assured that the Nigerian military was closely gathering intelligence on the attack, and would be prepared to repel any attack on the important northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri.
The military source disclosed that the Islamist insurgents had been moving arms and some of their most experienced fighters to locations near Maiduguri in order to facilitate the attack.
“We have identified that one of their major operational bases is 10 miles from a major [Nigerian] army barracks, known as Giwa barracks,” said the officer.
He added that army officials in Abuja became aware of the plan to attack Maiduguri after Boko Haram operatives stormed and took over the town of Dikwa in Borno State shortly after the Nigerian military withdrew most of the soldiers previously stationed in the area to Bama in preparation for a major attack on Gwoza.
Our military source said the militants were also stockpiling weapons in Uye, Dafarda and Yamtake. “We are aware that Boko Haram is using their Camp 4 in Gwoza to train a special unit for the attempt to take over Maiduguri,” he said. The insurgents recently seized Gwoza in a massive offensive that also enabled them to overrun and capture a police mobile training college located near Gwoza.
The army officer disclosed that Boko Haram insurgents have devised a plan to use Sojiri, a town about an hour’s drive from Maiduguri, as a staging ground for their planned major attack on Maiduguri.
“I can assure you that the Nigerian Army is ready to defend Maiduguri,” the officer said, adding that the residents of Maiduguri have no reason to panic. According to him, the army is gradually improving its intelligence gathering on the activities of Boko Haram. He said the military would use ground troops as well as aerial bombardment to scuttle the insurgents’ plots.
Meanwhile, wives of soldiers and families have begun moving out of Giwa and Maimalari barracks to escape the impending attack.
The wife of a soldier told SaharaReporters today that a signal has been secretly circulated to soldiers in Maiduguri secretly be on red alert. She said several soldiers were moved to Bama leaving Maiduguri vulnerable to attack.