Friday, 7 March 2014
Boko Haram Sacks Residents Of Bama, Gwoza In Borno-PREMIUM TIMES
The outlawed Boko Haram sect has literarily sent residents of Bama and Gwoza communities running after issuing threat letters of an impending bloodbath in the next seven days.
The sect has, in several threat letters said to be written in Kanuri and Hausa languages, also warned resident of the towns, who are civil servants, to resign their jobs and burn their employment documents or risk being consumed by the impending war.
The two border towns of Bama and Gwoza have been cut off since the declaration of a state of emergency with soldiers blocking the roads linking the town to the state capital, Maiduguri.
Escapees from Bama were forced to take bush routes through Dikwa, a town 60km away from Bama and 150km from Maiduguri to get to the state capital. The escapees said they paid at least N7000, as against the normal N300, as transport fare before taxi drivers accepted to risk the dangerous escape journey to the state capital.
A Bama resident, Abba Fannami, told reporters at Muna Park along Maiduguri – Dikwa Road, where most of the escapees arrived to in Maiduguri, that “it cost me about N50, 000 to transport my six family members to Maiduguri. It was a bad experience for many people in the bush, especially women and children.”
“They had warned government officials and civil servants in Bama to resign or else face death in the next seven days; we are all scared, this could be more deadly, so we have to run for our dear lives,” Mr. Fannami said.
Bama has witnessed several attacks by Boko Haram members including the attack on May 7 that led to the death of over 55 people including 22 police officers. Some of the attacks, which occurred prior to the emergency rule declaration, were preceded by warnings from the sect.
In Gwoza, insurgents, who were forced by soldiers to flee their camps in Sambisa Game Reserve to the rocky hills of Gwoza, have been terrorizing their new host communities. The insurgents were said to have taken over most outskirts of Gwoza including Pulka and Kirawa Towns, forcing residents to flee into neighboring Cameroon villages of Mura and Marwa, some 75km away from Nigeria borders.
A police constable serving in Gwoza, who didn’t want to be named as he is not authorised to speak to journalists, told PREMIUM TIMES that some residents of Gwoza suburbs were forced to hide inside rock caves as Boko Haram insurgents sacked them from their homes.
The JTF, the police, and Borno State officials could not be reached for comments on the recent happenings as GSM services in Borno remain shut. The Defence Headquarters spokesperson, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, who speaks on the role of the military in the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, could also not be reached as his Airtel telephone number was switched off.