NIGERIAN soldiers, on Wednesday, proved their ability to contain the insurgency in the North East when they moved against the Boko Haram sect, killing about 60 of their members during repeated attempts to enter Konduga, about 70 kilometres to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
In a statement, the military said “the icing on the cake of Nigerian troop’s victory of the day was capture of a high ranking terrorists’ leader who was seriously wounded and is currently being treated in a military medical facility.”
Meanwhile, the blast that happened at the Federal College of Education, Kano has been described by the Federal Government as a great challenge for all Nigerians, revealing that government would re-strategize security plan in schools across the nation.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, when he led the Federal Government’s delegation to the college and Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, where some of the victims were admitted, yesterday.
Shekarau stated that security of schools and the society at large is not a one-sector practice, urging members of the community to always beef up their watch against anything they consider threat to their security.
The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, also paid a visit to the victims at the hospital. He prayed for the reposed souls of the departed ones. He also urged the injured victims receiving treatment to go back to school when they are discharged from hospital.
“The perpetrators of this act wanted to see that people stop going to school to acquire education. So you should not succumb to whatever they may come up with. You should go back to school and acquire education,” Emir Sanusi directed.
On the government’s delegation were the former governors of Jigawa and Kebbi states, Ibrahim Saminu Turaki and Adamu Aliero, Senator representing Kano Central, Bashir Garba Lado, Executive Secretary of National Commission of Colleges of Education, Prof. Muhammad Junaid and the representative of the Inspector General of Police, DIG Wakama.
Military sources informed PRNigeria that the terrorists’ leader whose name is still being kept a secret was captured after the second but more fierce battle waged by the insurgents to capture the town following their earlier routing by the military.
In addition to their losing scores of their fighters, the terrorists also lost weapons and equipments including 24 riffles, five rockets- propelled grenade tubes, two machine guns as well as a Ford Ranger vehicle. Another Ford ranger vehicle was also destroyed.
During the first battle of the day, which lasted over 12 hours, scores of the terrorists were again sent to hell.
“Right now, our troops are combing the vicinity of the battle scene in a cordon and search operation to determine the exact casualty figures suffered by the terrorists in the encounter,” the source declared.
It was learnt that during the encounter, three Hilux vehicles, one armoured personnel carrier and a cache of arms and ammunition were confirmed captured by the troops.
“In yet another battle which occurred at Benishek on Wednesday, troops fought through an ambush, capturing four motorcycles from fleeing terrorists. Unfortunately, however, one soldier lost his life while four others who were wounded are receiving treatment,” the statement read.
In a related development, the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri has said Boko Haram sect still controls 31 towns and villages in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states of the North East sub-region despite the capture of Konduga town by the Nigerian military last Friday.
According to the church, nine bridges linking these captured towns and villages have also been destroyed by the insurgents using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in the last quarter of 2013 and this year. The Limankara border bridge that links Borno and Adamawa states was listed as one of those affected.
The church spoke as the apex Islamic body in the north, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) scommiserated with families of victims of Wednesday bomb attack at the Federal College of Education, Kano, describing the incident as “senseless killing of innocent students.” According to the Islamic group, “this barbaric and callous attack is condemnable in its entirety and it will always demand for questions on what exactly the perpetrators want.”
Addressing a news conference Wednesday evening in Maiduguri, the Director of Catholic Social Communication, Rev. Gideon Obasogie, listed the affected towns and villages to include Damboa, Buni Yadi, Madagali, Gwoza, Gujba, Gulak, Bama, Gulani, Shuwa, Marte, Kukawa, Michika, Dikwa, Bularafa, Bazza, Gamboru Ngalla and Buni Gari.
Others are Banki, Wulgo, Ngoshe, Attagara, Barawa, Arbokko, Kirawa, Bara, Pulka, Bumsa, Ashgashiya, Taltaba, Limankara and Njibulwa.”It may interest you to know that these listed towns and villages are being ‘controlled at will and conveniently’ by the Boko Haram. Their black colour flags are flying in Borno, Yobe and parts of Adamawa states that make up the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri apart from Sambisa Forest which is their main training camp and hideouts, and many more camps which are yet to be destroyed by the Nigerian military troops?
“Right now we have close to 20 priests taking refuge in Yola.
The church cried out saying that Maiduguri, the Borno State capital is sitting on a keg of gun powder. With the fall of Bama which is about 78 kilometres away and Konduga, the next major town is Maiduguri, which is s40 kilometres from the targeted state capital.