Inspite of the existing state of emergency and purported ceasefire deal between the Federal Government and Boko Haram, 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. Fleeing residents said the insurgents also engaged Nigerian troops in a deadly shoot-out.
As at 2pm on Wednesday, it was learnt that the police barracks in the Government Reservation Area (GRA) was overrun by the insurgents while the prison in the town was blown up. This is just as an online news medium, Sahara Reporters, is claiming that the insurgents have taken over the 234 Special Battalion barracks in the town as soldiers fled abandoning their position.
A fleeing resident of Uba town, which is about 30 kilometres from Mubi, who gave his name as Joshua Chinasa, said several people might have been killed during the shooting spree which lasted almost two hours.
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”.
Ahmad Sajoh, the spokesperson to impeached Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, who also narrated his experience, said he lost communication with his daughter 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”.
Meanwhile, in response to the renewed violence, the state government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Mubi, Mararaba Mubi and Uba.
The Secretary to the State Government, Mr Andrew Weyle, who announced this, advised the people to stay away from the roads and other public places.
He said, “Following the escalation of violence by the insurgents, his Excellency the Governor of Adamawa State, Mr. Bala James Ngillari, has approved the imposition of 24 hours curfew on Mubi, Mararaba Mubi and Uba, with immediate effect.
“People are advised to stay off the roads and public places except those on essential services”.