Boko Haram insurgents have reportedly invaded two towns in Adamawa State, after hunters and civilian vigilantes take matters into their own hands and reportedly ousted them from Mubi, two weeks after it was seized by the terrorists.
The Islamists raided Hong and Gombi, some 100 kilometres (62.5 miles) from the state capital, Yola, reports Vanguard.
As the insurgents continue invading major town in Nigeria’s north in a bid to set up an Islamic Caliphate in the country, their ouster from Mubi may not be a setback in their campaign. This is because the invasion of Hong and Gombi takes the terrorists closer to capital city, Yola, the seat of government in the state.
However, the loss of Mubi, which the insurgents had renamed to Madinatul Islam or “City of Islam”, may be an indication that, with commitment of troops, it will be easier to oust the insurgents from the taken towns. Apparently, Boko Haram saw Mubi as a stronghold, making the sect rename it as it expected its territorial gains to continue, but the audacious onslaught by locals has proven otherwise.
The vigilantes had also reportedly reclaimed the town of Maiha on Wednesday, following a fierce battle with insurgents, scores of which was said to have been killed.
The vigilantes now have Gombi and Hong to reclaim as the insurgents were reported to be freely patrolling the towns, with heavy weaponry being fired.
“They have burnt down the police station, the local government secretariat and the market after overpowering the police,” Vanguard quoted Haruna Awwalu, a resident of Gombi, as saying.
The police station in Hong was also said to have been burnt down by the terrorists, with the Boko Haram flag reported to have been hoisted outside the home of a retired military general.
Chibado Bobi, chief of staff in Adamawa state governor’s office in Mubi confirmed that civilian vigilantes and hunters had reclaimed the commercial town.
“It is true Mubi has fallen back into the hands of Nigerian soldiers with the help of local vigilantes and hunters,” he said.
“It is however too early for residents who fled to move back to Mubi because the security and vigilantes need to mop up all remnants of the group that may be lurking in nearby areas,” he said.