Another town has fallen to Boko Haram, said the governor yesterday.
Adamawa State Governor Bala Ngilari was at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, where he painted a gory picture of the sect’s attacks in his state and the accompanying humanitarian crisis.
The sect, whose men stole lorry loads of dynamites from Ashaka Cement Factory in Gombe State on Tuesday, ostensibly for explosives, has renamed Borno State town Gwoza Darul Hikma (house of wisdom), according to residents.
Adamawa town Mubi, also under Boko Haram’s control, had earlier been renamed Madinatul Islam (City of Islam).
All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant Atiku Abubakar on Monday said the sect controls 16 local government in the Northeast.
He listed them as two in Yobe State, five in Adamawa State and nine in Borno State.
“Can you imagine that a country like Nigeria with one of the best armed forces cannot recover one single territory from these terrorists,” Atiku lamented.
Ngilari said after a meeting of the power sector apprenticeship scheme at the Aso Villa: “The security situation in Adamawa is very dicey right now and we are only trying to do our best to manage it. We are praying that it will improve, but it is really something to worry about.”
On how many towns have been overrun by the insurgents, he said: “I can talk of my entire senatorial district, Mubi Senatorial District. Five local governments have been overrun; Gombi and I just got a report, perhaps the outskirts of Shanli. There is a semblance of movement in that area. Really, we need a lot of intervention. We need to move more troops to secure the state. Really, it is a big challenge.”
Speaking on the taking over of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Air Marshal Alex Badeh’s hometown, he said: “We shouldn’t reduce this issue of the insurgency to simply the taking over of the house of the Defence Chief. There are a whole lot of things. What about the problem of unemployment. You know it is a whole long story.”
“We don’t just reduce it to the taking over of the house of the Defence Chief. I think it is more than that. Absolutely it is a challenge. We look up to God; God is there; there is nothing impossible for Him. We will do our best, but it is not something that we should leave in the hands of government.
“Everybody has a role to play in terms of giving out timely information, in terms of convincing people who are involved; they live with us; they are not from planet mass; they are part and parcel of the society.”
On how soon the insurgency could be crushed, the governor said: “I believe that Nigeria will really overcome, but I don’t know the time frame. Anything that affects any part of Nigeria affects the rest. We must all see how we can tame this monster.”
Gwoza was captured in July and Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, in a video released in August, declared that he had made Gwoza part of a caliphate — an announcement that recalled a similar move by the Islamic State militant group which has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria.
“They have given new names to Gwoza and Mubi, which they say are now part of their Islamic state,” said Ahmad Maishanu, who fled Mubi with his mother on Wednesday to Yola.
Tijjani Kalifa, who left Mubi on Monday and has contacts in Gwoza, also reported that Boko Haram was forcing people in both towns to use the new names.
Both witnesses said all the churches in Mubi had been burnt down and that Islamists were patrolling the streets regularly, with no sign of resistance from the security services.[The Nation]