Residents of Maiduguri are fleeing in droves for fear of an attack by the terror sect,Boko Haram.
An earlier attempt last Sunday was repelled by soldiers.
But with residents whispering yesterday that members of the sect had surrounded the city preparatory to a fresh attempt,hundreds have rushing out of town.
The Damaturu/Kano/ Bauchi/Jos high way which is the only safe route in and out of the town has been recording heavy vehicular traffic in the last few days.
A resident of Damaturu in neighbouring Yobe State,Aisha Abdullahi told our correspondent that she almost called off her official trip to Maiduguri yesterday on seeing the large number of cars racing out of the city.
“I almost turned back looking at the way people were leaving the town.I just don’t know where the courage to continue the journey came from.I prayed all through the ,” she said.
Usman Kakami Bulama who moved his seven children to Kano said that Maiduguri residents have not been sleeping well since President Goodluck Jonathan’s recent campaign visit to Maiduguri.
“I have become worried just like many other people in Maiduguri. The city has not had this kind of threat of recent until the president came here and left last Saturday. We don’t sleep with our eyes closed any longer and the tension is growing stronger every day.
“I have never moved my family anywhere since this problem started but I am afraid that this time around something dangerous will happen. It is better for my family to leave and I stay alone than all of us staying here. It does not make sense though its painful and the cost implication is also there,” Bulama said.
Hundreds of people besieged motor parks on Damaturu/Kano road on their way out of the city.
Many of them said they might return to after the election.
Augustina Andrew who was travelling to the Southeast with her two children mentioned said: “if Nigeria is alive after May 29, 2015, I will come back otherwise, it is bye bye to Maiduguri”.
Abaganna Yunusa however dismissed the threat on Maiduguri by Boko Haram, saying :“Let them come inside Maiduguri, they will see fire. The day they enter Maiduguri will be their last day. We are going to kill all of them. Enough is enough. We are tired of them.”
The army has remained silent on the feared attack.
Commercial activities are however going on smoothly in the metropolis. Commercial institutions like banks are still operating in the city while schools, both private and public are also in session.
The magazine—Newsweek—yesterday quoted John Campbell, former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and editor of the Nigeria Security Tracker – a tool which monitors violence in the West African country – as saying: “In terms of the encirclement of Maiduguri, we try to track the villages that Boko Haram occupies around Maiduguri and indeed it looks like a noose.”
Boko Haram launched an offensive on the city last week to coincide with the visit of U.S. secretary of state John Kerry to the capital, Lagos, to meet with both presidential candidates, incumbent Goodluck Jonathan and opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari.[The Nation]