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KonkNaija Media | May 9, 2016

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Bloodbath in Maiduguri as Military Hold off Boko Haram, Jonathan Calls for Cooperation

Bloodbath in Maiduguri as Military Hold off Boko Haram, Jonathan Calls for Cooperation

| On 15, Mar 2014

There was panic in Maiduguri Friday morning as residents were rattled out of sleep by sporadic gunshots and booming sounds of bombs as soldiers engaged a horde of Boko Haram members who had unleashed terror on the military settlement in the Borno State capital in a bid to rescue some of their sect members detained by the military.

“I woke up to hear loud sounds of gunshots, I was terrified. As the morning wore on the sounds continued and created panic in the city. Those who were rushing off early to drop their children in schools were forced to come back… the whole of this GRA was in confusion…I have never been this afraid”, Mallam Abdulmalik Abubakar, a resident of the GRA in Maiduguri told our correspondent.

The shooting between soldiers and the terrorists subsisted for hours, creating a thick pall of fear and confusion among the people. However, the Ministry of Defence was quick to clear the air and reassure the residents of their determination to ensure the safety of lives of all residents of the state.

A statement signed by the Director Defence Information, Chris Olukolade, a Major General, said: “Pockets of terrorists apparently in a move to boost their depleted stock of fighters this morning attacked a military location in Maiduguri with a view to freeing their colleagues who are being held in detention.

“The attack has been successfully repelled with heavy human casualty on the terrorists.  Some of the victims of the terrorists’ fire in their efforts to break into the detention facility, included those they came to rescue.  Many of the terrorists and their weapons have been captured.  Four soldiers were wounded and are being treated.  Hot pursuits by land and air operations are ongoing along with cordon and search of surrounding localities.

“No institution has been reported attacked, although the effect of firing from the encounter could be noticed in surrounding facilities in Maiduguri.  Details will be given later.

“It is believed that this terrorists attempt is in response to the intensity of attacks on their strongholds in camps at Talala, Monguzum, Sambisa forests, Gwoza, Mandara mountains as well as the general area of Lake Chad.  The camps have been destroyed and many insurgents killed”.

Meantime, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Friday in Abuja called for greater cooperation between Nigeria and neighbouring countries in the fight against terrorism.

Speaking at an audience with a Special Envoy of President Paul Biya of Cameroon, Mr. Emmanuel Sadi Rene who delivered a special message from the Cameroonian leader, President Jonathan said that Boko Haram and other criminal groups that operate in the countries’ border regions must be seen as a common threat to them all. The President said that Nigeria and its neighbours must take urgent action to harmonise their strategies and efforts to roll-back the menace of Boko Haram and other violent criminal gangs that operate between their borders.

“The issue of Boko Haram remains worrisome. If it is not properly handled, it could affect the security of neighbouring countries. We therefore expect maximum cooperation from all countries within our region to rout the sect,” President Jonathan told Mr. Rene who is Cameroon’s Minister of Interior.

Mr. Rene had conveyed President Biya’s assurance to President Jonathan that Cameroon was committed to cooperating fully with Nigeria to combat all forms of terrorism and cross-border criminality. He also assured President Jonathan that the Cameroonian Government will never allow its territory to become a safe haven for terrorists or a base for the destabilization of Nigeria.

- Political Enonomist