Governor Jonah Jang
By Michael Olugbode and Seriki Adinoyi
For the third day running, the troubled town of Maiduguri, Borno States Friday witnessed a deadly confrontation between members of the Joint Security Joint Task Force and the notorious Boko Haram sect which left scores dead and several others injured.
Also Friday, tension was high in parts of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State following the killing of ten persons, hacked to death the previous night at Kogwom Village in Vom District of the local government by unknown gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
It would be recalled that Maiduguri had witnessed two suicide attacks on JTF officials on Wednesday and Thursday which left about ten persons dead and severally other injured. It was gathered that the Thursday clash erupted when suspected members of the sect wanted to take over a police station and were repelled by the JTF.
A security source told ThisDay that the militants numbering about 20 launched an attack on Taiwo Ibrahim Police Station.
He said they had all sorts of ammunition including a rocket launcher, which was jammed when the militant tried to use it.
The militants, who were said to be in military camouflage, engaged the security in an exchange of gunfire for several minutes.
The sources said because they could not withstand "the expertise and superior fire power of the security agents" they retrieved into adjoining neighbourhood and were pursued by the determined military into their hideouts.
The battle it was learnt shifted from the police station to the Ummarari and Jajeri areas were the militant fled.
The battle which raged for another four hours saw many houses set ablaze and recorded scores of deaths.
As many were settling down to Friday's business, gunfire resumed at about 9am in the same vicinity making many to desert the streets, fleeing home for solace.
All effort to reach the spokesman of the JTF, Leuitenant Colonel Sagir Musa proved abortive as at the time of going to press as his mobile line was not going through.
In Plateau State, the gunmen allegedly stormed the village during the early hours yesterday and shot sporadically at the people thereby killing ten persons and injuring two others, who are currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.
The Special Task Force on Jos crisis confirmed the killings. In a statement signed by Lt Kingsley Egbo, he said the soldiers rushed to the scene as soon as they got an alarm, but that the people of the area prevented them from entering the village. He added that the ten people killed were members of same family.
Meanwhile, a survivor, Musa Habila, told newsmen that the attackers wore Military helmets. "It was at about 9pm. I was still awake and studying when suddenly I heard sporadic gunshots behind my room. I quickly ran out and started shouting but there was no help because no military checkpoint was close.”
Condemning the attack, the Special Adviser to Governor Jonah Jang on Media and Publicity, Ayuba Pam, who visited the scene described the incident as barbaric and stressed that the state government will not rest in the search for lasting peace in the state.