Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Not less than 17 soldiers were killed in confrontations between the military and Boko Haram insurgents along Bama-Gwoza road weekend.
Many soldiers were also said to have been abducted by the insurgents in the confrontations, even as the number of casualties, though also large from the Boko Haram side, could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.
The insurgents were said to have attacked Firgi, 20 kilometres north of Pulka along the road from Gwoza to Bama on Friday night.
They were said to have killed 13 soldiers in the crossfire that took over two hours.
The insurgents, whose number of casualties could not be ascertained, were said to have gotten some military retreating.
They were equally said to have carted away some arms, ammunition and vehicles belonging to Nigerian Army.
An impeccable source told our reporter that during the crossfire around 10pm of 17 January, 2020 on Firgi, 20km north of Pulka along the road to Bama, “13 government forces members were killed with four of their vehicles taken away.”
The insurgents were back on the same axis the second day, Saturday to continue from where they left.
They were said to have attacked a military company at Banki junction on Bama-Gwoza road at 10 pm.
The battle was said to have been on for about three hours (10pm to 1am), with both sides pushing for victory.
The casualties on the side of the military was four with the record from the insurgents not known.
The insurgents were also said to have abducted yet to be ascertained number of soldiers and carted away arms and ammunition.
Efforts to get confirmation from the military was not successful as at the time of filing this report as text messages to both Col. Sagir Musa, Army spokesman and Col. Isa Ado, spokesman of the military joint task force on counter insurgency in the Northeast (Operation Lafiya Dole) were not responded to.
Meanwhile, the head of the counter insurgency operation in the Northeast (Operation Lafiya Dole), Maj. Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, said that Boko Haram had failed in the ongoing war against the country.
He equally promised that the military would not allow them an inch of land in Nigeria.
Speaking at a party organized for the troops in Maiduguri on Saturday evening, Adeniyi who led a victory dance, said: “Boko Haram has failed, we are not going to let them get an inch of land in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.”
Adeniyi, who called out officers and soldiers and guests at the get- together to be part of the victory dance, said: “We are happy to dance and shame Boko Haram who do not want us to be happy.”
The Army Chief, who was joined in the dance by the Borno Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Kadafur, the Guest of Honour at the occasion, said: “I have made a covenant to go after Boko Haram, fight Boko Haram and end their menace.”
Responding, Alhaji Kadafur said: “I feel
honoured to be Special Guest of Honour.
We appreciate all the efforts by the military to safeguard our territory. We pray to God for guidance and repose of the soul of heroes. those that have paid the supreme price and we asked that God continue to be with their widows and orphans.”