Suspected Boko Haram insurgents Saturday attacked Gujba town in Yobe State, shooting sporadically, causing panic and forcing residents to flee their homes.
This latest attack came just about 24 hours after the Nigerian military launched an operation codenamed “Tura Ta Kai Bango”, which means “We have been pushed to the wall”, to take the war to the terrorists that have held the North-east by the jugular for over a decade now.
Some of the residents of Gujba, who spoke to THISDAY on Sunday, claimed heavy gunshots were heard that forced residents to scamper for safety.
Some of those who spoke on phone said their town was attacked by the insurgents who burnt down health facilities and other structures in the area.
One of them, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Boko Haram stormed our town at about 2:30pm, shot sporadically and caused our people to flee.”
He said the insurgents wreaked havoc on the town for over three hours.
According to him, “They razed down a primary school and some equipment, particularly for ongoing construction in the town.”
The residents of Gujba said people have been discussing the impending attack by the insurgents as there had been a claim that there was a letter in circulation that they were coming.
The residents however praised the gallantry of the soldiers, noting that they blocked the way to Katarko.
They said the troops were also seen engaging them and were able to push them back after over an hour of engagement.
Gujba is 30 kilometres away from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital. The attack came three days after Boko Haram insurgents invaded Geidam town, looted shops and burnt public and private property.
Meanwhile, the state Governor, Hon. Mai-Mala Buni, has commended the military for repelling the Boko Haram attack on Gujba on Saturday.
He said the determination of the security forces in pursuing the insurgents was the reason for the recorded success, adding that this would change the narratives in the fight against insurgency with positive results.
The governor, in a statement on Sunday by his spokesman, Mallam Mamman Mohammed, said: “The resilience and gallantry of the military is highly commendable and must be appreciated to spur them to do more.”
He called on Nigerians to always appreciate and support the security operatives in view of the overwhelming security challenges across the country.
He assured the military and other security agencies of the support of the government and people of Yobe State in their onerous task of securing the lives and property, stressing that: “This is a collective fight that we are all involved.”
He said: “Government will continue to provide the necessary support for us to have peace in the state.”
The governor called on the people to always provide useful and timely information on suspicious movements in their communities to government and security forces for proactive measures.
He however regretted the casualties recorded and wished those injured quick recovery.
He directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to immediately provide the needed assistance to the people and provide the government with the details of the destruction suffered from the attack for necessary action.