Boko Haram, the Islamist terrorist group being steadily routed by the military in the northwest part of Nigeria, may be inching their way back into some of the places where they had been displaced.
Local sources informed that the terrorist few days ago invaded some communities in the Borno North Senatorial District, affecting four local governments namely Mobbar, Guzamala, Abadam and Kalabage, and the military have been battling frantically to dislodge them without doing much collateral damage to the residents.
The Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman has, however, dismissed the development as non-existent.
The report of the invasion of the four local governments was coming amid reports of inter-agency rivalry among defense agencies, absence of what sources term as ‘technical assistance’ and irregular payment of allowances to members of the Multinational Joint Task Force, MJTF, in the North East war theatre.
Indications that the terrorist group was becoming more daring after a long lull emerged with last week Thursday’s attack on United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) humanitarian convoy while travelling from Bama to Maiduguri in Borno State, and as Federal Government has often stated in its war on terror such incidence may not be a one off sneak attack by a fleeing insurgent group.
Rather, the ambush of the aid workers may just be a further indication of a gradual resurgence of virulent fundamentalist group. Bama, the area where the aid workers were ambushed, had been liberated by army before the 2015 election.
The attack on UNICEF who were protected by security convoy say observers, speaks volume of a new found confidence in Boko Haram’s ranks. The last week attack of the UN workers came amid sporadic shootings in three local government areas.
Though unconfirmed by Army Information Unit’s apparent stone walling on the matter when Independent sought its comment, it was reliably gathered that towns like Mobbar, Guzamala, Kalabage and Abadan are still under attack by Boko Haram insurgents.
Like Bama, Abadan too, was liberated alongside more than 22 towns and local government, by the Nigerian Special Forces along with the Multinational Joint Task Force, MJTF that included Niger, Chad, Cameroun and Benin Republic armies.
Experienced security observers suggest that Boko Haram’s latest effrontery may just be an attempt to staking for more territories. The terror group is believed to be engaging the army in sporadic shooting at different locations.
The effort, says a source, is an offensive manoeuvre meant to spread the army thin.
“It is what guerrilla groups do when they realize that they are outmanned, outgunned and do not have the arms sophistications of their opponent,” explained a retired military intelligence officer who spoke to the newspaper.
The sources also added that the report of the attack in such a short period of time is quite surprising and distressing given that army appeared to have thoroughly degraded the capabilities of the terror group barely a year ago.
A clear testimony to this was the official Defence Headquarters, DHQ’s release dated March 16, 2015 with reference No: DHQ/ABJ/901/32/DDI.
In it, the army claimed: “Troops Finally Rout Terrorists from Bama and Last Stronghold in Yobe.”