The Nigerian Army has reopened the Maiduguri-Damboa expressway for passage, after being closed due to Boko Haram attacks.
The Chief of Army, Tukur Buratai, announced this at the launch of Army Combat Motor Bikes in Damboa, headquarters of Damboa Local Government Area of the state.
He said the army would work towards securing the lives and properties of motorists plying the roads.
“From today the road – Maiduguri-Damboa and Damboa-Biu highway will be opened.
“The road is going to be entrusted into the hands of the Brigade Commander of the 25 Task Force Brigade,” he said.
Lt. Gen. Buratai added that “I do not want to hear any case of attack on innocent civilians or motorists on the road henceforth.
“Our troops will be on alert 24 hours to ensure that the road is kept open.”
The 88 kilometre long road has been deserted ever since the Boko Haram insurgents captured Damboa Local Government two years ago hoisting their flag in July 2014.
Damboa is one of the first towns on the fringes of Sambisa forest sacked by the insurgents in the wake of the northeast Nigeria insurgency.
The few buildings standing in Damboa, now a ghost town is ridden with bullets and tell-tale signs of a showdown between insurgents and federal troops.
The Civilian Joint Task Force – volunteers assisting the army – confirmed the reopening of the road and urged villagers to consider returning to occupy their homes.
The National Union of Road Transport Workers operating in Borno State, who bore the brunt of closure of roads, expressed delight at the development.
The army also released another list of most wanted member Boko Haram members.
“We are also launching the second batch of Boko Haram most wanted terrorists on our list.
“We will send the posters across the country to ensure that those that have run away will be fished out.
“We call on the public to look at the posters carefully, identify and report any person they can recognise and report accordingly”, he said
General Buratai said the first phase of the strategy has yielded remarkable results leading to the arrests of an unspecified number of suspects.