Reports reaching us from Njaba village in Borno state reveal that residents who were lucky to have fled a spine-chilling attack by the Boko Haram sect, which left dozens of people dead four days ago, are unwilling to return because of the absence of security operatives in the place.
Eye witnesses said that the attack, which took place as the residents were holding prayers, sent everyone running into the bush for safety, with dead bodies scattered all over the area, some of them with their throats cut.
Although an uneasy calm has returned to Njaba village where at least 45 people were killed by the terrorists, according to unnamed military sources and vigilante groups who spoke to Reuters news agency.
A senior local government official in Damboa about 20 km from Njaba, who also declined to be named, said that most of the victims were teenagers.
The unnamed military source told Reuters that the attack was not immediately known because the village is very remote and troops could not access the area.
Boko Haram’s six-year insurgency to carve out an Islamic state in the northeast of Nigeria has killed thousands and displaced over 1.5 million people.
Residents of Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, have reported what they believe to have been a gun battle between security forces and members of the Boko Haram, which lasted for over 5 hours on Sunday night.
The relative peace currently being enjoyed in Damaturu the Yobe state capital suffered a setback as sound of gunshots were heard throughout the night.
Sporadic gunshots were heard within the Damaturu metropolis from 9pm and lasted for over five hours.
Although an official statement is still being expected from either the Joint Task Force (JTF) or the police on the cause of the gunshots, residents believe it was a clash between security forces and the radical Islamic sect; the Boko Haram.
Yobe State government had four days ago reviewed the restriction of movement from 9pm to 6am in Damaturu, while curfew in other towns remained 6pm to 6am daily.
The last time gunshots were heard in Damaturu was 9 months ago when a field commander of the radical sect; Bakaka was killed in a gun duel with JTF at Khandahar area of Damaturu.
Former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar has called on Nigerians to pray for the members of the Boko Haram sect as Prayers is the only permanent way out of the insurgency.
General Abubakar in a statement noted that it is saddening that despite repeated calls from well-meaning Nigerians, the sect has refused to hearken to the voice of reasoning.
In his words “I implore Nigerians to pray for those people who on their own decided to take to violence as a means of achieving whatever their aim is so that they can have a change of heart, come to the table, discuss peace and discuss their grievances”.
“In the name of their conscience, in the name of Allah which they claim they profess they should lay down their arms and embrace dialogue to end the circle of violence”.
Recently, the United States declared the leader of the extremist Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, wanted and placed a $7 million bounty on his head.
The U.S. Department of Justice Reward for Justice Programme said it would pay $7million to anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the Boko Haram leader.
General Abubakar decried the “senseless killing” by the extremists which has turned a lot of children into orphans. He said this situation should not be allowed to continue.
The youth wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has rejected the proposed amnesty for members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, describing the offer as potentially dangerous to Nigeria and Nigerians as it is a clarion call to more terrorism in the country.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja, President of the association, Simon Dolly said amnesty for members of Boko Haram amounts to pampering the same people who have terrorised the nation and calling the bluff of those who are victims of the sect members.
He alleged that Christian youths in the north have been marginalised by the advocates of amnesty to the terrorists.
The association has now demanded an unconditional return of all missionary schools to their rightful owners in addition to building Christian vocational centres in the 36 states of the federation.
The Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Reverend Ola Makinde has warned that the insurgency staged by religious extremists in the northern part of the country is not a religious war but a revolution that can consume the nation if not addressed.
Rev. Makinde, made this known at a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday where he described the recent attacks as a revolution and he called on the federal government to urgently address the problem.
The clergy who blamed the persistent terror attacks on failed political leadership, traced the history of religious crises and unrest to about three decades ago, adding that the crises had always originated from the north.
He enjoined the government to take more decisive actions, as he noted that this was how the civil stated in 1969.