Meanwhile, residents of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, have described the December deadline given by President Muhammadu Buhari to end the Boko Haram insurgency as not realisable, saying there seems to be no end in sight.
This they said, given the fact that only aerial bombardment was being carried out by the Nigerian Air Force, while ground forces were yet to engage the insurgents concentrated in Mobbar and Abadam local governments areas of the state.
Ma’aji Kolo, a resident of Mobbar Local Government Area, who is taking refuge in Maiduguri, a safe haven for all internally displaced persons from across the 27 local government areas of the state, said recent surge of suicide bombings and hit-and-run attacks made residents doubt there was any end in sight to the insurgency.
Ma’aji told Nigerian Tribune in Maiduguri that “we love and supported Buhari, but we are getting confused because we hope and believe he has all it takes to end the Boko Haram madness, but today, we are more afraid that they might come back in full force to take over more towns and villages.
“A lot of them have come into town, they are occupying Mobbar and Abadam local government areas. They are in Marte and Baga, soldiers are yet to engage them and are regrouping. We have complained through our leaders and nothing seems to be happening as to engaging them. We are afraid. For me personally, I don’t think end is in sight looking at the December deadline.
“The last time the military told us to go back that they have liberated the local government, we went back and that was when I lost two of my brothers, when the Boko Haram attacked Munguno. I still feel bad for believing in the military and taking that decision. Now, they are urging people to go back again, but our people who are trapped in the local governments are telling us that all is not well,” he said.
According to him, anybody who had seen such a terrible thing must be afraid, adding that the insurgency was the biggest security challenge facing Nigeria.
He added that this was even as the country was already grappling with a severe economic crisis as a result of the fight of six-year insurgency and lack of focus among political leaders, who were busy fighting themselves, giving opportunity to the insurgents to regroup.