Ngilari

I fear Boko Haram’ll overrun Adamawa – Gov Ngilari

ABUJA— Governor James Ngilari of Adamawa State, yesterday, cried out to President Goodluck Jonathan to save his state from being overrun by Boko Haram insurgents who have already taken over five local governments and are advancing to other towns.

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Governor Ngilari took his case to the Presidential Villa, Abuja on a day Boko Haram renamed another town it captured as part of its Islamic caliphate. It also commenced full enforcement of Sharia law in its areas of control.

President Goodluck Jonathan has, however, assured that in spite of the present security challenges, Nigeria will remain unbroken even as he promised free and fair general elections next year.

Ngilari, who spoke with State Hose correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Jonathan in Abuja yesterday, disclosed that five local governments in Adamawa State have been taken over by Boko Haram insurgents and pleaded with the military authorities to deploy more troops to the state.

Ngilari said that failure to boost military presence in the state may mean that the terrorist group will completely overrun it, noting that the security situation in the state remained fluid and required a more urgent intervention by the Federal Government.

According to him: “The security situation in Adamawa is very dicey right now and we are only trying to do our best to manage the situation. We are praying that it will improve, but it is really something to worry about”.

Speaking on the number of towns being occupied by the terrorists, the governor said: “I can talk of my entire senatorial district, Mubi senatorial district. Five local governments have been overrun; Gombi was taken and I just got a report now that perhaps they are on the outskirts of Shanli.

“There is a semblance of movement in that area. Really, we need a lot of intervention. We need to move more troops to secure the state. Really, it is a big challenge.”

The governor played down the seizure of the home town of the Chief of Defence Staff, saying that the issue of insurgency was much more than taking one person’s home town.

He stated: “We shouldn’t reduce this issue of the insurgency to simply the taking over of the house of the defence chief. There are a whole lot of things that make the challenge of insecurity. What about the problem of unemployment? You know it is a whole long story. We don’t just reduce it to the taking over of the house of the defence chief. I think it is more than that. Absolutely it is a challenge. We look up to God, God is there, there is nothing impossible for Him.

“We will do our best, but it is not something that we should leave in the hands of government. Everybody has a role to play in terms of giving out information timely, in terms of convincing people who are involved. They live with us, they are not from planet Mars, they are part and parcel of the society.”

Despite the dismal picture painted by the governor, he expressed optimism that the insurgency would soon be a thing of the past. “I believe that Nigeria will really overcome, but I don’t know the time frame. Anything that affects any part of Nigeria affects the rest. We must all see how we can tame this monster,” he added.

Boko Haram renames Gwoza

Meanwhile, Boko Haram has renamed Gwoza, in Borno which it captured in July as Darul Hikma, or “House of Wisdom” according to the residents who fled the area. The terrorists last week renamed Mubi, the second largest town in Adamawa as Madinatul Islam, which means City of Islam in Arabic.

Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, in a video released in August declared that he had made Gwoza part of a caliphate.

“They have given new names to Gwoza and Mubi, which they say are now part of their Islamic state,” said Ahmad Maishanu, who fled Mubi with his mother on Wednesday to Yola.

Tijjani Kalifa, who left Mubi on Monday and has contacts in Gwoza, also reported that Boko Haram was forcing people in both towns to use the new names.

Both witnesses said all the churches in Mubi had been burnt down and that Islamists were patrolling the streets regularly, with no sign of resistance from the security services.

Enforces Sharia Law

The residents also said the insurgents have started implementing Sharia law in the towns they captured. Maishanu said in Mubi that Boko Haram members chopped off the hands of 10 men accused of theft last Friday and burnt down churches. In a video released on October 2, Boko Haram showed the stoning to death of a man accused of adultery, a man having his right hand cut off for theft and a young man and woman given 100 lashes each for sex outside marriage.

Also, the civilian vigilante group was said to have beheaded some Boko Haram terrorists. A member of the group, Umar Hassan, said they and troops ambushed Boko Haram fighters last Friday as they prepared a raid on Sabon Gari village in the south of the state. “We killed 41 of them and decapitated them and brought the heads to Biu, which we displayed to people to demystify Boko Haram,” he said.

Two Biu residents said the vigilantes put the heads on wooden spikes and drove around the town, telling people the Islamists did not have magical powers. “It was like hunters displaying their game after a hunting expedition,” said, one Silas Buba.

Nigeria will remain unbroken—Jonathan

In spite of the security challenges, President Jonathan said, yesterday, that Nigeria would come out stronger than before, insisting that contrary to fears of possible disintegration being expressed by some people, it would remain unbroken.

He equally reiterated his commitment to the sustenance of free and fair election, assuring that the 2015 general election would be conducted according to international best practices just as he charged Nigerians to ensure the principle of “one man, one vote”.

Dr. Jonathan, spoke in Abuja, through his Chief of Staff, Brig-General Jones Arogbofa, rtd, at the launch of a book titled: “Diverse But Not Broken-Wake-up calls for Nigeria”, written by Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Canada and one-time Head, Department of Theatre Arts, University of Jos, Professor Iyorwuese Hagher.

The President called on Nigerians to use their voters’ cards to fight for their lives, children and future but said such must be done in a very decent and peaceful manner.

He said: “This is Nigeria and Nigeria belongs to us. We don’t have to run anywhere, but stay here and use our voters cards to fight for our lives, our children and our future in a very decent and peaceful way. The title of the book reflects a lot and speaks volume. It adds colour to the rainbow that we have in Nigeria. We are a diverse people but we are never a broken people. We are all together even in diversity; this has proven itself repeatedly and is proving itself even now.”

Insurgents invade Borno village, kill two, burn churches

Meanwhile, no fewer than two persons were feared dead while another person sustained gunshot wounds when a group of terrorists suspected to be Boko Haram sect on Wednesday invaded Whitambaya village of Hawul Local Government Area of Borno state.

The gunmen also burnt down two churches including the Church of Brethren in Nigeria, popularly known as E.Y.N church.

It would be recalled that the Caretaker Chairman of Hawul, Dr. Andrew Usman Malgwi complained of lack of military presence in his Council where a Pastor of Living Faith Church, Pastor Eluid Gwamna Mshelizza and 19 other residents of Shaffa town were slaughtered with over six churches burnt in the last one month.


Credit: Vanguard Nigeria

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