Nigeria: Boko Haram Overruns Police Academy in Borno 


Boko Haram insurgents (file photo
By Stella Omona and Temidayo Akinsuyi

Lagos — Heavily armed Boko Haram insurgents on Thursday invaded the Nigerian Police Training College in Gwoza, Borno State.

Police sources said the terrorists, who numbered several hundreds, stormed the police college in five armoured tanks they had earlier seized from soldiers who had made several unsuccessful attempts to dislodge them from Gwoza over the last two weeks.

The sources told online news medium, ‘SaharaReporters’, that the college had five units of police officers in training at the time of the attack.

One source disclosed that each unit had 59 trainees and a unit commander.

Among the units in residence at the college were two mobile police (MOPOL) units from Nasarawa and Gombe states and a mobile police unit from Abuja.

Two other units from Zamfara State were also at the college during the attack.

One of the sources disclosed that numerous trainees were killed or seriously injured by the attackers.

“Those who survived the attack had to run to the mountains nearby,” said the source.

He added that some of the trainees managed to escape to Adamawa State.

Another police source told the agency’s correspondent that the surging militants blew up an armoured tank stationed at the gate of the training camp before gaining entrance into the school and wreaking havoc.

Boko Haram had seized much of Gwoza town two weeks ago.

They hoisted the sect’s flag in the town and appointed an Emir to administer the strategic township, after the town’s traditional ruler escaped with other refugees.

The training centre was one of the few government facilities that remained out of the control of the sect, until Thursday’s massive offensive by the insurgents.

Since the insurgent group’s take over of much of the town, the Nigerian Army had launched a series of operations to liberate the town.

But each of the military actions had been repelled by the insurgents in counter-attacks that proved deadly both for the troops and the terrorists, according to a military source.

Recent efforts by the military to mobilise troops in a determined battle to wrest Gwoza from Boko Haram have been hampered by protests by soldiers and their spouses.

SaharaReporters learned that many soldiers were refusing orders from their superiors to go on missions against Boko Haram fighters.

The defiant soldiers and their wives have expressed concern that the insurgents are equipped with weapons that are far superior to the weaponry and other equipment available to soldiers.

“Some of the soldiers complain that their weapons do not match those of Boko Haram,” one source said.

Also on Thursday, residents and traders of Nyanya, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), scampered for safety following a bomb scare in an abandoned vehicle, a Peugeot 406 car along the Nyanya-Maraba road.

It was feared that the vehicle was laden with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

Eyewitness said on sighting the abandoned car, residents and traders of the area who had witnessed bomb blasts twice this year took to their heels when the owner of the car was nowhere to be found.

However, when the residents and traders reported the matter to soldiers manning a checkpoint around the area, the military men found nothing incriminating inside the car after carrying out a thorough search.

They thus asked the men of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to remove the car from the area.

One of the soldiers confirmed that they searched the vehicle and found nothing inside it.

“There was no bomb scare in Nyanya. What happened was that a Peugeot 406 car was parked along the Nyanya-Maraba road but when the residents saw it, they began to panic and they informed us at a checkpoint in the area,” he said.

Meanwhile, an elder statesman, Olanihun Ajayi, on Thursday charged President Goodluck Jonathan to live up to his responsibility as Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces and save Nigerians from the Boko Haram menace.

Ajayi, who was a delegate to the just concluded National Conference, in a chat with Daily Independent, said one of the reasons Nigerians elected Jonathan President is for him to secure the nation and protect them both from internal and external aggression.

While noting that the President is the father of the nation, Ajayi added that no loving father would fold his hands and watch while others allow his children to suffer unjustly.

He, therefore, called on the President to “act fast”.

“We have an elected President in this country. The Boko Haram people are operating within the jurisdiction of the President. And if a speck enters one’s eyes, you try to remove the speck. Boko Haram is a foreign body in Nigeria wreaking havoc.

“We are all under the protection of our elected President and he is the Commander-in- Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He should act as such and act fast. He should protect all of us and save us from Boko Haram,” Ajayi added.

Source: All Africa

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