Boko Haram: How Gudumbali residents survived attack on military base

Lamentations, sporadic shootings Survivors of Saturday’s attack by Boko Haram in Gudumbali, Guzamala Local Government Area in Borno, have recounted their near death ordeal during the incident.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that scores of insurgents in gun trucks and various caliber of arms, stormed the town and attacked a military base, a battle that lasted for about 12 hours.
Some of the survivors who spoke to NAN after finding their way to Maiduguri on Sunday evening, expressed different feelings over the incident.
Bintu Bukar, 33-year old mother of three, said the insurgents held them hostage for several hours and continued shooting throughout the period.
“I cannot describe the type of shock I went through,” she said.
I was waiting to hear them break into our home and kill us.
They were chanting Alhahu Akhbar amidst sporadic shootings from a very close range.
“We all got down on the floor for fear of stray bullets.
They continued shooting untill around 3 a.m.
“That was when we escaped and started running.
I held my three children very close because it was dark at that time.
I also found five other children belonging to my neighbour who fled away and held them close.
“We trekked more than 20 kilometres where some vehicle conveying other IDPs assisted us to Gajiram.
It was from there that we came here in Maiduguri.
“I am yet to hear from my husband uptill now.
I am still in shock.
I never want to go back to Gajiram.
We are not safe.” Modu Bukar, who escaped with his goat, said he could not run away because he was taking care of his two aged grand parents.
Mr Bukar said when he realised the criminals were not targeting civilians, he decided to lock himself with his parents with a padlock so they would not come into their home.
“They left the town after several hours.
They were chanting ‘Munkama garinsu gabadaya’ which means we have taken over the town completely,” he said.
“The rains of bullet suddenly stopped but we were advised to remain in the house.
At that time we knew that the military had also left the place because they fought nonstop for almost 12 hours.
“On Saturday, they came back to the town again and started shooting.
At that time I assumed that they came after civilians.
“So I left my parents and ran away.
I trekked a distance of seven kilometres through the plantation and found myself in Gajiram where I took a transport and returned to Maiduguri this evening.” Victims speak Ahmed Usman, another victim, said most of the soldiers were not on ground when the sounds of shootings stopped.
“The brigade commander had visited the town with additional troops but the people were still in the fear of the unknown,” he narrated.
“We have been there for almost three months.
I am willing to go back if the military can provide additional forces to protect us.
“Many of our people are farmers and they have invested a lot in this year’s farming in the area.
But we have no choice than to wait untill total peace is restored.
“We are here as elders of the community to make preparation to return our people to Bakassi IDPs camp.
“We have contacted our secretary of local government and we fixed a date for Monday so that those who escaped and are still on the way could arrive Maiduguri and join other IDPs.
“We therefore urge the government to make the necessary preparations for food, shelter and even clothing as we ran out of the town with nothing and many may not be willing to go back to the town again,” he said.
Counter attack Texas Chukwu, director Army public relations, had earlier disclosed in Maiduguri that combined troops of 82 Division Task Force Brigade and 158 Task Force Battalion had encountered the insurgents in Gudumbali but successfully repelled the attack.
“The encounter took place when the insurgents attacked the community, set some buildings ablaze and quickly withdrew from the community.
However, no human casualty was recorded in the encounter.” The Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, and other principal military officers met with Theartre Commamder, Abba Dikko, at the Military Control and Command Centre in Maiduguri over the attack.
The outcome of the meeting was not made public, as the military chief declined to comment on the incident.
But sources close to the military chiefs said they were briefed on the various ongoing operations, adding that they were deeply concerned over the spate of attacks in the North-east.
NAN gathered that the meeting reviewed the operations and re-strategised for onslaught against Boko Haram terrorists, especially in Borno North and the Lake Chad region.
Boko Haram gunmen on Friday night carried out another attack on a military base in Borno State, an official said.
The Deputy Governor of Borno State, Usman Durkwa, who confirmed the incident to journalists in Maiduguri on Saturday said the troops and neighbouring communities were attacked in Guzamala Local Government Area of the state.
It was in Gudumbali, the headquarters of Guzamala Local Government Area that the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, in July this year, inaugurated a cenotaph to commemorate the killing of about 144 soldiers in an attack by Boko Haram in 2014.
The inauguration was done at the time persons displaced from the liberated community were returning to it.
The deputy governor however said he has no idea of the casualties from Friday’s attack.
“It is unfortunate to confirm to you that there was an attack by Boko Haram extremists in a military base and other communities of Gudumbali,” he said.
“Thousands of the people who were displaced and spent some years in a resettlement camps in Maiduguri have returned back recently after the liberation of those surrounding communities by our gallant security forces.
“I regret to inform you that there was another attack by insurgents in Gudumbali, but I am yet to get the number of casualties.
“I just spoke with the Police Commissioner, Damian Chukwu and the Brigade Commander in Monguno, both confirmed to me that the attack actually took place, and our security forces were on top of the situation,” Mr Durkwa said.
“I therefore call on the good people of the state not to panic, as government in collaboration with security operatives and members of Civilian Joint Task Force, JTF are doing everything possible to restore peace in the affected area and the state as a whole.” Source: Premium Times

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