by James Sambo
As the Battle for Bama, the second largest town in Borno State, heats up, the Army has gained some grounds, a source has said. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adeshola Amosun, had been deployed to the combat zone to oversee the air strikes.
In an intense battle yesterday, our military made use of air strikes as a strategy to dislodge the hold of insurgent group, believed to be Boko Haram in Bama and Gwoza, as all link roads to Bama had been blocked.
“The insurgents were still holding on to Bama, they are still in charge. Typical of rag-tag insurgents, they are holding on to the last straws.
“But the troops are gaining upper hand through heavy air strikes. We are mostly fighting the battle in the air in Bama and Gwoza.
“The insurgents are feeling the air strikes, they are suffering huge losses. From intelligence reports, the bombardments have become unbearable for them and they might vacate the place within the next 24 to 48 hours,” a source who did not want to be named said.
It will be recalled that Bama was attacked by Boko Haram four days ago, causing a lot of residents to flee the city.
Meanwhile, Cameroon’s military has claimed that some Nigerian soldiers are seeking refuge in the country after fleeing from battle with Boko Haram militants in Borno State.
The Cameroonian military spokesperson Colonel Didier Badjeck, who disclosed this said that challenging situations in war has caused troops to flee. According to the Badjeck, last week, 480 Nigerian soldiers crossed over to Cameroon, in hot pursuit of Boko Haram militants; only two-hundred forty-six of them have since returned to Nigeria.
However, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in Nigeria has rejected the claims of the Cameroonian military.
A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said; “The Defence Headquarters is looking into the claim by Cameroonian Army which is yet to get in touch with us.
“So far, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) and other officers have claimed that no such incident was reported by troops at the battle front. We have asked them to crosscheck.
“We are trying to link up with various units and Cameroon to ascertain the veracity of a report by an international medium. If it is true, this is the worst form of desertion and it is wrong.”