The Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF), the volunteer group that has been helping the military in the fight against the Boko Haram Islamist group in Borno State has found fault with a statement credited to the senator representing Borno Central at the National Assembly, Senator Ahmed Zanna, that Boko Haram had overrun Bama. According to the CJTF, there is no iota of truth in Zanna’s claims.
The youth vigilante group maintain that it was the insurgents that suffered heavy casualties with 130 of their members killed and 35 others arrested in the battle with the military.
Dismissing Zanna’s claim during a media briefing in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, CJTF spokesperson , Jibrin Gunda, said: “We categorically refute the statement credited to Senator Ahmed Zanna, the senator representing Borno central on BBC Hausa Service that Boko Haram has captured Bama.
“News has filtered in, most especially, on foreign media to which we want to clearly state that, our security personnel are doing their best and yesterday our gallant soldiers successfully repelled the insurgents who attacked Bama and Bama as a town in Borno State has never been overrun or overtaken by the insurgents even for a minute; even as of now, our soldiers are in full control of the town.”
Gunda added: “In view of this, we categorically deny and disassociate ourselves from an interview granted to some foreign media by one Senator Ahmed Zanna as what he stated is not the true facts on ground. More so, the interview he granted has contributed instilling fears in the minds of citizens of Borno State and residents of Maiduguri in particular.”
Gunda advised residents of the state not to panic, saying : “We want to re-assure the citizens of Borno State that, nobody should leave Maiduguri because all that been said are mere rumours as such people should be calm as the Nigerian security forces are capable, willing and competent to discharge their duties. “All citizens should desist from making unguided and false information which frighten the citizens unnecessarily.”
While insisting that the military is at its best in the ongoing battle to repel the insurgents, Gunda urged President Goodluck Jonathan to do all in his powers to support the Armed Forces in the terror fight.
“We equally wish and call on Mr. President to take seriously and bring to book personalities mentioned in the report of Dr. Steven Davis if doing so will help in bringing the Boko Haram to an end, as Nigeria is superior and better than any person in the country,” Gunda stated.