Survivors of the Boko Haram attack on June 7, in Ali Dawari village of Jere, Maiduguri, Borno state capital, have accused the Nigeria army of burning their village and carting away their property.
Four village heads – Bulama Umar, Muhammad Malam, Goni Alidawari and Bulama Mustapha – have confirmed the allegations, The Cable reports.
“The illegal raid was carried out by groups of armed personnel headed by one Captain Sai’du, a sector commander in the area under the 7 division of Operation Lafiya Dole,” Goni said.
“The military was informed about the attack by one of our civilian JTF who also witnessed the presence of the insurgents, but the troops did not respond.
“Several distressed calls were made to one Captain Sai’du who was the sector commander of the area, but after receiving a first call from our civilian JTF, he never picked his mobile phone or sent any reinforcement.
“All the soldiers stationed at one kilometre from Alidawari also took to their heels during the attack while our people were left to their fate to either stay or die or devised an emergency option.
“It was through this same military formations that the insurgents passed through into Jiddari Polo, federal high court area and commit all their atrocities without any confrontation or any form of anticipation from the military. They did not even try to stop them from attacking the town.
“If the military were really serious about rooting out the insurgents, why didn’t they lay an ambush for them because they used only one route to penetrate the town and used the same road to escape?
“They said their reason was because Boko Haram spent over three hours in Ali-dawari before storming the town. If it is true, then how come they killed two of our villagers?
“If they actually knew Boko Haram spent three hours in Ali-dawari, then what stops them from going after them, after all our people had all runaway.
“What was their proof that we the people of Addawari supported Boko Haram terrorists? If we actually supported them as they erroneously claimed, then why did we all run away for our lives?
“On that very day, the insurgents killed one of our civilian JTF members as well as some of our villagers, while many others were wounded and currently at hospitalised.
“This was the second attack on our village by Boko Haram terrorists; first was in December 2015, where they killed about 46 people of which 18 were my blood relatives.
“Instead of the military to protect our people, they are now burning our houses and chasing us out for no reason.
Recounting his experience, one Yusuf said some soldiers led by one Sai’du came to the village and asked everyone to leave the place.
“We asked the officer why we should vacate our village, he said we allowed Boko Haram terrorist to pass through our village and attack Maiduguri.
“They also accused us of aiding and abetting as well as sympathising with the insurgents, which was why we refused to inform them or any security agency.
“On Sunday as of 1pm, precisely, they came and gathered all the villagers and said that we have just three hours to vacate the place.
“Because of the short notification, many people especially old men and women were not able to pack their belongings.
“I managed to get some of my important things out of my house and took them to my relative home in Damboa road in Maiduguri.
“While I was returning to pick up my other belongings, at 3:30 pm to my surprise, I saw three army trucks and that of the civilian JTF loaded with our property.
“I had to hide somewhere because if they noticed I saw them, they would kill me. Some minutes later, I started to see flames everywhere which implied that they had burnt down the whole of the village.”
Abdulmalik Ibrahim, another resident, also claimed he saw soldiers looting property in the village.
“We have six witnesses who saw them looting our property. For now we cannot quantify the level of destructions or number of houses burnt because they refused to allow us to enter the village,” he said.
Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram