Photo: Indepth Nigeria
By Njadvara Musa
Maiduguri — MANY residents of Monguno and other neighbouring communities of Baga town in Borno State are now fleeing to Maiduguri, the state capital in droves due to fear of being attacked again by Boko Haram insurgents.
The fishing community on shores of Lake Chad was sacked last Saturday by insurgents after fierce battle with soldiers of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) at a military base of Mile 4.
Some of the fleeing residents told The Guardian Tuesday in Maiduguri that they decided to flee the area because they were no longer safe and protected, as Baga and the military base of MJTF were captured and are now being controlled by insurgents.
Ibrahim Isa, one of the fleeing residents said: “Almost all the towns in northern Borno have been sacked by the Boko Haram. The information we got from people that escaped from Baga is that they are going to come for us again for the third or fourth time.” Another fleeing resident, Mala Mohammed, said he decided to run away with members of his family because the insurgents may soon come for them.
“It is sad that government cannot protect us from these rampaging insurgents who take delight in taking innocent lives,” he said.
Many of the fleeing residents arriving Baga Motor Park in rickety vehicles with their belongings, including domestic animalss, were also sighted by noon yesterday.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it has so far registered 1, 636 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Baga, following insurgents’ multiple attacks in the area.
The North East Information Officer of NEMA, Ibrahim Abdulkadir, who disclosed this to newsmen in Maiduguri said that the registration exercise was going on as the displaced people were still trooping in to the camp set up by the Borno State government According to him, NEMA, in conjunction with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and other stakeholders have provided the displaced people beddings and other items.
“Those that were sick have been given medical attention while all hands are on deck as all the stakeholders in emergency management are doing what they can to attend to the need of the people.”
The information officer also disclosed that majority of the people that fled Baga attack went to Chad, adding that the agency was planning how to evacuate them back to the country. “Recently, NEMA team was dispatched to Chad, Cameroon and Niger to ascertain the number of Nigerians displaced in these countries. Those who are willing to come back will be evacuated back to Nigeria with the assistance of the host countries,” Abdulkadir said.