Reports reaching us indicate that a convoy of Sport Utility Vehicles, SUV, and motorcycles loaded with armed men suspected to be members of Boko Haram caused panic in a town located in the central part of Borno State on Thursday, 28 August, 2014.
According to report published by Daily Sun, many residents of Dikwa, headquarters of Dikwa Local Government Area in Borno were forced to flee into the bush on Thursday after they saw a gang of stern-looking men in some vehicles painted in military colour and motorcycles chanting Allah Akbar ! (Allah is great).
Commenting on the incident, a police source who is not authorised to speak on the matter, informed that “there was commotion everywhere as people fled into the bush until the men stopped and told some people they didn’t come for them but for security troops."
It was also gathered that the Emir of Dikwa, Alhaji Muhammad Masta El- Kanemi may have also fled the town amidst the confusion and panic of possible attack by the terrorists.
A source however claimed the monarch was sighted in Maiduguri on Friday, adding that he may have arrived the state capital sameday and didn’t flee his domain as rumoured.
Although there were no reported loss of lives and property, Modu Bukar, who fled to Maiduguri Friday morning, said some residents were scattered in different directions because of the insurgents.
“Some of us had to flee last night along with members of our families to safer places, like Maiduguri. These gunmen are never to be trusted because they will say one thing today and the following day, they change and commence slitting people’s throats for not joining to fight their own cause.
“Their capture of towns and villages in Borno continued yesterday with the invasion of our town, the council headquarters of Dikwa, a border town with Cameroun,” Bukar said.
He also recounted how Dikwa was invaded: “There were sounds of explosions and gunfire heralding their arrival in this town and some of us immediately fled for fear of the unknown.”
Meanwhile, some residents of Dikwa told newsmen that the insurgents headed to Marte, north of Borno, once a Boko Haram stronghold, where they unleash violence on villagers in the area. This report could not be verified as at press time due to destruction of telecommunication facilities in the area.
Dikwa town is about 80 kilomeetres from Maiduguri and is located along Gumboru/Ngala road, which has been taken over by the insurgents since August 24. Marte is on the Nigerian border around the Lake Chad.
The Boko Haram sect has claimed responsibility for several terror attacks in northern Nigeria and other parts of the country.
The Nigerian military dismissed the declaration of an “Islamic caliphate” as “empty,” insisting that no part of Nigeria would be conceded to the insurgents.
The invasion of Dikwa brings to 16 towns and villages already captured, including Gwoza, Marte, Ashgashiya, Wulgo, Banki andGambouru in central and southern parts of Borno State.
On Friday, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets bombed selected targets in Gwoza areas in an attempt to reclaim the capturedcouncil headquarters from the insurgents.