The Nigerian military has stated that there was no cause for alarm over the reported retaking of Marte town in Marte local government area, Borno state, by Boko Haram terrorists.
Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters made a statement posted on its website on Saturday, May 16, Premium Times reports. According to it, “there has not been any static deployment of troops in Marte for quite sometimes’’.
The DHQ stressed that steps are being taken to address the development in a very short time, adding that the assault on the forest and mountain hideouts of the terrorists is ongoing.
“Only occasional patrols and surveillance have been undertaken towards the area as the bulk of troops are engaged in the operation to clear the terrorists from all identified enclaves in the forest.
“Besides, Marte had been deserted by citizens most of whom had fled to other towns while others are in IDP camps located in Maiduguri and other places.
“It is understandable that terrorists escaping from the offensive operations in Sambisa and other enclaves are looking for place of respite.
“They must have found the Marte deserted and decided to harbour there.
"Now that their presence is reported, the issue will definitely be addressed in a very short while.
“There is really no cause for alarm in the way some reports are presenting this situation as if it is a meaningful resurgence of terrorists.
“This will only fool the terrorists and their sympathisers into false celebration. There will certainly be no respite for terrorists anywhere in Nigeria,’’ the statement read.
Yesterday while confirming the takeover of Marte town, Zannah Umar Mustapha, the deputy governor of Borno state, said:
“Our thinking was that every other place should have been blocked so that the insurgency would be curtailed to a restricted area. But that has not been the case because the insurgents have been fleeing to other communities."
Meanwhile, dozens might have been killed in a fresh bomb attack in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital. The bloody attack was reportedly carried out by a 10-year-old suicide bomber, believed to be a member of the Islamic terrorist group.