Insurgents asked us to ignore curfew, say residents
Residents of Adamawa State town Madagali yesterday said Boko Haram insurgents told them to defy the 24-hour curfew imposed by the state government.
Acting Governor Umar Fintiri on Sunday announced the curfew after Boko Haram’s fighters invaded the town, which is close to the boundary with Borno town Gwoza, seized by the insurgents.
Residents said the insurgents, who are moving freely in the town, brandishing their guns, asked them to continue with their normal businesses, without fear of attack.
‘’They asked us to ignore the 24 hours curfew, promising not to attack us. They (Boko Haram) told us that they are not after us now; rather, they are pursuing troops being deployed,’’ said a resident of the town who pleaded for anonymity.
A source who spoke to reporters on the telephone said even those who were able to cross the mountain to Cameroon were feared to have been arrested by Cameroun gendarmes.
‘’Many residents are now on the hilltops, while those that were able to cross to Cameroon are reported to have been arrested by Cameroun security operatives.
‘’We are now finding it difficult to cross to Cameroon. Many have resorted to stay back here in the town, with Boko Haram hoisting their flag.
‘’We are now living in an atmosphere of despair and agony,’’ said another resident.
Although, this is not the first time Madagali has been attacked, Saturday’s was the deadliest with a number of residents feared killed, before the insurgents dislodged the community and established a settlement.
Madagali Local Government Chairman James Abu Waltharda said civilian casualty was minimal, but thousands of residents have been scattered across the state.
He said five churches were set ablase by the assailants in Sabongari and Hembla settlements in the town.
“The insurgents surely are still in Madagali but the military is near. I spoke with them. I did not hear any encounter between soldiers and the assailants but people will not return to their homes until they are certain the insurgents have left completely. Our people have run to Michika, Shuwa other areas even in those towns people are running,” he said
According to reports, after hoisting their flag at the military base, located at the secretariat of Madagali North Development Area, the insurgents patrolled streets in the town.
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