Boko Haram abducts 135 villagers in Cameroun
SUSPECTED Boko Haram Islamists have kidnapped 135 people in a raid on a village in northern Cameroun which left eight people dead, local sources said on Wednesday.
The raid took place before dawn on Tuesday in the village of Chakamari in a region known as the Extreme North, which borders Boko Haram strongholds in neighbouring Nigeria.
Cameroun, which is part of a regional force fighting Boko Haram, has been hit by a series of deadly Islamist attacks in recent months.
The attack came as Guinea offered help in the regional fight against Boko Haram whose bloody insurgency in Nigeria has increasingly spread to neighbouring states.
“Men from Boko Haram attacked our neighbours in the village of Chakamari overnight Monday-Tuesday. They killed eight people, two women and six men,” a member of a vigilante group in a neighbouring village told AFP.
The vigilante, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the attackers torched many homes before making off with the hostages.
A police source confirmed the death toll and the number of people abducted.
A soldier at the scene confirmed finding six bodies, describing them as vigilantes.
“The villagers told us that more than 50 people had been kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists,” he told AFP.
Meanwhile, the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), yesterday, said the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan successfully blocked Boko Haram’s threats, especially in the twilight of the regime, through the use of sophisticated weapons.
Some of the weapons, which, according to him, decided the outcome of the anti-terror war in favour of Federal Government in the last few months of Jonathan’s administration, were Alpha jets, APCs, MRAP vehicles, advanced artillery pieces, assorted arms and ammunition, highly sophisticated surveillance drones and T72.
According to Dasuki, the Federal Government, following a six-week shift from the original election date, was able to ward off the threat from Boko Haram, held the elections and sent the leader of the sect into hiding.
In a chat with Abuja-based PRNigeria, Dasuki said the previous government also carried out modification of F7 supersonic jet fighters and was able to facilitate acquisition of hitherto elusive military weaponry, a feat, which he said led to the recovery of many local councils that were previously occupied by Boko Haram terrorists.
Recall that the presidential and National Assembly elections were originally set to take place on February 14, to be followed by the governorship and state assembly elections on February 28. However, one week before the elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the postponement, with Presidential and National Assembly elections shifted to March 28 and governorship and state assembly elections to April 11, 2015.
Dasuki said the Federal Government amid international conspiracy, was able to procure some decisive acquisitions for the Nigeria military to effectively check the threat by Abubakar Shekau and his sect against the democratic process.
“We are glad that we also provided assorted Armoured Personnel Carriers to transport troops to the battlefield. They are armed for self-defence and to provide protection from attacks from shrapnel and small arms fire.
“All these were acquired in the last one year after years of frustration by Western powers, who denied us of the equipment and sabotage our efforts to acquire same from other sources which are reasons for some delay in delivery.”
The embattled Dasuki, who just a day after he was relieved of his duties as the NSA, by President Muhammadu Buhari, was restricted from moving out of his house by Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) for “security reasons” said Jonathan facilitated the acquisition of the hitherto elusive weaponry in the last one year, which helped in the recovered of many local governments that had been occupied by Boko Haram terrorists, just within six weeks.
He said: “The armoured tanks have comprehensive NBC protection system, just as we deployed Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles that we bought and could withstand improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and ambushes. The vehicles had protected our troops from the land mine threats.
“Some other arms already paid for by the previous administration are due to be delivered soon. It was unfortunate that some elements were frustrating the efforts as we even had to query some suppliers for delay in delivery of arms and ammunition,” he said.
Answering the unasked questions that has been agitating the minds of many Nigerians on the where about of Shekau, Dasuki said: “We utilised some of these equipment to recover more than 22 local governments under Boko Haram terrorists and ensured that Shekau did not disrupt the 2015 election as he had threatened. Not only did we ensure that the elections were peaceful, Shekau has never spoken to threaten anyone again since then.”
He noted that the Nigerian military has made sacrifices to see that the country is free from Boko Haram oppression, but some faceless elements has continued to rubbish these achievements.
He said: “In attempt to rubbish individuals for whatever reasons, political or otherwise, we should be careful not to rubbish sensitive institutions and their personnel that might still be in active service.
“It is unfortunate that some elements hide under the cover of anonymity in the media to rubbish some of the sacrifices we made. They should take the courage to come out publicly by identifying themselves with their baseless allegations,” he noted.