Home Latest News Army retakes Chibok town from Boko Haram —Military

Army retakes Chibok town from Boko Haram —Military

The Nigerian army said Sunday it had recaptured and “secured” the northeastern town of Chibok, where Islamic militants abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in April.
The army recaptured the town Saturday evening from Boko Haram militants, spokesman Major General Olajide Olaleye told AFP in a text message. “Mopping up operations ongoing. (The) town is now secured,” he said.
Leading elder Pogu Bitrus told AFP the town was re-taken in a joint operation with local vigilantes known as the Civilian Joint Task Force, who back up the military in several parts of the northeast where Boko Haram is active.
He said the vigilantes fought inside the town while army soldiers “stayed outside the town to mop up the insurgents trying to escape.”
Boko Haram had captured the town on Thursday after a battle lasting several hours.
Several inhabitants said the army had fled the assault, leaving the vigilantes to fight on their own.
Control of Chibok is crucial to the reputation of the army and the government, which have come under harsh criticism for their failure to rescue the schoolgirls.
The Islamists stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok on the evening of April 14 and forced 276 students onto trucks in a mass abduction that caused global outrage.
The insurrection by Boko Haram, which wants to create an Islamic state in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria, has claimed more than 10,000 lives in the past five years.
They have seized more than 20 towns and villages in the northeast in recent months
Meanwhile, the Borno State Government said on Sunday that it planned to enlist the services of local vigilantes, called Civilian JTF, to provide security in public schools ahead of the November 17 re-opening date.
Public schools in the state are expected to re-open on Monday after being shut on March 16 due to security challenges.
The Chairman of the 19-man committee on the resuscitation of primary school education in the state, Dr Mohammed Dongel, said this in a meeting with education secretaries and headmasters of public schools in Maiduguri.
Dongel said the vigilantes had already been contacted to provide surveillance in all schools.
“The state government deemed it necessary to take precautionary measures in ensuring safety of pupils and teachers in public schools before the re-opening date.
“The vigilantes have been contacted to provide surveillance and security to teachers and pupils in all schools to prevent schools’ attack like what happened in Yobe State,” he said.
Dongel said perimeter fencing had also been provided in public schools to prevent security breach.
He added that food vendors in all schools would be thoroughly screened on daily basis to prevent any incident.
According to him, visitors will also be properly registered to prevent any attack on schools.
He said the state government had allocated two utility vehicles to the vigilantes to monitor activities in schools in Maiduguri and Jere Local Government Areas of the state.
Dongel, however, stated that only four schools in Maiduguri, Konduga, Jere and Biu Local Government Areas would be re-opened on Monday due to logistic reasons

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