Facts have emerged on how the Boko Haram insurgents group stormed the Ashaka Cement factory located in Ashaka, Gombe state on Tuesday.
According to sources, the insurgents stormed the cement plant after carrying out an attack in Nafada, where five soldiers were killed at a checkpoint and four worshipers were shot dead at a mosque with the town’s most senior cleric.
The gunmen stormed the site at about 3:00 pm (1400 GMT), according to one worker, Amadu Wunti, who said they looted high explosives and demanded to be taken to where expatriate managers stay.
Some Ashaka residents said that the insurgents after taken control of the company and the town, gathered the residents together and preached their strange brand of Islamic ideology to them.
They also promised the people that they were not in the area to hurt anyone.
“Yes, the group came here without killing anybody but they went away with eight Toyota Hilux belonging to Ashaka Cement Plc which they fully loaded with dynamites taken from the production site of the company after preaching their beliefs to the residents,” a resident said.
The resident’s account was supported by several others, including another staff member of the company who said “the militants pulled out after the raid. They did not hurt or kidnap anyone.
“But they took eight company vehicles and lots of dynamite used in quarry work. The attackers, which included young women, broke into the store and loaded dynamite into the vehicles and drove off.”
But the management of the cement company on Wednesday announced that normalcy had returned to the Ashakacem plant after insurgents entered the plant on Tuesday afternoon.
The cement firm in a statement issued by the Country Communications Director, Lafarge Africa Plc, Viola Graham-Douglas, said, “Ashakacem, which is located in Gombe State in the northeastern region of Nigeria, was the target of an intrusion by people who were strangers to the plant. However, the situation has now stabilised and there is no report of any injury to employees or damage to the plant.”