- 23 die in Gombe park explosion as police assure of safety in Adamawa
Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri, Daji Sani in Yola
Forty-one decapitated heads of Boko Haram Islamic fundamentalist group members were displayed in Biu, Borno State by youths after a fierce battle for the town where the youths and the military had an upper hand.
This is as no fewer than 23 persons were reported to have lost their lives after explosives planted in a Bus inside the ever busy Gombe Line Motor Park exploded yesterday morning.
Also, as the battle for Mubi between the Nigerian troops and the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents entered the third day, the Adamawa State Police Command, has assured the citizens of the state that the government forces were on top of the situation.
The youth and the military had earlier engaged the terrorists in a fierce battle and after killing 41 insurgents, a decision was taken to cut off their heads and display them in order to demystify the fearsome group.
A member of the youth vigilante group in the area, Ibrahim Kolo recounted that after a failed attempt on Sabon Gari in Damboa local government area of Borno State on Thursday, a combined team of military officers and members of the vigilante group otherwise known as Civilian JTF, went after the insurgents and killed 41 of them.
He said they were pursued from Sabon Gari, in Damboa local government to Gur area around Mandafuma village, in Biu local government area where they engaged them in battle which lasted for about two hours.
According to them, after the confrontation, 41 members of the sect laid lifeless.
He said at the point, a decision was reached to do something to demystify them, then it was decided that a proof of the conquest must be shown to the people.
He said after the soldiers had left, the youth vigilante severed their neck and brought their heads to show to the public that they were no spirit and could be killed after all.
He said: “The vigilante beheaded the insurgents after the shoot out and took their heads to Biu to show the people that the Boko Haram insurgents are human and not some beast and so, people should not fear them but to join hands with security operatives to ensure that the sect, who are enemies of Islam and the people of Nigerians are defeated.”
He narrated that, “we heard that the insurgent went to attack Sabon Gari, where people were just returning to their homes after three months of exile as internally displaced persons in various camps across the state. We went after them to foil the planned attack.
“We were able to repel them and seeing that they headed towards Mandafuma in Biu local government, we pursued them and we were able to ambush them at Gur.
“We engaged them in fierce battle with the soldiers and 41 of them were killed, one of them was taken alive.
“No soldier was killed in the ambush. After they were killed we cut off their heads and took it to Biu to show the people in order to encourage them to stand up against the Boko Haram fighters, who are now destroying our villages.”
On the Gombe explosion, the State Police Commissioner, Abdullahi Kudu Nma told reporters at the scene of the incident that nine people were confirmed dead in the explosion that took place around 10 am.
A resident and eye witnesses at the scene of the tragedy who gave his name as Bello Sule said he saw that number being transported to different hospitals in the State capital while over twelve 18-seater buses belonging of some State Government Transport Companies were completely destroyed.
He said three people were arrested while trying to run away from the scene after they parked their bus with Yobe plate number and brought out luggage which exploded some few minutes after.
“For now, three suspects have been apprehended and we are reasonably suspecting they are the people who brought in the Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Either the vehicle is parked laden, we cannot determine now until our EOD make their investigation to determine that very particular vehicle mentioned that is already parked with IED or they came in the way they did in Azare last week”.
While addressing journalists in Yola; the commissioner of police, Mr Adaji Gabriel said the situation in Mubi was now calm , adding that no casualties was recorded by the police in the recent Mubi attack, saying that his men were all assemble in Hong town to give the military back up.
He appealed to members of the public to eschew spreading unfounded rumour and panic movement capable of worsening the situation, adding that the security agencies have been on top of the situation and were doing everything humanly possible to return normalcy to the troubled areas of the state.
Gabriel called on the general public give useful information that could aid the security agencies.
He also paraded some suspects in possession of dangerous weapons, for kidnapping, armed robbery and other offences.
The command also recovered stolen a car, foreign currencies ,which included 816 united Emirate Dirham, one Quarter Riyal,509 France cents CFA and some dangerous weapons.
Meanwhile thousands of persons from the neighbouring local government areas of Mubi are trooping to Yola, the state capital to seek refuge.
The development was as a result of an alleged threat by the dreaded Boko Haram sect to extend its attacks to neighbouring towns of Mubi.
Residents of Hong , Mahia and Gombi local government areas which are the neighbouring local government areas to Mubi on Friday started leaving the areas for the fear of the insurgent attacks.
A fleeing resident from Hong, Mr Ayuba James said many of them were beginning to leave Hong town for the fear of Boko Haram stressing that the rumours going round that the insurgents have threatened to continue its terror to their town.
James said the reason behind them fleeing was because the insurgents always carried out its threats, adding that it was how they were hearing rumours that the insurgents had promised to enter Mubi and many people killed in Mubi doubted the rumours but to their greatest surprise the insurgents stormed the town.
“One my friends who was killed in Mubi refused to leave the town, when l called and pleaded with him to leave Mubi because of the pending threats going on that the insurgents have vowed to overrun the town and he was taken by surprised when the insurgents stormed his area” he said.