By Sam Kayode
Few hours after the Army Chief General Ibrahim Attahiru arrived Maiduguri to stand up to the Boko Haram insurgents as directed by the defence Chief General Lucky Irabor, a massive attack on Damasak by the insurgents was repelled by the Nigerian military.
The insurgents were said to have spent the better part of Sunday mobilising to take Damasak, one of the sensitive lake Chad council areas which borders Kareto, Abadam, Kukawa, Gajiram and by extension Monguno which has also been on red alert.
An impeccable military source told METROWATCH that the attackers were not allowed the breathing space to take over Damasak the capital of Mobbar council area of the state as they plotted.
Boko Haram was also recently dislodged from New Marte another Lake Chad town when they barged into the place, using the resident internally displaced people as human shields and vowed to pin down the town which was one of their operational bases for at least five years before it was taken over last year.
“With this tactical move by the military to retake Damasak a border town near Afofo In Niger Republic, urgent steps needs to be made to give assurances to the humanitarian communities who have started pulling their people out tactically even before the siege on Damasak today.”Said a humanitarian source.
Sources around the humanitarian community in Maiduguri however told METROWATCH that it has been a serious battle for some hours before the military could gain the upper hand as at dusk on sunday.
“After what happened In Dikwa in which about five of our people from INSO a security based organization were taken along by the fleeing insurgents, we have been looking at the scenario and restrategizing to stay safe. We cannot allow another blood of humanitarian workers to be spilled especially now that they have been mobilising themselves to surround Monguno as we got from our village intel.
“We have informed our members to be careful with what they are doing at this critical period of the change of baton of the service chiefs because it is the time, when especially these people will always look for loopholes to strike and destabilize the civilian populations and distract the morale of troops keeping them racing helter skelter.” Said our source.
Meanwhile the Chief of Army staff may be around the theatre for the next one week reviewing movements and tactics of troops to ensure that they all fall in line with the new policy strategy of the Chief of defence staff General Lucky Irabor who led the entire military chiefs earlier on saturday into the theatre command for an over two hours briefing on how to end the war.