Mubi: Boko Haram still in control as 3,000 relocate
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
FIVE days after Boko Haram terrorists seized Mubi, the second largest town in Adamawa, the insurgents are still holding on to the town even as about 3,000 residents who managed to escape have joined other internally displaced persons at an NYSC camp in Yola. Some of the survivors of the invasion have also recounted their ordeals.
Most of them who ran for safety were students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi. Explaining her ordeal to Vanguard in Yola, weekend, one of the students, Gift Ugo, a Mass Communications undergraduate of the Polytechnic from Abia State who said she spent four days in the bush where she hid from the prowling eyes of the insurgents said it was a miracle that she escaped alive.
She said: “I am based in Kaduna but schooling in Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa. I am studying Mass Communication. Actually, the incident happened on Wednesday morning although we never knew it would be that serious as the jets were dropping bombs. We had thought it was the usual incident that would just pass by but before we realized it, sounds of gunshots were everywhere. About 150 students ran to Cameroon border and were accommodated by the Cameroonian soldiers but we decided to stay back in the hostel to see how safe it would be until they called us that an HND 1 Accounting student had been killed. We were told that the crisis spread into the school premises as the university had been burnt down while the next target would be the Polytechnic.
“We had to run for our lives. We tried to get to where we could get a vehicle because the roads had been taken over by the insurgents. We saw them with our eyes. They have blocked all the access roads leading to the town, so nobody could leave or enter the town. The moment you come into the town, you are sure you are going to die and if you were inside the city, you had to run for your life because nowhere is safe inside Mubi right now. We have not been eating anything. We were just taking water with thorns piecing through our legs. Walking in the bush for four days has not been easy for us.”
Another student, Queen Samuel, an indigene of Benue State, studying Purchasing and Supply, also shared her experience. She said, “we have been running, we have lost almost everything. We trekked all the way from Mubi to Hong and got a cab that took us here. The situation in Mubi was very, very terrible. Immediately we left, we learned that the insurgents had burnt our hostel. There were gun shots and bomb blasts everywhere. We saw the Boko Haram people from the bush where we were hiding. Two of them were on a motor bike and some were riding in Keke Napep (tricycle) armed with guns, so we hid. It was by the grace of God that they didn’t see us. We spent three days in the bush. There was no security there at all in the town.
Debora Fandum and Samuel Kasinda, both from Mubi whom Vanguard met at Damare Junction, a suburb of Yola said that though they escaped, they were still confused over where to go or what next to do.
Meanwhile, the number of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, who were mainly victims of Boko Haram insurgency in Yola, Adamawa State, has hit 7662, Vanguard can authoritatively report. The figure, however, excludes 2633 new persons that were admitted into the permanent orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, at Damare, Yola, which is being used as camp for the IDPs.
Most of the IDPs came from Mubi, which was invaded by the insurgents last Wednesday. Michika in Adamawa State, Yobe and Borno states, largely known to be the hotbeds of the terrorists. Consequently, the sudden increase in the number of people has thrown up many challenges for the camp officials. For instance, the camp is now contending with insufficient mattresses, mats and toilets, just as the security around the camp is giving the camp officials some concern.
Investigations revealed that most of IDPs have taken to open defecation which officials said was detrimental to the health of the people. Details of the number indicated that 3472 were males, while 4190 were females. Children below the ages of five constituted 782 of the number. Similarly, pregnant women were 76, while the number of children between the ages of 0-1 year was put at 175. The camp cooked an average of 12 bags of rice and beans on daily basis to feed the inmates.
Confirming the number of the IDPs to Vanguard, the Commandant of the Camp, Mr. Ibrahim Hamidu, who was incidentally a Red Cross official from Gere Local Government of the State, said the camp was fully occupied.