The Nigerian troops have recaptured Bazza town, home town of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 3rd Division, Jos, Major-Gen JS Zaruwa from the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents.
It could be recalled that Boko Haram militants attacked a platoon, led by the son of former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, shooting him on Monday, in which he sustained serious injuries to his legs and is now hospitalised.
A senior military source, who spoke to journalists on condition of anonymity, said that Nigerian troops yesterday retook Bazza after a fierce battle, in which the soldiers killed several Boko Haram militants.
According to our source, “Our soldiers circled Bazza and engaged the terrorists in a serious battle. We have now recaptured the Bazza, after overcoming the resistance of the militants in the township”.
Thousands of the residents of Gulak, Michika and Bazza had fled to neighbouring towns and Cameroon, as Boko Haram had unleashed mayhem on residents during their short reign over the towns.
The source disclosed that the successful repel of the Boko Haram insurgent’s attack was made possible by an advance team of Nigerian Air Force pilots, who bombed the insurgents’ command center in Bazza.
“It was after our Air Force jets bombarded their strongholds mounted on roads that the troops moved in on a clearing mission”, the officer revealed.
Reports however has it that there were heavy gun shots in Vintim ward, a hometown of Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, just as the emir of Mubi, Abubakar Isa Ahmadu was sneaked out of the town.
It could be recalled that Lieutenant Agwu, of the 234 battalion, GOC of the 3rd Division, Major-Gen JS Zaruwa and Colonel Victor Ebhaleme, who serves as the Brigade Commander of the 23rd Army Brigade, in Yola, were all together advancing towards Michika when Boko Haram fighters unleashed the deadly attack on the soldiers.
Some Mubi residents said, “We couldn’t sleep due to the heavy gun shots that pervaded the air at night and for now, no one could say the exact situation. They kept shooting, chanting: Allahu Akbar! People are now living in an atmosphere of despair and agony; Even our Emir, His Royal Highness, has left in the night,’’ said a resident, who pleaded anonymity.
A fleeing resident, now taking refuge at the hill tops, disclosed in a telephone interview, that many residents are now trapped in Michika, Bazza and Shuwa.
“We are in trouble now; many are trapped, some could not get out of their homes. These people are everywhere, hoisting their flags on bikes, with others brandishing their guns ,’’said another fleeing resident.