By Adeyemi Olalemi
During the invasion of Mubi and other neighbouring Adamawa towns, Boko Haram terrorists overran the Nigerian soldiers without firing a shot, they held many hostage and forced others, especially Christians, to recant their faith and join them, even as thousands of residents and soldiers fled their homes and barracks respectively to neighbouring Cameroun. The stage was finally set for a new government; the Boko Haram Government.
Nigeria lost parts of her territories to ragtag Boko Haram Islamic sect. This is unprecedented in the history of world’s most populous black nation. The military saddled with the responsibility of protecting territorial integrity did not only retreat but fled, lamenting lack of weapons to fight the dreaded Islamic sect. Boko Haram controlled Mubi and five other local governments in Adamawa state for uninterrupted 40 days. Greennews.ng’s visit to some of the towns captured by Boko Haram in Adamawa state gave an insight into how terrorists ruled the towns for 40 days before military eventually took over. This report is based on different accounts and interviews with those who were held hostage by the terrorists and those who had encounter with them at one stage or the other.
In a well-orchestrated October 29, 2014 invasion, terrorists began to mount road blocks simultaneously on major roads in Mubi town. According to residents, at least thirty (30) of about 60 terrorists who came into Mubi went to Military barrack in Mubi, chasing soldiers in their thousands. It was gathered from residents that no fewer than 2,000 soldiers were in Mubi at the time of the invasion.
The terrorists also freed inmates at the Mubi Prison. The Emir of Mubi’s palace which was just a stone throw from the prison was also taken over. However, the Emir, HRH Alh. Abubarka Isa Ahmadu (CFR) was not in town during the invasion. When the Emir returned, he was agitated and made effort to go into the town even when Boko Haram were running their government but he was stopped by residents who had fled.
Also captured was the home of immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh. It was gathered that Badeh’s family members were evacuated with an helicopter just before the invasion. An indication that the former CDS may have got intelligence that Boko Haram terrorists were going to attack the town. Badeh is yet to debunk this claim.
One of those trapped in the city who identified himself as Magirda, said he was in one of the old generation banks during the invasion, he ran back home and met an empty house; his wife and eight children were nowhere to be found.
Magirda said he saw the Boko Haram members driving armoured tanks with heavy weapons into the town at about 4pm on that Wednesday.
Boko Haram began consolidating its position in the captured towns by mounting checkpoints and surveillance at strategic locations in the towns.
Notably, around that time, terrorists renamed Mubi to “Madinatul Islam” meaning the city of Islam. This was to achieve its aim of having a government and own religion.
Despite brandishing riffles and other sophisticated weapons, the terrorists asked those who were trapped not to panic or run. “They even assured us that we would be safe under them than where we might run to but many of us never believed them”, Mohammed said.
Day 3, 4
Boko Haram installed its own Amir who used the Emir’s palace as his, he ruled Mubi town from the palace and gave orders which were obeyed to the latter by Boko Haram’s foot soldiers.
Many were said to have been slaughtered at the Emir’s palace on Friday, the third day after invasion, especially those who refused from the town.
The terrorists were not done in putting structures in place as they also appointed new Chief Imam who presided over the Islamic prayers at the central Mosque. According to residents, Boko Haram terrorists usually had a particular prayer at 2am. Most of them converged at the mosque to observe this prayer.
On Sunday, November 2nd, 2014, according to residents, being the first Sunday after the invasion, Boko Haram thought Christians would come to worship, they blew up Churches and set many ablaze, records obtained from Christian authorities indicated that a total 143 Churches were eventually razed in the territories controlled by Boko Haram.
The Remaining 35 Days of terrorist reign
The remaining 35 days of Boko haram reign in Mubi and other neigbouring towns in Adamawa were brutal; terrorists unleashed mass destruction on government facilities and looted banks.
Beyond the banks, many more businesses were looted; notably was the vandalising and looting of fuel filling stations in Mubi. “All these filling stations in Mubi were looted, none was left out”, a resident revealed.
Among many other lootings perpetrated by the Boko Haram was that of a 25,000 – bird poultry farm, It was severely pillaged, all the livestock were feasted on.
To further sustain control of the territories, Boko Haram also vandalized network masts in the area, breaking communication with the outside world. They ruled the towns mindlessly with iron fists and in most gruesome manner.
As their reign gradually wound down, terrorists who apparently learnt of Nigeria’s military plan to launch a recapture, blew up a connecting bridge at Kalal village which linked Mubi to other neighbouringneighbouring town. This move was to stop Nigerian soldiers from advancing to Mararaba, the closest town to Mubi.
As at the time of filing this report, the bridge was yet to be rebuilt. Although slight attempt to rebuild it was visible, it was being done at snail speed.
However, It was expected that no responsible government will fold its arms and watch ragtag terrorists install a government on its territories, hence, the beginning of the end of Boko haram reign in territories it captured.