by Adeyemi Olalemi
Mubi town, one of the commercial nerve centre and second largest town in Adamawa state was renamed “Madinatul Islam” (City of Islam) by the insurgents after it was captured. Residents there said the sect imposed strict Islamic Sharia laws and carried out executions and amputations. Terrorists plundered the town, looted banks, homes and shops.
After facing severe criticism at home and among international community for failing to perform its duties in protecting Nigeria’s territorial integrity and being a coward to ragtag Boko Haram terrorists, Nigerian military reorganized itself for a mission to recapture the towns hitherto lost to terrorists.
The Nigerian troops began to move in gradually into the Boko Haram-controlled towns around mid-November 2014. The Nigerian Army in collaboration with the Air force conducted air strikes with fighter jets after days of reconnaissance by surveillance aircrafts and ground troops.
It is worthy of note that during the battle against terrorists, and the eventual recapture of the towns, the Nigerian military collaborated with local hunters and vigilantes in the towns; they were later named as Civilian JTF (Joint Task Force). The vigilantes were believed to have played critical roles in the victory including using esoteric means to identify and capture Boko Haram members.
On December 8, 2014, the military finally announced that it was in full control of Mubi, Gombi, Maiha and Hong local government areas of Adamawa State. This development was a result of weeks of military onslaught against the terrorists.
After the victorious announcement by the Military, the towns were like a ghost city, as government and private business facilities remained damaged even as all the commercial banks in the towns were either burnt down or destroyed by the insurgents with Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs. Churches also suffered major destruction by the terrorist; Baptist, ECWA, Redeem, Winners’ Chapel to mention a few.
One year after recapturing the towns, the unimaginable damages made by terrorists were still visible and fresh; an indication of the extent of wounds citizens and businesses after the deadly attacks.
On the state of the towns after military ended Boko Haram reign, the Medical Director of Mubi General Hospital, Dr Ezra Sankawa who returned to Mubi shortly after the Military take-over, told Greennews.ng that the city was in a big mess.
Dr. Sankawa said being a health worker, he returned to Mubi mid-December to help in clearing the towns. “I personally came back in December 2014 for an assignment because at that time, the place was littered with dead and decomposing bodies and the whole town was smelling”.
He further said what he saw would be too much for non-professionals, because corpses were littered on the streets of the city. It was an ugly scene people don’t want to remember.
It was gathered that some decomposing bodies were later discovered in some buildings in the town, some octogenarians probably died of hunger; others were burnt in buildings and churches by the terrorists.
Sankawa noted that the rescue and relief mission was done in collaboration with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) while the hospital began skeletal services by treating those who had various degrees of injuries, some with bullet wounds.
Having recaptured the towns from Boko Haram terrorists, the Nigerian military then faced a major uphill task of separating wheat from chaff as terrorists now mixed with returning civilians. The battle was not over; It was the beginning of the bloody war against Boko Haram terrorists in Adamawa.