22 March 2019

Nigeria: We Need More Troops, Armoured Tanks, Elders in Michika Beg Nigerian Army

Community leaders in Michika, Adamawa, appealed to Nigerian Army to deploy more troops and armoured tanks to the town to enhance security.

The appeal followed an attack by Boko Haram insurgents on March 18 on the only commercial bank building in the town on a robbery mission but were repelled by the army.

Some of the leaders made the appeal during an operational visit to the town by Brig.-Gen. Bulama Biu, the acting General Officer Commanding, 7 Division of the army, and Commander Sector 1 on Friday.

Muhammed Usman, an elder and Head of Muslim Community in Michika, said the call was imperative to fast track and revamp socio-economic activities in the community.

He explained that additional checkpoints should be mounted in Kuburshosho Goni and Shuwa areas in the town to check future attacks.

He also urged the army to furnish residents with means of reaching out to them when distressed, saying many locals heard the news of the Monday attack but were constrained to reach out to military authorities.

He said "sometimes we hear news of the movement of the insurgents just five kilometers away from the town but we dont know how to communicate to army. There is the need for army to give us telephone numbers to call when distressed."

Mr Jidda Kwache, an elder and District Head of Michika, said that the deployment of more troops in the area would complement the efforts of the fighting troops on ground.

Kwacha said that the last time the town witnessed any attack was in 2014, noting that the Monday attack left uncertainty in the minds of the people in the community.

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He added that "we thank Brig.-Gen. Bulama Biu, the acting General Officer Commanding, 7 Division of the army, and Commander Sector 1 for the visit to Michika to sympathise with us.

"This visit is an indication of your firm commitment toward civic protection and restoring peace. You have restored our hopes and confidence to remain in our community.

"We assure you of our total support and commitment to provide you with the neccesary support to discharge your duties."

Alhaji Saidu Lawal, the District Head of Bazza, also commended the GOC and troops of the 143 battalion for responding to their calls to prevent the terrorist from causing havoc in the community.

Lawal said "we need more soldiers to complement the efforts of those on ground. We also notice that the artillary and armoured tanks we use to have in 2014, are no more in Michika; we are appealing that those equipment be deployed again.

"Initially, we thought the whole town will be overran by the insurgents but through the gallent efforts of your troops, the attack was repelled and for this, we want to say thank you."

Yakubu Jaha-Michika, the Commander of Hunters in Michika, appealed to the Adamawa Government to deploy more security operatives to the area.

Jaha-Michika said that the state government should arm and equip local hunters to help in providing local vigilance patrol.

The Caretacker Chairman of Michika Local Government Area, Bitrus Vandi, narrated his ordeal during the Monday attack, saying that the report came from Kofa, a naighbouring village.

Vandi said that when he recieved the distress call of the impending attack, he quickly alerted the DPO and the troops commander in the town, who rushed to the scene to repel the attack.

He added that "the insurgents stormed the town with gun trucks mounted with Anti-Air craft and motorcycle."

Reacting, Brig.-Gen. Bulama Biu said he was in the town to sympathise with the people on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai.

He urged the community, traditional and religious leaders in the town to support the military's effort to defeat Boko Haram and other undesirable elements.

He said "security is everybody's business and not for army alone, I, therefore, urge you to always provide prompt information on any suspicious activities."

He reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Army toward restoring peace and dignity of the people.

Meanwhile, a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who visited Michika, reports that nomalcy has returned to the town as people were seen going about their daily businesses. (NAN)

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