Nigeria: Residents Flee As Boko Haram Takes Over Damaturu-Maiduguri Road

20 January 2020

Many residents are fleeing their homes in the wake of sustained attacks by Boko Haram insurgents along the Maiduguri/Damaturu Highways.

Tension rose at the weekend owing to the insecurity at Auno and its environs in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.

The insurgents have been terrorising motorists and villagers within the locality for weeks despite the existence of several military checkpoints.

Locals decried that dozens of people were being killed and many others abducted on a daily basis.

A community leader said: "As of this afternoon, more than 1,000 people have fled their homes in Auno, many left on Saturday to Maiduguri. As we are speaking, pickup vans and trucks are conveying people's belongings. I've begged them not to allow the town to be deserted, but they're not listening to me.

"President Muhammadu Buhari should come to our aid; we voted for him to end the war, but unfortunately, we're going backwards in view of the daily attacks on the Maiduguri/ Damaturu Road."

A resident Bukar Auno said: "We've discussed with their (troops') Commanding Officer that we don't want gates in the middle of the town. The gate was erected about a month ago or so, we don't know the rationale behind putting such a gate inside the town instead of outside the town."

He further pleaded with the Borno State government to empower the vigilante and hunters with needed weapons to fight the insurgents, saying about 75 percent of the people had deserted the town.

The chairman of Network of the Civil Society Organizations in Borno State, Ahmed Shehu, confirmed that residents of Auno had fled to Maiduguri.

Meanwhile, concerned citizens in Damaturu have bemoaned the deteriorating insecurity and regular attacks on the Damaturu-Maiduguri Road. They said people were being killed and abducted daily on the road.

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