MAIDUGURI, NIGERIA (VANGUARD/ALL AFRICA) Son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Lt Col Adeboye Obasanjo, an army engineer at the 3rd Division in Jos, Plateau State was shot yesterday by Boko Haram terrorists as he led soldiers on an offensive to reclaim Michika town in Adamawa State which fell into the hands of the insurgents. Twenty four soldiers were also reportedly killed during the encounter in which Lt Col Obasnjo was said to be seriously injured.
The Defence Headquarters did not respond to inquiries seeking confirmation of the incident but a reliable military source, who confirmed the story, said the injured Obasanjo was receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital inYola, the state capital.
At the time of the incident which took place at Baza, Major Gen J.S. Zaruwa, Colonel Victor Ebhaleme, who serves as the Brigade Commander of the 23rd Army brigade in Yola and Lieutenant Agwu were all together advancing towards Michika when Boko Haram fighters ambushed them and unleashed the deadly attack on the soldiers.
According to reports, the army also lost an armoured tank to the militants. As a result of the attack, Mubi town has practically been deserted following the closure of schools and massive retreat of soldiers from the city.
Meanwhile, as the insurgents overran Michika, security operatives were said to have fled when they ran out of ammunition on Sunday.
A competent source from Michika, who escaped the attack and now taking refuge in Gombi council area of Adamawa State, expressed worry over the deadly attacks carried out by terrorists in the North-East. He regretted that this has destabilized the economic fortune of the citizenry who had laboured in this rainy season but had to abandon their farmlands.
Another resident who fled from the attack on Michika, Mr. Tumba Philemon who is now residing with one of his relatives at the state university in Mubi, expressed fears that the insurgents may invade Mubi as the town is not far from Michika town which has been reclaimed by insurgents.
How Boko Haram wreaked havoc in Michika
He noted that the terrorists, who succeeded in chasing away security operatives in Madagali town, invaded neighbouring Michika on Sunday and wreaked havoc on innocent civilians and internally displaced persons before hoisting their black and white flags.
Philemon added that, he was contemplating leaving Mubi town when he discovered that the state university authorities in Mubi has given directive that the school will remain closed on Monday (yesterday) and urged students to go back to their various homes for safety as the school authorities could no longer guarantee their safety.
He said when he discovered that the university had been closed, he had no option than to relocate to another zone.
Over 20 insurgents killed, 3 soldiers injured in gun duel
Over 20 Boko Haram terrorists were killed by the troops of Nigerian Army on Sunday, while three soldiers sustained fatal injuries when the insurgents attacked the residence of former Commander of Niger-Delta Special Task Force, Major General Tukur Buratai and Buratai Central Primary School in Buratai Town of Biu Local Government Area of Borno State.
A resident of the area, Mallam Idi Buratai said the gunmen, numbering over 50 in number, stormed the town on motorcycles and Hilux vehicles and attacked the residence of General Buratai and Buratai Primary school, and succeeded in burning them.
He said: "The soldiers guarding the residence of the former Task force commander, in collaboration with their colleagues from Biu military barracks and the members of vigilante group, repelled the attack, killing over 20 members of the sect".
Mallam Idi said the terrorists also succeeded in burning all mobile network masts in the town, adding that the terrorists, who stormed the town at about 9:30am on Sunday, came through Buni-Yadi, the town captured by the insurgents in Yobe State last month.
A resident of the town, who fled to Biu, Bukar Buba said the soldiers guarding the residence of the Army General successfully repelled the attacked, where many insurgents were killed, adding that they however fled with three vehicles inlcuding a military vehicle, noting that the three soldiers that sustained injuries later died at Biu general hospital while receiving treatment.
Confirming the incident, the District Head of Buratai, Alhaji Maina Garga said the insurgents attacked the residence of General Buratai but the soldiers guarding the house successful repelled the attack, killing many of the insurgents, while three soldiers sustained injuries.
He said normalcy has since return to the town, as the soldiers guarding the residence of General Buratai got prompt re-enforcement from Biu Military Barracks.
Boko Haram's strongholds in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe
Altogether, Boko Haram terrorists are now in control of six local governments in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. In Borno, the insurgents have taken over and hoisted their flags in Gwoza, Gamboru-Ngala and Banki local governments. Bama and Damboa which were earlier taken over by the insurgents had been reclaimed by the military. In Adamawa, the insurgents are in control of Michika and Gulak local governments, while in Yobe, they have taken over Buni-Yadi Local Government.