Gaidam imposes 24-hour curfew on Damaturu to flush out Boko Haram

Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam

Ibrahim GaidamGovernor Ibrahim Gaidam on Tuesday imposed 24-hour curfew on Damaturu, Yobe State capital following early Monday morning raid by Boko Haram insurgents which left at least 40 dead.

A statement by Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego, said the curfew takes immediate effect.

According to the governor, the decision was taken in consultation with heads of security agencies in the state to enable troops rid the town of insurgents.

The statement reads: “This is to inform members of the general public that His Excellency Governor Ibrahim has approved the imposition of a 24-hour curfew in Damaturu, the State Capital.

“The curfew is effective immediately.

“All Damaturu residents are advised to remain in their homes during the hours of the curfew.

“This decision is taken in consultation with heads of law enforcement agencies in the State as part of measures to enable the security agents, who did a great job yesterday repelling insurgent attacks on the town, to conclude their ongoing assignment.

“His Excellency Governor Gaidam has expressed his appreciation to the residents of the State Capital, and to people all across the State, for their support and cooperation with security agents.

“The governor urges people to continue to support the security efforts and to pray to Almighty Allah (SWT) for the return of peace and security.”

Recalling Monday’s attack, a resident, cameraman Mustapha Usman, said he heard gunshots and explosions from around 6 am.

“I saw a military jet circling three times. People have abandoned their vehicles on the road and gone home,” Usman said.

Several other residents said they saw a Nigerian fighter jet flying over the city.

One witness, Mike David, said the militants were shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) and shooting everywhere.

Residents in the Gujba Road area of the city said they were jolted out of bed by the sound of gunshots and explosions as early as 4:45 am, with many fleeing.

“The gunmen came in numbers. They have burnt down the police barracks…. We have left our home. We are now in the bush. We don’t know what’s going to happen,” said one local, Umar Sada.

The state police commissioner, Marcus Danladi, described the attack as a “serious situation”. Civilian vigilantes in the city claimed that more than 40 Boko Haram fighters were killed.

Others described the scene as “chaos” as shells fell in the federal polytechnic compound and fierce fighting raged near detention facilities where Boko Haram suspects were being held.