Some of the Nigerian soldiers that fled to Cameroon following a fierce battle with Boko Haram militants in locations around Borno and Adamawa states may have returned as residents of Mubi town in Adamawa State say the saw tattered looking soldiers arrive.Source: Premium Times
The residents said they saw several soldiers, wearing torn uniforms and gloomy faces, returned in the wee hours of Tuesday.
The residents suspect that the returning soldiers were among the 500 soldiers that fled to Cameroon.
A resident, Joseph Baba, said “we saw some of them purchasing second hand clothes at the Mubi main market”.
‘’Initially, we were afraid. People panicked when we sighted the troops. They arrived in the wee hours and people begun to scamper for safety, because no one knew their mission. I even thought they were Boko Haram disguised in military uniform as the insurgents usually do,” Mr. Baba said.
Nigerian soldiers on the battle field often complain about being under equipped to face Boko Haram insurgents.
On Monday, the soldiers retreated and sought refuge in Cameroon in what the military authorities described as tactical manoeuvre.
The spokesperson for the Defence Headquarters, could not be reached Tuesday to confirm the return of the soldiers. He did not answer or return calls.
But Mr. Olukolade had said in a statement Monday that the troops were “on their way back to join their unit in Nigeria.”
In a video released on Sunday, which also showed scenes of Nigerian soldiers running for safety and arms recovered from Nigerian soldiers, the sect leader congratulated his fighters for seizing the town of Gwoza earlier this month.
Meanwhile, residents of Madagali town in Adamawa State said Boko Haram insurgents told them to defy the 24-hour curfew imposed by the state government.
Acting Governor Umar Fintiri on Sunday announced the curfew after Boko Haram’s fighters invaded the town, which shares a boundary with Borno town- Gwoza, seized by the insurgents.
Residents said the insurgents, who move freely in the town, brandishing their guns, asked them to continue with their normal businesses, without fear of attack.
“They asked us to ignore the 24 hours curfew, promising not to attack us. They (Boko Haram) told us that they are not after us now; rather, they are pursuing troops being deployed,” a resident of the town, who asked not to be named, said.