Friday, April 25, 2014

Insurgents Have Relocated With 191 Abducted Girls, Nigerian Parents Allege
Map of area where Nigerian school girls were kidnapped during April 2014.
Written by Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri
Nigerian Guardian

SOME parents of the 234 abducted students of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State Friday claimed that the Boko Haram sect which abducted their children on Tuesday, April 15 relocated, along with 191 of the abductees, from the Sambisa camp to Bale village in Damboa Council on Thursday night.

  The relocation, according to a 59-year-old parent who prefers anonymity and who spoke on behalf of other parents, was to flee from troops pursuing them in the forest.

  “Since the abduction of our daughters, we have been living in fear, with increased anguish of not seeing our loved ones alive or dead.  

  “We were told that soldiers are right now in the bush of Sambisa Forest, looking for these missing children since they were abducted 11 days ago.

  “As poor parents who can not do anything right now to rescue our daughters, we put all hopes on the Almighty God and continue to pray and fast that our children be released unconditionally by these gunmen,” he said yesterday in a telephone chat with The Guardian.

   He further disclosed that Bale village is a farming and herdsmen community located in the same forest and that the parents were prevented by security personnel from searching the forest.

  Meanwhile, in Maiduguri, the state capital, nightlife remained restricted, despite improved security.

  The relaxation of the stop and search exercise on major roads and streets by soldiers and policemen after the February 14 and March 8, this year multiple blasts, has enabled many residents of metropolis to freely commute to and return safely from markets, schools and other public places that were targets of insurgents’ attacks in the last three years.

  The dismantling of the roadblocks by soldiers at the Department of State Security (DSS) office, the Police Command headquarters and Post Office areas on Airport road has not only facilitated the smooth movement of traffic, but also ensured motorists and residents of Bulunkutu and Gomari commuted freely and safely to their respective destinations.

    Traffic hold-ups at rush hours in the evenings have also disappeared with the deployment of policemen and traffic wardens to main intersections of roads by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Tanko Lawal.

  The control of traffic flows, made possible by the removal of road blocks on Airport Road, Kashim Ibrahim Way and Lagos Street under construction. This has forced policemen and wardens to remain at their duty posts till 8pm; and an hour to the 9pm curfew in the metropolis.

    The only roads and streets that have multiple road blocks of used tyres and wood are the ones leading to the Boko Haram enclaves of Lawan Bukar, Budum, Shehuri North, Kaleri, London Chiki, Kumshe, Abbaganaram, Gidan Yasi, Gambouru, Galadima, Kofa Biyu, Zajeri and Bulabulin Ngarnnam wards of Maiduguri.

  Even the markets that were opened by soldiers and policemen last year are yet to be patronized by customers. A resident, Yahaya Musa, said: “Some of us are still afraid to go to Gombouru, Budum and Abbaganaram markets on Kashim Ibrahim Way.”

  He said with the removal of road blocks early this year, the people feel safe going to Maiduguri Monday Market which is still guarded by soldiers at the El-Kanemi roundabout rather than going to the markets in Boko Haram enclaves that claimed many lives and property in the last three years.

   “The pattern of commuting of residents and other communities in the metropolis has changed following the removal of road blocks on two major roads by the security agents. In fact, nightlife and other business activities have shifted to southern parts of Maiduguri, including the Government Reservation Area (GRA) on Damboa, Biu and Bama roads.

  “Most traders and providers of other social services have since last year relocated from northern part of Maiduguri to south and southeast, extending to as far to Polo Road that serves Jiddari and Silimanti wards of the metropolis, including the NNPC depot and CBN quarters, ” he added.

  He said since the February and March multiple blasts, there has not been any major attack on residents.

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