Rampaging Boko Haram insurgents overran a Nigerian Army battalion in Borno State on Sunday, killing the unit’s commander and dozens of soldiers, military sources have told PREMIUM TIMES.
A large cache of arms, ammunition and military equipment were carted away by Boko Haram fighters during the attack on 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele, Abadam Local Government Area, at about 6:00 p.m., a setback for government forces trying to push terrorists further out of Nigeria’s northeastern flank.
There were fears for the fate of the troops from the base, which was raided only a month ago, as military sources said the Nigerian Army was making frantic efforts to contain the traumatic effect of the attack on the larger counterinsurgency operation.
Bodies of fallen troops were still being recovered and evacuated from the scene as of Tuesday morning, PREMIUM TIMES learnt. But dozens of soldiers from the battalion have already been confirmed killed, amongst them their commander. Military sources were unable to tell the number of Boko Haram casualties.
Military sources said the fallen commander was a lieutenant colonel, who had overseen the unit for a long time. He once allegedly refused to mobilise troops for an operation, citing unavailability of serviceable hardware, but faced threats of being court-martialed, sources said.
PREMIUM TIMES has decided to withhold the identity of the officer as it was not immediately clear his family had been informed of his death.
It was not immediately learnt how many soldiers were manning the base during the attack, which was linked to Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA).
The group has long targeted military bases, and has intensified its assaults in recent months on military formations across the volatile northeast.
A day before on November 17, Boko Haram terrorists attacked the base of Sector 2 troops in Mainok, Kaga Local Government Area, killing at least one soldier and leaving several others wounded. Military sources believed the Shekau faction of the group was responsible for the attack, which saw insurgents cart away a large quantity of arms and ammunition.
Both the Nigerian Army and the Defence Headquarters did not return PREMIUM TIMES’ requests seeking comments on the attacks Tuesday morning. A spokesperson for the Nigerian Air Force also did not return messages seeking comments.
It was only on October 8 that Boko Haram militants raided the same base of 157 Battalion in Metele, killing at least 18 soldiers and wounding eight others, PREMIUM TIMES reported.
At least 157 soldiers were feared missing during the attack, and their whereabouts had not been conclusively resolved by military brass over a month later, sources said.
Military authorities announced the attack, but heavily downplayed its magnitude.
President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian military leaders have claimed they are winning the war on terror, but analysts say recent attacks are bolstering rather than dampen fears of the insurgency.
“When you consider the frequency of these attacks since July, it is difficult to say that our military has the upper hand,” said security analyst Chris Ngwodo.
Mr Ngwodo said a possible failure on the part of the military leaders to appropriately fortify bases might be responsible for the audacious scope of the attacks.
“These bases are not sufficiently fortified to withstand insurgents’ attacks,” the analyst said. “That they are doing this regularly and getting away with it shows there is no adequate security in place even at the bases.”
“Every resource must be made available to fortify where soldiers are manning, even though many of them are forward operating bases,” Mr Ngwodo added. “Intelligence capabilities must be also be strengthened to anticipate things like this because the huge movement it takes for terrorists to carry out such attacks should have been detected.”
Hundreds of Nigerian troops have been killed and even more missing since Boko Haram resumed its latest campaign in July, fueling concerns amongst military leaders, and prompting an emergency reshuffling of commanders.
Worried about the rising cases of missing soldiers in Boko Haram attack, the chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, issued a warning to troops on the battlefront against fleeing from insurgents in August, threatening errant personnel with a tough prosecution.
The Defence Headquarters announced last week it had taken new delivery of military equipment, boasting of a tough time ahead for insurgents.
The military has said it recorded tremendous gains in its counterinsurgency operations over the past three years, especially after managing to confine the insurgents to the fringes of Nigerian territories.
This was against the previous years when the deadly Boko Haram terrorists held vast Nigerian lands across its North-east stronghold, occasionally spilling into North-west and North-central geopolitical zones.
Hon Prince Ned Woko donates Money to Indigenes of Anioma for Medical Treatments
News reaching Nightwatchng.com is that Hon Prince Ned Nwoko has donated some millions to cater for the medical treatment of some physically challenged Indigenes of Anioma.
The Honorable made his donations to the Medical care of the Physically challenged indigenes when they paid him a courtesy call at his Mount Ned Nwoko resort Idumuje-Ugboko yesterday.
Briefly addressing the physically challenged indigenes of Anioma, whom he called his friends, Prince Ned Nwoko admonished them to use the funds judiciously in taking good medical care of themselves while stating that his phone line remains open to them whenever they need to talk with him as always.
Responding, one of the Anioma beneficiaries who pleaded anonymity appreciated the Star Prince for always responding to their needs whenever they called on him.
According to the speaker,
“if only we have two of your kind in Anioma land, Anioma would have witnessed more massive human capital development but it is our prayers that God will continue to protect and bless you more for being a father to the fatherless and to the needy”
Hon Ned Prince Nwoko in a philanthropic bid recently donated the sum of 100million naira for the reconstruction of a federal road in Delta state and another 59million Naira as scholarship grant for Anioma and verifiable Delta state students.
His consistent positive gesture towards Humanity has put him in the spotlight and on the news of recent.
“Prince Ned Nwoko has done alot for the Anioma people and we are happy to be associated with his brand always, this is not the first nor the last time that he has been assisting us. We pray God to always bless and enrich his circle”- Madam isioma, an elderly woman who identified herself as a retired head teacher from Isele-Azagba acknowledged.
Muslim Man accuse RCCG pastor of Aborting wife’s pregnancy
His accusation is currently a topic on social media as reports of how the whole thing played were disclosed in his chat with Daddy freeze.
According to the disheartened young Man, he had just returned from the United States to meet his love interest, in their period of making out he got her pregnant with the intent of Marrying her.
He also went on to disclose that when the lady informed her parents, they seized her phones and took her to the hospital under the guise of checkup but connived with the doctor and got her baby aborted.
The young man revealed that he and the pastor’s daughter later got married at a registry without the pastor parents’ approval.
Ever since they got married, the parents of his wife have been harassing him and arresting him.
He says he’s chosen to speak out so that they will stop harassing him. The wife also wants to have good relationship with her Muslim husband and with her pastor parents.
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