Hundreds of people have been trapped in towns and villages of Marte Local Government Area of Borno State, as Boko Haram overpowers Nigerian troops and take over the LG.
According to reports, the Boko Haram group have also hoisted their flags all over the LGA including military outposts in New Marte and Kirenowa, the biggest town in the LG.
The terrorist group took over Marte on February 15 after battle with Nigerian troops that reportedly left about 7 soldiers dead. The LGA is located about 130kilometres away from the Borno State capital, Maiduguri.
They also took over the military formation in the local government, including sophisticated military equipments and vehicles. Only a truck and two staff cars were salvaged.
An undisclosed source who spoke to Daily Trust said; “The terrorists have taken people in the town hostage. They are now in control of mosques, hospitals and other government buildings,” one of our sources said.
Another source said; “They are in absolute control of Marte and environs, giving directives as to when people can go out. It is like what happened years ago when they established their territory in the outskirt of Kirenowa close to Nigeria’s border with Cameroon.
“People would have to take permission from them before doing anything. I pray that Nigerian authorities would mobilise and reclaim the town soon,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, the Chief of Army Staff, has however urged the troops to go back to Marte and recapture the LG from Boko Haram.
“I have just spoken to the Theatre Commander and the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 7 Division. You must not let this nation down.
“Go back and do the needful and I will be right behind you,” he told the troops, warning them not to allow themselves to be over-run by Boko Haram insurgents.
“You are aware of the recent attack on Dikwa and Marte. You should not allow this to happen again. Go after them and clear those bastards,” he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has stated that the Nigerian troops would reclaim Marte and its environs from the terrorists group within 48 hours.
“I want to assure that my administration is in full support of the military and other security agencies to recapture Marte Local Government Area, which was attacked and currently under the occupation of Boko Haram.
“These renewed attacks in some parts of the state, especially in Dikwa and Marte and other resettled communities would not deter the present administration in its recovery, reconstruction and resettlement drive in the state,” Zulum stated.
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.