Residents of Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State displaced by activities of Boko Haram have contradicted recent claims by the Federal Government and the military that Boko Haram has been completely wiped out.
The IDPs stated that some towns are still under the control of Boko Hara. They stated specifically that Gwoza local government and other towns within the area were still being held by the sect. The IDPs also claimed they were being pressured by the government through the National Emergency Agency, NEMA, and the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, to return to their various communities in order to prove that the insurgents had been defeated.
Chairman of the IDPs camp in New Konchingoro, a suburb in Abuja, Mr. Filimo Emmanuel, made this known yesterday when Senator Dino Melaye, who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, FCT, marked his birthday with them.
“The NHRC and NEMA have continually told us that we will go back to our villages because Boko Haram has been pushed out of our villages, which is not true.
“No military went to our villages. There is no military in Gwoza and our village is controlled by Boko Haram. We are begging you to take our complaints to the National Assembly”.
“You can help us to talk to the Chief of Army Staff so that he can send soldiers to our villages to flush out the insurgents. If we are able to confirm that Boko Haram has been flushed out from our villages, even, tomorrow, we are ready to go.”
Gwoza is a Local Government Area of Borno State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Gwoza, a border town “about 135 kilometres South-East of Maiduguri. The postal code of the area is 610.
The terrain is rocky and hilly.
The Gwoza Hills, with heights of about 1300m above sea level provides scenery and is made up of the Mandara Mountains, which form a natural barrier between Nigeria and Cameroon, starting from Pulka. They overlook the game reserves by meandering towards Mubi and beyond in Adamawa State
Gwoza LGA has been called “a notorious hide out for the Boko Haram insurgents,” who arrived in the area in 2009 from Maiduguri.The area has suffered considerable violence as a result of the Islamist insurgency in Nigeria, and in 2014, saw an influx of Boko Haram fighters fleeing Sambisa Forest.
As of 23 June 2014, “reports indicated that the whole of Gwoza was under attack. The report could not be substantiated because most telephone masts in Gwoza and surrounding villages have been vandalized by insurgents.”Deutsche Welle reported that “Roads out of the region are extremely dangerous and phone connections are poor to nonexistent.”
As of 19 October 2014, an estimated 3,000 Gwoza residents displaced by fighting are “squatting on the fringes of Abuja”, according to a local relief committee spokesman, with “the need for shelter, food, clothing and medicare for the displaced also becoming dire.”
On 27 March 2015, the day before the Nigerian presidential election, the Nigerian Army announced that it had recaptured the town of Gwoza from Boko Haram. Gwoza, one of the largest towns in Borno, fell under the control of Boko Haram terrorists on August 6, 2014.
Omolara Adegoke- Abuja
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