A son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo was injured yesterday in an ambush by Boko Haram fighters.
Lt.-Col. Adeboye Obasanjo, an engineer, was said to have been shot in his legs. A source at his 3rd Division in Jos, the Plateau State capital, confirmed the incident, saying it happened in Adamawa State where troops are fighting to dislodge Boko Haram from some towns.
Some soldiers reportedly died in the ambush.
Mubi, not far from Baza, is already deserted over fears of the sect’s impending attack. The Adamawa State University in the town has been closed down.
There was no official confirmation of Lt.-Col. Obasanjo’s injury last night. The military does not usually confirm injuries of individual soldiers or officers.
But, a military source said: “There was an ambush of troops and their commanders by Boko Haram in Baza and Lt.-Col. Adeboye Obasanjo and others were wounded but they are receiving treatment.
“Some insurgents were also killed during encounters which followed the ambush.”
All military and security sources switched off their phones to avoid responding to enquiries.
No information was also posted on the Twitter account of the DHQ.
Therewas massive deployment of troops yesterday in Michika where Boko Haram fighters held sway.
Jets had been bombarding the sect’s cells in Adamawa State and surrounding villages in the last 12 hours, a source told The Nation last night.
There were reports of bloody skirmishes between Boko Haram insurgents and troops battling to liberate Michika and surrounding villages.
Casualty figures were unknown as at the time of filing this report.
The insurgents blocked access to the town, but a reinforcement of troops was still ongoing last night.
Also, the attacks on communication masts in Michika and environs by the insurgents have made GSM services epileptic.
The insurgents were said to still be in control of Kirchinga, the Madagali Local Government Area hometown of Acting Governor Umaru Fintiri.
Fintiri was said to have assured some anxious stakeholders that there was a “remarkable control of the situation” by troops.
A military source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Some jets have been deployed in Michika, Madagali, Bazza, Uba. These include Alpha jets for attacks, F7 Fighter for air strikes; Mi35 helicopter for attacks and ATR 42 for reconnaissance.
“These jets have been shelling all the positions of the insurgents. They have had bloody encounters with Boko Haram members, who might soon vacate these towns.
“In the last 12 hours, there have been encounters between our troops and the insurgents in and around Michika.
“The mission is to force the insurgents to vacate these towns and prevent them from advancing to Mubi and other nearby towns.”
“The military believes that some of the Boko Haram members fleeing air strikes on Bama and Gwoza are behind the seizure of some towns in Adamawa.
“They cannot hold on to these towns; we will rout them out of these places any moment from now,” the source stressed.
On Kirchinga, the source added: “The insurgents are still there, but soldiers are making advances.”
A former top official in the Presidency, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “The governor told the stakeholders that there was ‘a remarkable control’ by troops. I was with the governor when he gave the assurance based on security reports at his disposal.
“Troops are really advancing and attacking these insurgents on land and in the air. We expect normalcy to be restored to these areas.
“Some of us spent the night in Hong, which is about 50kilometres to Michika. This is to tell you that troops have made significant advances to chase away the insurgents.”
But a top state government official spoke of the inaccessibility of Michika where, he said, thousands are trapped and at the mercy of the insurgents.
“My aged mother and sisters have escaped to nearby hills, which are homes to deadly reptiles,” he said, adding:
“We made attempts to move to Michika; but we were turned back in some villages near Uba because the insurgents had blocked entry points to this town and troops were engaging them.
“As I talk to you, my old mother, who recently broke her wrist, is hiding in one of the hills around Michika.
A man, who managed to send a text message from Michika after about five hours, said: “Kindly assist to tell the Defence Headquarters and military formation in Mubi to come to our rescue.
“We have been in hiding since 10am on Sunday. These insurgents have killed many people since they took over Michika. Some of us only managed to escape to the top of the hills in the area because of our knowledge of the terrain.”
Another source said: “The insurgents have destroyed GSM masts in and around Michika and nearby villages to demobilise telephone service in the area.
“But some of us have been taking advantage of the epileptic service to send text messages.”