Some suspected members of Boko Haram sect yesterday attacked Shaffa and Shindiffu villages of Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State, killing one Pastor Eliud Gwamna Mshelizza of the Living Faith Church, a teacher (names withheld) at Government Girls Secondary School, Shaffa, and 18 other persons who were mainly Christians.
The terrorists also burnt down about 10 churches such as E.Y.N No I, E.Y.N No II and III in Shaffa and Shindiffu villages as well several houses. A clinic and some staff quarters and structures at the Government Girls Secondary School in Shaffa were also destroyed.
Unfortunately for the terrorists, as they were about to leave Shindiffu and proceed to Turaku village, another Christian community, to continue their deadly acts, troops from Adamawa axis and Biu Military barracks, who were on their trail ambushed them and killed almost all of them.
The attackers, according to fleeing residents invaded Shaffa at about 8pm on Wednesday and wreaked havoc before storming Shindiffu village yesterday morning at about 11am.
Shaffa is south and about 20 kilometres drive from Azare, the headquarters of Hawul which is 215 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the state capital, which has remained under series of attacks by Boko Haram.
In the last two months, Tashan Alade, Hirzhi, Pela Birni, Debiro, Kwajaffa Bura, Jubwuwhi, Dalwa, Shaffa, Shindiffu, among other communities of Hawul had witnessed coordinated and series of deadly attacks by Boko Haram with the burning of churches and houses mostly belonging to Christians.
A top military source said “Our men from Adamawa and Biu axis repelled the attacks on Shaffa, Shindiffu and Turaku village, over 100 of the terrorists were killed while several arms and ammunition were also recovered in the encounter.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Gideon Jubrin in a telephone interview with our Correspondent confirmed the attacks on Shaffa and Shindiffu villages, but said, due to the closure of telecommunication network in the area, he was yet to get details and number of casualties, adding that as soon as details of the attack reached him, he will brief the press.
“Yes there was an attack on some villages of Hawul Local Government Area by suspected members of Boko Haram yesterday, but I am yet to get details due to lack of telecommunication services in the affected areas”.
Soft landing for surrendered insurgents
Meanwhile, the Federal Government yesterday, revealed that insurgents who surrendered their weapons to the Nigerian troops would be de-radicalised and rehabilitated back to the society.
This was coming, as Nigerian youths under the auspices of Youth Development Transformation and Sustainable Place in Nigeria, YODETSIN, commended the Federal Government’s efforts in the fight against insurgency in the country.
The Nigerian Military recorded a huge success last week Tuesday, 17 September, when it killed a man, who appeared in recent videos, claiming to be the leader of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, in a gun battle.
Following the killing of their commander, some insurgents surrendered themselves to the Nigerian troops, and pleaded for mercy after surrendering their weapons.
Speaking on their fate during a press conference, in Abuja, the Coordinator of National Information Centre, NIC, Mr Mike Omeri ruled out the possibility of prosecuting them.
He said there were measures in the counter-terrorism document launched by government and it would be strictly followed.
According to him, those who surrendered will be taken thorough the process of de-radicalisation and rehabilitation, while those who refused will surely be dealt with.
“Those terrorist who surrendered their arms and embraces peace will undergo the process of de-radicalisation and rehabilitation. So that they will be admitted into society and given the opportunity to also continue contributing their own quota to the development of this country.
“But to those who insist on carrying arms against their country’s, against their fellow citizens, will have themselves to blame.
“I want to urge citizens to be steadfast in their support to our service men and women; we are working hard, day and night, to ensure that we put terrorism behind us in Nigeria.
“The army forces have found the winning strategies, and they will not go back in making sure the adequate security is provided, for every single Nigerian,” he assured.
The National Leader of YODETSIN, Chief Innocent Kaku said the recent killing of Boko Haram leader and the subsequent giving up of arms by over 150 terrorist to the Nigerian Army was due to the government’s commitment.
“We salute the bravery and boldness of the Nigerian army in fighting the Boko Haram insurgents. This feat was achieved due to the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan to the fight against insurgency and his commitment to his transformation agenda,” he said.
Innocent, in an interactive session with the newsmen in Abuja, urged youths across the country to cooperate with the government, and refused to be used by any politician to disrupt government’s attempt to restore peace in Nigeria.