Dead bodies are strewn all over the streets in Bama, Borno State in Nigeria. The Islamist terror group Boko Haram attacked the city for two straight days, attempting to establish their rule there and expand within the state. Residents and Borno Senator Ahmed Zanna allege the terrorists control the second-largest city in the state, but Borno State government officials have not confirmed the claim.
“So many bodies litter the streets, and people are not allowed to even go and bury the dead ones,” said Zanna. “So the situation is getting worse and worse. I’m begging the government to send more troops and armoury to Maiduguri. Boko Haram do come overwhelmingly because they recruit en masse in Borno villages.”
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Borno said over 26,000 people left the city in the last two days. The organization told Reuters more people are leaving “by the hour.” Men patrol the streets to stop loved ones from gathering the dead bodies.
“They went preaching in the whole town, asking people to leave government work and join them to do the work of Allah,” said resident Musa Abdullahi. “People were afraid, but they said that they did not come to kill anybody but to preach.”
However, Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima said the government is in complete control of Bama.
“Thousands of residents have thronged Maiduguri from Bama following the attacks,” said Shettima’s communications director Mallam Isa Gusau. “There was initial report that the insurgents had captured the army base and was in control of Bama, headquarters of the commercial council. Security sources, however hinted, yesterday that the military had reversed the trend following air strikes that destroyed hardwares brought in by insurgents from Gwoza while also destroying hardwares at the Bama military base to deny insurgents access to military weapons.”
AllAfrica.com reported from a Vanguard article that Boko Haram captured border town of Banki, which is 39 miles from Bama. The attack occurred on Tuesday night and forced many people to flee into neighboring Cameroon since Banki sits on the border. One resident said all officials abandoned the border posts hours after the attack.
“As members of the security agencies in this border town fled by noon Tuesday, we had to flee too because the insurgents have taken over all the major military and security posts at the border with Cameroon,” said Ibrahaim Musa. “Six hours after we reached this border village in Cameroon, one of our neighbours that remained in Banki called me and said the gunmen have taken over the town by preaching to people after hoisting their black and white flags at the market square and central mosque, near the police outpost.”
“The insurgents were asking the youths in Banki not to fear, but to cooperate, so that they could join the Boko Haram sect to fight both Cameroonian and Nigerian soldiers in the border areas,” he continued. “They went about preaching in the whole town, asking people to leave government work and join them to do the work of Allah. People were afraid, but they said that they did not come to kill anybody but to preach.”