Suspected Boko Haram insurgents in gun trucks and motorcycles on Wednesday night sacked two local councils after torching their secretariats, homes and public buildings in Magumeri and Gubio townships around 6:30p.m.
Magumeri and Gubio, which are 40 and 88 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, were severally attacked in 2017 prior to the new development that has forced scores of residents to take refuge in the capital.
The affected settlements have no Forward Operational Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Army, as troops were recently withdrawn for routine operational changes in deference to the rules of engagement.
Confirming the incident in an interview in Maiduguri, the member representing Magumeri/Kaga/Gubio Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Usman Zannah, stated: “The insurgents stormed Gubio town at about 6:00p.m., performed their evening prayers at about 6:30p.m. and wreaked havoc on innocent civilians by torching several houses and public structures.
“No life was lost, and no resident was wounded. The insurgents abducted a member of the civilian JTF. They also carted away several tractor tyres and food items in Magumeri after burning houses and other public buildings in the two council headquarters.”He said tens of thousands of residents have been displaced, while others are in captivity of the Boko Haram sect.
A security source said: “The insurgents were not on a killing mission. They kept on telling us not to flee during the attacks and torching of structures, but to accept their ideology on Islam.”
Contacted, the caretaker chairman of Gubio council area, Zannah Gubio said: “It is unfortunate that a week after a deadly attack led to the withdrawal of troops, another set of armed insurgents stormed Gubio town at about 6:00p.m.
“I am presently in Maiduguri for the swearing-in of the newly appointed commissioners, and all of a sudden, I started receiving distress calls that my people are being attacked by Boko Haram.
“I cannot give you the actual number of casualties for now, but from all indications and the reports I have so far, the insurgents have taken over Gubio, shooting at sight and burning structures without confrontation.”