By Aminu Abubakar
Of the 21 Local Government Areas in Adamawa State, only few were spared of the agony of Boko Haram terrorists attacks, murder and arson, when the activities of the blood thirsty group spiked between years 2012 to 2015.
The strategic location of Adamawa State, which borders Cameroon, Borno, Gombe and Taraba States places it in the middle of the Boko Haram terrorism.
The level of insecurity was pervasive in no less than 12 local governments of the state which represents more than 50 percent of the local councils, but in terms of population, it affected over 70 percent as the terrorists activities hit mainly the most populated LGs like Yola Yola North, Yola South, Mubi North and Mubi South. The people of Ganye ,Gombi, Lamurde, Madagali, Maiha, Michika and Numan were also not spared and could not sleep with their two eyes closed as Boko Haram terrorists could storm any community within the precinct of their local councils and murder people at will.
According to a research, between January 2012 and June 2013, Yola North/South Local Government Areas suffered the most in terms of security challenges, followed by Mubi North/South.
Yola is the state capital and has higher population hence any attack on its territory is bound to be felt in the entire state and beyond.
In January 2012, assailants reportedly attacked a church and killed 12 people while insurgents were reported to have killed four people in coordinated attacks on bars and public drinking spots. There were so many of such incidences in Yoka then.
But attacks in Mubi too have been no less devastating as the town with its huge market, had become a trading hub in the Northeast region while it also borders Cameroon.
The strategic importance of Mubi is such that anytime the terrorists strike, the effect is felt in the whole region and across the Nigerian border as markets close and people flee to neighbouring countries raising serious humanitarian concerns.
On the night of 1st October 2012, for instance, a group of armed men attacked a student residence of Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, and killed at least 25 persons, mainly tertiary institution students, using guns and machetes.
The insurgents were to return and attack Mubi again in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Maiha also had its share of insecurity as Boko Haram atacked many communities in the LG killing many.
In May of 2013 an attack on a church and village market left at least ten dead in the village of Jilang in Maiha.
Madagali, which is 280 kilometres from the Adamawa State capital, Yola, was also not spared.
It has come under several attacks by the insurgents that many had fled from the communities. In September 2014, Boko Haram extended their reign of terror to Michika and even captured it after many similar attacks. Thousands of residents of Garkida in Gombi Local Government were made to flee their homes in 2014, following attacks by Boko Haram sect on Sallah day.
Four soldiers and three other civilians were killed in that attack as property including houses and cars worth billions of naira were destroyed by the insurgents.
The situation was so bad that on May 16, 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan had to declare a state of emergency in three Nigerian states, including Adamawa.
But by then, lots of live have been lost, property worth millions of naira destroyed, many displaced, hundreds abducted and many hd gone missing.
Certain families are yet to reunite several years after fleeing from Boko Haram attacks. These have been the unfortunate lot of the people of Adamawa State in several local government until the coming of the current administration.
The President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, declared war on the insurgents and the military moved in swiftly with renewed vigour than before and recaptured all the local councils in the state hitherto taken by the insurgents and freed all the captives.
In the last two years, except for the attempt to attack villages in Michika and Garkida in Gombi local government, most of the LGs in Adamawa State have remained peaceful. Mubi has since got its groove back as the marketing hub of the region while Maiha, Yola, Ganye etc have almost put the thoughts of past attacks behind them.
That the Buhari administration has been able to do this to a population of over 4 million is a no mean feat and the economic benefit derived from this are enormous.
Little wonder when President Muhammadu Buhari visited Yola in 2018, to declare open the anti-corruption summit in the state and to commission some projects, crowd of supporters were also on ground at the Yola International Airport to welcome the President.
They did so because the President had been able to give them their lives back by puaing the terrorists out of the state. For us, President Muhammadu BUhari’s efforts means a lot to us in Adamawa State and its just about everything. Staying safe and alive is the most important business in human existence.
Abubakar, an educationist wrote this piece from Mubi.