Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
Residents of Damboa in Borno State have deserted the town following an attack on Friday night and are seeking refuge in various relief camps for internally displaced persons in Maiduguri, the state capital.
The attack left a heavy casualty on the side of the insurgent group, with at least 50 of them killed, as military ground and air fighters repelled the terrorists.
Some of the fleeing villagers told journalists that they were scarred of a reprisal, as they suspect the terrorists may return on a revenge mission as it had done in the past.
“We believe that they will soon come back to Damboa and we do not want to be caught in the crossfire so we have to seek refuge in Maiduguri,” one resident said.
The mass migration has led to a sharp increase in the number of internally displaced persons in Maiduguri currently put at 140,000, but the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, says it has the capacity to accommodate the new refugees.
Speaking to journalists on some of the measures put in place, the spokesman of the North east zonal office of the agency, AbdulKadir Ibrahim, noted that it was not the first time that displaced persons would troop to the city, assuring, “we have camps at the NYSC orientation camp and other part of the town for those that may be displaced.”
He noted that presently in Maiduguri there are over 140,000 displaced persons at the various facilities, insisting that the people expected from Damboa will be duly accommodated and catered for.
There remains a heavy military presence in Damboa after Friday’s attack to ensure that peace is maintained in the area.