UPDATE: Civilians, soldiers flee as Boko Haram takes over Baga

File: Baga after a Boko Haram attack

Baga, a town that has suffered several attacks from the Boko Haram in the past two years, fell to insurgents who overpowered soldiers of the Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF, and wrecked havoc on residents and property on Saturday, witnesses, a lawmaker, and security officials have said.

Many resident of Baga, a fishing community in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State, who were lucky to escape the attack are now taking refuge in Chad Republic. Some, who could not swim through the lake, or get on canoes, reportedly drowned.

Some of the fleeing residents, who managed to call their relatives in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, using Chadian phones, said many women, children and aged ones who couldn’t get canoes and boats to escape, died in the rivers.

Witnesses said the attackers arrived on several four-wheel trucks and motorcycles and used high caliber rifles and explosives to attack both soldiers and civilians.

“They attacked and burnt our homes, business premises and parts of the seized MNJTF base”, said Audu Labo, a displaced resident who spoke via the phone of a relative in Maiduguri from Chad. “The soldiers were overpowered and had to abandon their post and fled for safety.”

“It was in the very early hours of Saturday morning that they came into Baga in their hundreds, driving several Hilux Patrol Vehicles, trucks and some on motorcycles as they immediately began to throw explosives and bombs coming out from long rifles they carry on their shoulders (rocket propelled grenades) as well as those rifles called AK47,” Mr. Labo said.

Mr. Labo and other survivors said soldiers initially engaged the insurgents but had to flee to superior fire power.
“We ran for several hours before we got to the Lake and from there some of us who could not get on the boats had to swim across to Chad Republic,” Mr. Labo said.

He said residents avoided the land routes to Chad because Boko Haram gunmen had already taken over the routes.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that some of the soldiers had to disguise as civilians by pulling off their uniforms and boots to avoid being spotted by the terrorists.

“We all were running for our dear lives; even the soldiers had to pull off their uniforms and some of us had to volunteer our clothes for them to disguise so that they could escape into Chad safely”, a survivor, who sought anonymity for security reasons, said.

A top security officer who had earlier spoken to PREMIUM TIMES on condition of anonymity confirmed the seizure of the MNJTF base to journalists but declined comment on the casualty.

“It is still very difficult to give correct figure of casualties because as you may be aware, the town is now fully under the control of the insurgents,” he said “Our troops tried to hold on for hours but due to lack of reinforcement, they were overpowered”.

While speaking on the attack, Maina Lawan, who represents Borno North in the Senate said civilians ran “helter skelter” and soldiers abandoned their post.

“There is definitely something wrong that makes our military abandon their posts each time there is an attack from Boko Haram,” the senator said while lamenting the situation to the BBC World Service.

There have been several cases of soldiers fleeing battle or refusing to go fight the Boko Haram insurgents who are believed to be better motivated and armed than the military. Many of the fleeing soldiers have accused the military hierarchy of refusing to provide adequate arms and ammunition to fight the insurgents.

The military has since condemned such acts and has sentenced dozens of Nigerian soldiers to death for various offences like mutiny, disobedience of orders, and so on.

The Nigerian military, which coordinates the MNJTF, is yet to react to the latest tack.

In the last two years, Baga has suffered five major attacks with high casualty – the latest was that of November 2014 when Boko Haram insurgents ambushed fishermen returning from a night fishing expedition and slit the throats of 43 of them.

Baga was also the scene of a major masaccre in 2013 that saw dozens of civilians killed and hundreds of houses burnt by angry soldiers allegedly hunting for insurgents.


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  • amazing2012

    ……and somebody will tell us Jonathan is the best president ! Thank God for speaking through Father Nmbaka we will remove this cancer very soon.

    • Ufuak Ntuk

      And if you can’t explain GEJ’s complicity in this situation then you’re a boko haram apologist!

      • amazing2012

        GEJ’s complicity:
        1. Late General Azazi accused Jonathan/PDP on Boko boys, he was then sacked and killed. For national security adviser NSA to point at someone, there MOST be reason beyond reasonable doubt.
        2. A seating governor of Adamawa, naval chief Murtala Nyako accused Jonathan/PDP and was removed. He has to run for his dear life. Can a seating governor not have a genuine information ?
        3. Two senators reported to the National Assemly that helicopter in different occasions were sighted dropping supplies to Boko boys. Whose helicopter is it ? If you say is not a Nigerian government, then whose ? Our air surface is not safe ? Or what ?
        4. Boko has lots of New Hilux vehicles in hundreds. Who give them ? Who fuel the vehicles ? It is difficult to get fuel in normal places but Boko has constant supplies ? How ? Is Borno Otuoke ?
        To cont:

        • Ufuak Nkuk

          And Buhari promises hell on the streets of Nigeria and he’s not answerable to the current mayhem?

  • Kokori

    Where is the certiPicate?

    • PROF

      It is at oluwale market .

      • Udoka

        Thank you for this. God bless you. We must learn to stand for truth in this country. Nigerians have suffered too much from lies of the past. This certificate must SHOW!

      • Guguru

        Jonathan, a whole professor with PhD has no verifiable published paper that we are aware of.

        • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

          Please stay focused,INEC requires Buhari’s certificates !!

          • Gawgawa2015

            Obasanjo attacks Jonathan again, accuses president of squandering oil savings

            Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has again launched a public attack on President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing him of squandering $25billion crude oil savings left behind by his administration.

            Mr. Obasanjo made the allegation while hosting the South-West women leaders at his residence in Abeokuta Monday.
            He said his administration left over $25 billion to his successor, Musa Yar’adua, who raised the sum to $35 billion.

            Mr. Obasanjo said he also left $40billion in Nigeria’s foreign reserve account after paying the outstanding debt at the time.

            He said former President Yar’adua also raised the reserves to $60billion.

            Under President Jonathan, the reserves has plummeted to $40billion, Mr. Obasanjo said.

            The new claims followed a series of public denunciation of Mr. Jonathan’s government by the former president.

            In 2014, Mr. Obasanjo repeatedly lambasted the current government, accusing the president of promoting and tolerating corruption, and failing to provide security for Nigerians.

            Mr. Obasanjo also released a book mid-December scolding the president as a self-centred politician who thinks less of the country and fraternises with corrupt and questionable characters.

    • amazing2012

      What does the heading of the news says ? If you most relate it with your Amala head is to say shame to Phd holder who can not succed in anything !

      • Kokori

        See you life? Like mentor, like men-tee! You don’t even know the difference between present ‘tense’ and past ‘tense’ “…..shame to Phd holder who can not succed in anything !”

        …anyway, Where is the certiPicate?

  • Umar Dendi

    “….And sparrow bred down stream thinks all is well with the oysters”
    For this, there would be victors and vanquished!
    So rally your women and men O compatriots. This has become an existential issue! We make it or we vanish

  • Captano

    “The elites of northern Nigeria are responsible for deliberate mis-information
    that hundreds of people died in Baga – where Boko Haram and the military clashed
    recently. The northern elites are against the Military Joint Task Force. Their
    hostile and antagonistic perception of the JTF; the demand for its withdrawal,
    the deliberate fabrication of stories, are all calculated to soil the image of the military.

    This is really demoralising to the Nigerian military, which has remained a veritable pillar
    for the nation’s unity and national security. What the nation needs at this time is the nation’s
    unity and security. What the nation needs at this time is national cohesion through guided
    comments by the elite…not the mischievous support for a terrorist organisation,
    whose ideology is nothing more than seeking the destruction of the country.”

    …….…….The Nigerian Army

    (March 18, 2013)

  • Finitri

    What happened to aerial bombardment?

  • Bullah

    THIS 3RD ATTEMPT TO BREAK UP NIGERIA

    “The first attempt to divide Nigeria regionally was in 1953

    when Ahmadu Bello-led northern legislators withdrew from

    Lagos because of Anthony Enahoro’s motion for self-government

    in 1956. The second and the major attempt was on May 30, 1967

    when the then Col. Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu declared the (former)

    Eastern Region of Nigeria as an Independent Republic of Biafra.

    But neither Bello nor Ojukwu put into consideration that the

    same blood of corruption runs in the veins of Nigerians,

    irrespective of differences in tribes and regions.”

    ………….Omenazu

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    Where are Buhari’s primary and WASC O’level certificates ? Is he liable for perjury for declaring in a sworn affidavit that the Army is with-holding his originals ?
    The APC should come up with answers quickly !!

    • Instanta

      @ Takwanda,

      BUHARI STANDS DISQUALIFIED FROM 2015 ELECTION

      The 1999 Constitution cannot be amended or overlooked for the sake of Muhammadu Buhari.
      By his own deeds, he’s just disqualified himself from the 2015 presidential race – with perjury.
      Besides, he does not show he went to school, by not having a school certificate or testimonial.
      Without having both, Buhari fails the constitutional test and can’t run in next month’s election.

      • Sukky

        “Recently, the Sultan of Sokoto made a highly inflammatory comment that the Fulanis
        have been ‘grazing on their traditional grazing land’ in Tiv land. But the Tiv people do not
        share any contiguous borders with the Fulanis. When and how did the Tiv land become
        a ‘traditional grazing land’ for the Fulani nomadic cattle breeders?”

        Should un-restrained provocation trigger another civil war, the Tiv people will
        definitely NOT be on the side they were on then The Tiv people are geographically
        and culturally NOT Northerners any more than the Hausa man is a South-Eastern
        or Middle Belter.

        And the Tivs are not tools in the hands of any ethnic group in Nigeria. If they were so
        in the days of our fathers, they are certainly not in our days”.

        ……………Leonard Karshima Shilgba

        (March 13th, 2014)

  • Bigzy

    Carnage all over the world! Is this really what service of alla is about? What kind of deity enjoys the spilling of human blood? At that, what sort of human being would carry out these attacks? Are they human at all? To walk up to a total stranger and shoot him dead is unforgivable. Take heart people because the vengience of the Lord will come.

  • Guguru

    Well, why is anyone surprised? An alleged sponsor of BH is a good friend to Jonathan. So, BH gets its encouragement to continue from the Nigerian government. The MNJTF seems to have missed the memo. They are all slowly seeing the power of the Nigerian govt’s hand in BH. Secondly, BH will become increasingly violent because the crude oil fund used to grease their palms is slowly dwindling. The govt and the BH are a union made in hades. You give them money, they stay a little violent. You don’t give them money, they become increasingly violent.

  • Observer

    ONE LESS KNOWN REASON FOR THIS BOKO HARAM JIHAD

    With spear and arrow Fulani invaders overthrew traditional Hausa Kings by force
    in 1804 A.D and imposed themselves as exclusive rulers of Hausaland. The Fulani
    then imposed emirates; and, replaced Hausa (Habe kings) with Fulani emirs and then,
    justified this invasion on the basis that Hausa kings did not practise pure Islam.

    Two hundred years later, have the Fulani emirs themselves practised pure Islam?
    Hassan Gumi who is the Emir of Gumi, for example, is still liable to prosecution for
    RECEIVING BRIBES AS ABUJA CHIEF JUDGE. Is bribes-taking pure Islam?

    This is one driving force of the Boko Haram Islamic Jihad, insofar as this question
    is now answered in the negative by non-Fulani northern peoples?

    Likewise, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi – the Emir of Kano – is liable for investigation
    of financial crimes of close to 700 billion Naira. Is financial crime pure Islam?
    Ultimately, when history is written, both Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Hassan Gumi
    would mark the fall of the now increasingly immoral Fulani emirates.

    • Dehinde

      Okay, na wah O! No wonder these Boko Haram boys are attacking these Emirs anyhow! That means Boko Haram can come Lagos too, because BolaTinubu and Raji Fashola are worst examples of corruption. The two of them are Muslims too. The thief-thief the two of them have done so far in Lagos state is not pure Islam. If Lagosians don’t want Boko Haram to come to their state, Bola Tinubu and Raji Fashola must be arrested for corruption.

  • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

    ANOTHER BOMB FROM THE NIGERIAN SOUTH EAST.
    The All Progressive Grand Alliance says it cannot throw its weight behind President Goodluck Jonathan as it is very likely that the candidate of the All progressives Congress, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will emerge the winner of the presidential election next month.

    The Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of APGA, Mr. Campbell Umeh-Nzekwe, who is also a special adviser to the national chairman of the party, said this during an interview with our correspondent, on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT

    Umeh-Nzekwe said Jonathan’s problem was compounded by the fact that the motion to adopt him as the consensus candidate of the Igbo for the 2015 presidential election failed at the Ime-Obi (inner caucus) meeting of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on Saturday, in Enugu.

    He added that the sermon of renowned Enugu-based Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, that Jonathan had failed and should step down seemed to have sent shockwaves across the South-East.

    He said the party was sure that Jonathan would not win votes in the North.

    He said, “The game has changed. As it is, Jonathan has no chance of winning. Buhari seems to have taken over. The PDP has collapsed in the North if you care to know. All those who are running to Aso Rock and making promises to the President are just deceiving him.”

    When asked if APGA would be supporting Buhari next month, Umeh-Nzekwe said he could not say for sure.

    He said, “Jonathan is a sitting President with incumbency factor in his favour but Buhari has the masses and a cult following in the North. In 2011, Buhari won 12 million votes in the North with his rag-tag party, the Congress for Progressive Change, without a single governor or senator to campaign for him.

    “Today, his party, the APC, has 14 governors, 43 senators and 176 Reps as well as 625 House of Assembly members. Also, the APC has dominant control of the North-West with a total number of 18.4 million voters and North-East with 10.2 million while South-West has 13.4 million voters

    “ The PDP has dominant control of the North-Central and Abuja with 10.4 million voters while the South-South has 8.5 million and South-East has 7.2 million votes.

    “However, no zone has achieved 50 per cent of votes cast but northern voters are more committed and trustworthy than those in the South.

    “Also, look at Jonathan’s campaign team. He has Col. Ahmadu Ali (retd.) as his Director General and Peter Obi as the deputy while Buhari has Governor Rotimi Amaechi and Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora as director general and deputy respectively. It is time for Ndi Igbo to review their strategy.”

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      Is your leave not over yet,you must be missed at your Sambisa HQ as we speak ?
      Your lies are so worthless that no reasonable person will have the patience to read through.

      • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

        TAKE THIS AS LOLLY POP.
        APC Presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari, his running mate Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, General overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Pastor Adeboye and his wife, and other dignitaries joined Governor Fashola on Sunday for the 2015 Lagos State Government Annual Thanksgiving Service which held at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, January 4, 2015.

        During the service, Buhari said: “All Nigerians must be free to worship God regardless of their beliefs”

      • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

        HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN FATHER MBAKA? MR. LUNATIC

    • Kokori

      Pls stop the distractions. Where is the certiPicate?

      • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

        THE CERTIFICATE ARE INSIDE JESUS CHRIST ANUS. BASTARRD BABY FACTORY SON.

  • Public Tribune

    DOES GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI HAVE ANY INTEGRITY?

    The long and the short of it is that Muhammadu Buhari has no school certificate.
    Second, he doesn’t have a school testimonial to show he’d attended any school.
    Both facts mean that Buhari is not qualified to be a presidential candidate in 2015.

    More than that, both facts also mean Buhari perjured himself on sworn affidavit.
    By filing that affidavit, he asserted that he went to secondary school and asserted
    he was educated in secondary school up to West African school certificate level.
    Both assertions are false; and the legal effect of false assertions on oath is perjury.

    Dr. Tunji Abayomi is befuddled – for otherwise he’d reason properly that the burden of
    proving equivalency of school cert education can’t be supported by Buhari with nothing.
    The previous (false?) assertions by General Buhari in 2003, 2007 and 2011 are at issue.
    It is Buhari who has the burden of reconciling his previous assertions with his current one.
    If he did not attend secondary school, as it seems, a case of prosecutable forgery arises.

    • Nota Bien

      “I am the above-named person and deponent to this affidavit therein. All my academic qualifications documents as filled in my presidential form, President APC/001/2015, are currently with the Secretary, Military Board, as of the time of presenting this affidavit. The affidavit is made in good faith and for record purpose. The affidavit is made in good faith and for record purposes.”

      ……….General Muhammadu Buhari

      [December 29, 2014]

      • Ogbonna

        Look at his face, an old man telling fat lies! Which Secretary of Military Board has your certificate?
        Has the Secretary not come out to say the Army does not keep anybody’s academic certificates?
        So, what nonsense are you talking about? INEC is asking you for your school certificate, show it.
        INEC is not asking you for certificates of military drills or artillery courses attended in the army.

        • Zarto Ali

          The court listen to all and sundry.

      • Azeez58

        You guys are just trying to fight what God has decreed. God dey o.

      • Sai mai Gaskiya

        Shugaban khasa maigiran gado General Mai Gaskiya sai kayi

      • Sai mai Gaskiya

        I can’t wait to the change in February.

    • Zarto Ali

      If I were you I will take to court rather than big mouth talk.

  • Anita

    “In a country where success is agreed as something to be stolen,

    killing is agreed also. Stop and punish the thefts bleeding Nigeria,

    and there will be nothing left to fight over.”

    …………Seyi Olu Awofeso

    (September 6th, 2014)

    • Orly

      That’s the prose-meister – Seyi Olu Awofeso – always worth quoting!

      • Invitro

        @ Anita:

        Now it’s not just about theft, Global Security Report notes the existence of Muslim cells

        in Yorubaland militantly allied to the Al Qaeda Jihadists, besides the tens of militant fighters

        of Yoruba origin captured by the Nigerian Army on the battlefield as Jihadists in the ranks

        of Boko Haram.

        When Yoruba Christians wake up from slumber they will realize they are

        surrounded by the most virulent and militant Muslims today. I pity Yoruba Christians because
        they are un-armed and defenceless, even though they are in trouble.

        They assume that Boko Haram is just a Hausa/Fulani murder machine.
        They do not fully understand the concept of global jihad underway.

        Yoruba Christians do not connect the dots that since Yoruba Muslims
        are active cells in Al Qaeda, those cells are invariably allied to Boko Haram
        – whose stated aim is the ‘mass killings of all Christians’.

      • Figaro

        Theft has created a crass elite structure in Nigeria having no sensible member
        a Nigerian youth can look up to as innovative and morally upright role model
        amongst the treasury thieves prancing around in criminal garb as politicians.

        • Ahoy Seadog

          Nigeria is almost a failed state where ordinary people’s anger
          has peaked with potentially lethal consequences. If nothing
          changes, i cannot guarantee what recourse the people will take.

          The level of anger has peaked. I don’t rule out Nigeria breaking up.
          That’s what can happen to a failed state. Nigeria is close to breaking up
          and its leadership has descended into a theatre of the absurd.

          ……….Professor Wole Soyinka

          (March 16, 2010)

  • Invitro

    When Yoruba Christians wake up from slumber they will realize they are surrounded
    by the most virulent and militant Muslims today. I pity Yoruba Christians because
    they are un-armed and defenceless, even though they are in trouble.

    They assume that Boko Haram is just a Hausa/Fulani murder machine.
    They do not fully understand the concept of global jihad underway.

    Yoruba Christians do not connect the dots that since Yoruba Muslims
    are active cells in Al Qaeda, those cells are invariably allied to Boko Haram
    – whose stated aim is the ‘mass killings of all Christians’.

  • MushinSpeaks

    How many more must die before they end insurgency?

    Since this present administration has failed in securing lives and property, Nigerians will on Feb 14 vote in CHANGE and put an end to impunity, nepotism, corruption and negligence.

  • Abbey

    It is obvious that the condemned soldiers are telling the truth while their commanders are lying. The nigerian army need more change than any institution in the country.
    They are incompetent ,lazy and bereft of ideas to defeat the insurgents and the country will be better off with new hands and a radical idea on the way forward.

  • UYI111

    If they are over power it is better to run for cover when the enemies know the territory more than they do or better equiped.
    .He who fights and run away lives to fight another day .

  • OmoLasgidi

    Dumbo is sacrificing our troops to BH – Their blood is dripping from his hands – and yet he keeps smiling sheepishly that BH will soon be history! How many more of our brave soldiers are they going to lead to their deaths with shakabulas before these brain dead politicians lead this country down the abyss? On can only wonder what will happen when NA soldiers dessert collectively in droves – how many do they think they will execute?

    Let it be known that a quiet revolution is brewing in the armed forces and may be unprecedented in the history of any African country! BH is slaughtering and abducting hundreds of innocent children and youths, compromising the integrity of the Nigerian state and yet he keeps sounding like a broken record? For the few wise Nigerians – can you imagine what will happen if the bulk of the lower ranks and middle officers of the Army abandon the lines? Right now, even the NA command has no clues where some are?

    For how long do we think the few fine professional officers we have left watch the decimation and humiliation of their military? Unfortunately Dumbo lacks the grit, courage and spine to clean the military high command of those fat and corrupt Generals who have and are benefitting from defence contracts – obsolete and refurbished weapons are supplied as new?

    And when the chips are down, the corrupt politicians and generals will run abroad to enjoy their loot, leaving their trapped sycophants, apologists and supporters running to their villages and their demise at the hands of the bloodthirsty marauders. Enough for the wise!