Res­i­dents groan as mil­i­tary close Borno high­way

The Punch - - NEWS - Kay­ode Idowu, Maiduguri

MAIDUGURI res­i­dents have lamented the clo­sure of the Maiduguri­damaturu Ex­press­way fol­low­ing Boko Haram at­tacks in Borno State.

Gun­fights be­tween troops and Boko Haram on the ex­press­way have be­come a reg­u­lar af­fair these days, caus­ing panic in the city.

There have also been a se­ries of ab­duc­tions on the road, forc­ing the United Na­tions and in­ter­na­tional non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions to stop their work­ers from trav­el­ling to Maiduguri by road.

The mil­i­tary, be­fore the lat­est con­fronta­tion with Boko Haram fight­ers on the road, com­plained that two vil­lages along the high­way, Jakana and Mainok, were in­hab­ited by in­sur­gents and their fam­i­lies.

Ac­cord­ing to the mil­i­tary, Boko Haram fight­ers al­ways launch their at­tacks from the vil­lages.

The mil­i­tary said they de­cided to close the road to pre­vent mo­torists and pas­sen­gers from be­ing caught in the mid­dle of a shoot-out.

Some of the driv­ers, who spoke to our cor­re­spon­dent on Mon­day, said many peo­ple had been stranded since Sun­day when Boko Haram in­sur­gents at­tacked com­mu­ni­ties along the road.

A Maiduguri res­i­dent lamented that many peo­ple had been un­able to come into the city since the road was closed.

An­other res­i­dent of Maiduguri, Abubakar Idris, who trav­elled to Da­maturu on Sun­day with a plan to re­turn the same day, said, “I was sup­posed to re­turn to Maiduguri but I have been stranded along­side many oth­ers in Da­maturu, be­cause no ve­hi­cle is al­lowed to travel on the Maiduguri-da­maturu Ex­press­way.”

At­tempt to reach spokesman for the Nige­rian Army Col Sa­gir Musa for com­ments were not suc­cess­ful as of the time of fil­ing this re­port.

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