Barely three days after electricity was restored in Maiduguri, Boko Haram terrorists have plunged the North-East city into darkness again after blowing up a power tower on Saturday.
In January, the terrorists had struck power installations thrice to keep the city in the dark.
It took power authorities almost two months to repair the damage inflicted in January as the insurgents laid land mines, which injured officials of the Transmission Company of Nigeria when repairs commenced.
Repairs had to progress under heavy military escort, as residents and business owners turned to alternative power generating sets for electricity.
Last Wednesday, residents expressed elation after electricity from the national grid was restored.
But that elation now seems short-lived after Saturday’s attack.
“I am tired, depressed,” one resident told Channels Television. “It’s just too much for us.”
Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno State, has become a target for insurgents as the Nigerian military continues its offensive against terrorist operations in the nation’s North-East.
In February, at least ten persons were killed and 47 injured after Boko Haram launched explosives towards the city.
A Professor of socio-linguistics and international relations at the University of Maiduguri, Dikwa Khalifa, has said the attacks on Maiduguri should be interpreted as a sign of weakness on the part of the terrorists.
According to him, the attacks are meant to serve as distractions from the ongoing military operation in Boko Haram strongholds.
Army Claims More Successes
The Nigerian Army on Saturday said its troops have neutralised scores of Boko Haram terrorists in an ambush along the Chibok-Damboa axis of Borno state.
According to a statement signed by army spokesman, Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima, the ambush was carried out by troops deployed in Chibok under 28 Task Force Brigade of Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole.
“The troops achieved the feat while acting on credible intelligence that some remnants of insurgents were fleeing due to the intensity of troops’ operations in Sambisa Forest,” the army statement said.
“The gallant troops laid ambush, engaged and overwhelmed the criminals with aggressive firepower, neutralising 9 terrorists in the process while several others escaped with fatal gunshot wounds. The troops also recovered 7 AK 47 Rifles and freed 3 kidnapped victims.”
The statement added that, in another encounter, troops of 28 Task Force Brigade located in Askira equally laid a successful ambush along Askira – Chibok Main Supply Route (MSR) and neutralized 39 terrorists.
“In the course of the encounter, troops successfully rescued
8 kidnapped victims from the terrorists,” the army said.
“Unfortunately however, one of the kidnapped victims sustained injury to his leg while in the hands of his abductors. He has since been conveyed to a military medical facility for immediate treatment. During the operations, troops recovered another 8 AK 47 Rifles with 4 magazines, among other items.
“The gallant troops are presently dominating the area with aggressive patrols and are equally on a trail of fleeing terrorists in order to locate and neutralise them.”
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru “appreciated the gallantry and dexterity of the troops and urged them to remain dogged and maintain their offensive posture in all operations until the area is rid of all remnants of terrorists.
“He equally appreciated members of the public for their continuous support to the troops and enjoined them to continue to provide credible information to the troops and other security agencies operating within their localities.”