Boko Haram insurgents have reportedly hoisted their flag in Baga, a town in Borno state, northeast Nigeria.
A resident familiar with the development told TheCable on Thursday evening that the insurgents took over the community after overrunning a military base.
“After displacing soldiers and rendering residents homeless, they hoisted their flag there. No one can deny this,” the resident who pleaded anonymity said.
A resident identified as Labbo Dan-Baga also confirmed this on a radio programme monitored by TheCable on Thursday.
“Boko Haram has hoisted its flag in Baga… We went to the mosque to pray and discovered we were surrounded by Boko Haram,” he said.
“They told us not to panic as we prayed together… they said they were not going to kill any civilian. And that they are from the Abu-Mossad Albarnawi’s ISWAP faction. They told us to stay in the town or leave if we want to. They dressed in browned caftan with army boots. Some completely covered their faces with mask.”
The report said the insurgents also engaged troops in a heavy fire in Doron Baga, Cross Kauwa and Kukawa areas of Borno and that Boko Haram fighters seized many gun trucks.
No fewer than 5,000 persons have been displaced from Baga, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Mairari ward in Gudunbali and Garand in Guzamala local government areas of Borno after frequent attacks by the insurgents in the last one week.
It was learned that Boko Haram fighters not only chased people from the communities but set many houses ablaze.
“The terrorists were really determined. They kept returning to communities in Guzamala after every attack,” the source said.
The zonal coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the north-east, Bashir Garga, said a total of 2,046 internally displaced persons (IDPs) had their biodata captured by the agency on Tuesday alone.
The registered IDPs were from 204 households of the five communities, which have been affected by the activities of the insurgents.
“Immediate need assessment include shelters, food, blankets, buckets, mosquito net, hygiene kits cooking materials, plastic bucket. In this period of harmattan, the registration is still ongoing as more are expected,” a NEMA official said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari and Lai Mohammed, minister of information, have on different occasions said Boko Haram has not been able to capture a single community in Nigeria since this government took over power.
The insurgents took control of some communities in the north-east under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Editor’s note: The above picture was used only for illustrative purposes.