Residents of Madagali town in Adamawa state on Monday, August 25, 2014 claimed that insurgents suspected to Boko Haram ordered them to ignore the 24-hour curfew put in place by the state government.
Acting governor of the state Umar Fintiri on Sunday, August 24, 2014 ordered the curfew after members of the sect overran the town, which is located a short distance from Gwoza in Borno state, which has fallen into the hands of the sect.
According to residents of Madagali, the insurgents, gun-in-hand and roaming the town freely, had told them to go about their normal business, without any fear of attack.
The Nation reports:
‘’They asked us to ignore the 24 hours curfew, promising not to attack us. They (Boko Haram) told us that they are not after us now; rather, they are pursuing troops being deployed,’’ said a resident of the town who pleaded for anonymity.
A source who spoke to reporters on the telephone said even those who were able to cross the mountain to Cameroon were feared to have been arrested by Cameroun gendarmes.
‘’Many residents are now on the hilltops, while those that were able to cross to Cameroon are reported to have been arrested by Cameroun security operatives.
‘’We are now finding it difficult to cross to Cameroon. Many have resorted to stay back here in the town, with Boko Haram hoisting their flag.
‘’We are now living in an atmosphere of despair and agony,’’ said another resident.
Although, this is not the first time Madagali has been attacked, the attack of Saturday, August 23, 2014 was the deadliest with a number of residents feared killed, before the insurgents dislodged the community and established a settlement.
Madagali Local Government Chairman James Abu Waltharda said civilian casualty was minimal, but thousands of residents have been scattered across the state.
He said five churches were set ablase by the assailants in Sabongari and Hembla settlements in the town.
“The insurgents surely are still in Madagali but the military is near. I spoke with them. I did not hear any encounter between soldiers and the assailants but people will not return to their homes until they are certain the insurgents have left completely. Our people have run to Michika, Shuwa other areas even in those towns people are running,” he said
According to reports, after hoisting their flag at the military base, located at the secretariat of Madagali North Development Area, the insurgents patrolled streets in the town.