The Nigerian military in Borno State has launched a new counter-offensive aimed at retaking the strategic town of Gwoza, where it suffered one of its heaviest loss till date to the Boko Haram terrorists with one of its Commanders either captured or missing.
The latest development, which is yet to be confirmed by the military authorities is said to have left some units of the Nigerian Army, 213 battalion and 234 battalion in disarray following surprised attacks by the sect who rebuffed the military’s initial attempt to retake the town.
According to military sources that spoke to THISDAY, the surprised defeat was blamed on the Brigade Commander, who was alleged to have ordered them to beat a hasty retreat, which resulted in the capture of tanks and other equipment by Boko Haram with their Battalion Commander Lt. Colonel Agu of the 234 Battalion still missing.
However, the Nigerian troops and Special Forces were said to have reinforced to take back the town and as well as rescue operations to locate some missing soldiers with about three Alpha Jets and some reconnaissance air crafts said to be involved.
“We were short of armour and have to come back to the 7Division, but after reinforcement we are heading back there (Gwoza). The battle is still on”, the source said.
“Col. Agu’s whereabout is still unknown for now, things are not yet settled”, a soldier in the battlefront said.
Meanwhile, the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade could not comment on the development in order not to jeopardise operational strategies.
However, another military source who spoke on the matter told THISDAY that the Special Forces have joined to reverse the losses in order not to leave the strategic town of Gwoza in the hands of the insurgents who are hoisting their flag in their avowed mission of creating an Islamic state similar to ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
“This must not be allowed to happen and we are going to reverse this loss. Like we liberated and recaptured Damboa, this will also be done,” the officer vowed.
It could be recalled that the traditional head of Gwoza, who was also kidnapped since last week is still yet to be found.