Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum has confirmed that fighters of Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) are fleeing from the Lake Chad following an onslaught by Chadian forces.
The Chadians, led by President Idris Derby, launched the major military offensive, tagged Operation Boma’s Wrath, on March 30.
The confirmation by the governor on Thursday confirms HumAngle’s report of Tuesday, March 31, that the insurgents were“beating a fast retreat southwards into Nigeria’s territory”.
“Without synergy and seemingly zero military leverage for the Nigerian troops to hold unto against the fleeing terror groups, the insurgents are unsurprisingly getting a free pass and likely to soon open new positions and new operational bases with fortification camps to the booth,” HumanAngle had reported.
The governor said the movement of the terrorists into Nigeria had created fear for the government.
“Right now, most of the Boko Haram are fleeing the shores of the Lake Chad and they are now coming to northern Borno State and then to southern Borno State.
“And there’s a need for us to now provide some counter-insurgency attacks,” Zulum told a journalist after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the president assured him of the Federal Government’s support for the Multinational Joint Task Force to deal with the insurgents “decisively with a view to ending the crisis”.
Chad wants Support from neighbours
In a communiqué released on Thursday, the Office of Chief of Defence and Security Chiefs of Staff of Chad stated that the operation lasted eight days.
It explained that the effort succeeded in driving away insurgents from all the islands of Niger and Nigeria within the fringes of Lake Chad.
In the communique signed by Col. Benendoua Azen Aguna, Chad solicited support from neighbours, including Nigeria, to flush out the insurgents from their new hideouts.
It stated that its forces neutralized no fewer than 1,000 Boko Haram fighters, seized and destroyed numerous weapons and equipment, including canoes.
It also stated that 52 soldiers lost their lives and 186 were injured.
“Currently, our troops are occupying all the islands of Niger and Nigeria in the fringes of Lake Chad waiting for the arrival of troops from the neighbouring sister countries to take over from us,” Chad stated.