A military operation is underway to reclaim Gwoza, Borno State from Boko Haram, a week after the sect proclaimed the town an Islamic Caliphate.
This is just as five of the 27 policemen who went missing during the Boko Haram seizure of the town and attack on the Nigeria Mobile Police Academy in Gwoza, have rejoined their units unhurt.
Expected to be liberated immediately from the control of the insurgents are Gwoza and 14 surrounding villages.
It was learnt that the terrorists blocked all access roads to the town prompting the Nigerian military to launch what a security source described as “fierce attacks”.
“Some active military operations are ongoing but we will not talk until we have regained the town and other villages”, the source said yesterday
“All I can tell you is that Nigerian troops are capable. They did it in Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and other places. There is no basis for not dealing with the insurgents at home.
“We have launched fierce attacks both on land and in the air. We are prepared to reclaim Gwoza from the insurgents who have become tired of Sambisa Forest because the terrain has become marshy”, the source added.
Responding to a question, the source noted that “Troops would have taken over Gwoza by now but the operation is tactical because we are sticking to the rules of engagement.
“We have discovered that the insurgents have been using most of their captives as human shield in launching attacks on troops and invasion of villages. But their antics cannot last”.
Meanwhile, the top echelon of the Nigeria Police remained optimistic that the remaining 22 police trainees would reunite with their units soon following the safe return of five others.
A source familiar with the development said: “Following the invasion of the Academy by the insurgents, some of the mobile policemen ran into the bush and they have been trying to find their path in the last few days.
“Do not forget that some of them are not used to the Gwoza terrain because they are not from the area. They also have to navigate their ways in such a manner that they will not fall victims of Boko Haram.
“Most often, those who survived Boko Haram attacks have been linking up with their different units through Adamawa State”, the source explained.
When contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Emmanuel Ojukwu, said: “Five of the policemen have returned safely to their stations. Some may have gone back but yet to officially report.
“Let me assure you that we will recover the Academy in Gwoza from the insurgents, we are not giving in at all”, Mr. Ojukwu said.