Saturday, 9 August 2014
Emir of Gwoza, ''Alhaji Muhammadu Idrissa Timta'' Kidnap By Boko Haram
The Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Muhammadu Idrissa Timta, had by yesterday not been found after Boko Haram militants took over Gwoza town two days earlier, family and security sources said.
Members of the family, notable politicians and Gwoza people, led by the Commissioner for commerce, Dr. Asabe Vilita Bashir and Ahmed Jaha, the member representing the area in the state House of Assembly visited Governor Kashim Shettima at the Government House yesterday.
Details of the meeting were not made public but sources said the delegation told the governor that the monarch was still missing. They also told him that thousands of their people were starving on the Mandara Mountain after fleeing from their homes.
“We heard that the monarch fled to a village in Cameroon but I really doubt that story. This is because if all was well, at least he or his rescuers should call us or any government official,” Haruna Buba, a close palace source said.
Mohammed Timta, a first class monarch succeeded his father, late Idrissa Timta, who was killed by the Boko Haram while on his way to Gombe State with two other emirs on May 30.
But a military source said there are strong signals that the emir has been rescued and may be in Maiduguri but could not say where. Army and police authorities are yet to make any official pronouncements on the emir’s disappearance which was confirmed by Senator Ali Mohammed Ali Ndume who represents Southern Borno Senatorial District.
“As I talk to you, I am yet to link up with my emir. I learnt that the military attempted to rescue him and I pray they successfully did that,” he said.
It was gathered that many people were killed in Gwoza while the local government secretariat, the divisional police headquarters, places of worship, houses and shops were destroyed.
“It will be difficult to ascertain the casualty figure because the streets are empty and the residents have fled while those still in the town cannot go out of their houses to pick the dead,” Ndume said.
“Military authorities have assured that they will send reinforcement to the town to secure the area though the mode of operations by the insurgents is still challenging. What the insurgents have been doing is hit and run. They hit an area and run to hide somewhere such that when the military fighter jet pursues them, they flee to another area, attack and run back to other places mostly in the midst of people,” he said.
Boko Haram insurgents took over Gwoza town Wednesday and are currently using women and children as human shields.
The Mandara Mountains which serves as border between Nigeria and Cameroon is seen as a safe haven for Boko Haram fighters. Hundreds of locals were killed on the mountains in the past few months. Gwoza is 135 kilometres South-East of Maiduguri.
Apart from Maiduguri, the state capital, Bama and Damboa, Gwoza is probably the worst hit by the Boko Haram.