Residents of Ashaka, the factory site of the popular Ashaka Cement Plc, in Gombe State, revealed that the suspected Boko Haram terrorists group, who carried out a deadly operation on the village on Tuesday, went away with dynamites fully loaded in eight Toyota Hilux Vehicles.
The terrorist group had on Tuesday launched attacks on the border towns of Nafada and Ashaka in Funakaye Local Government Area of Gombe State as well as Ngalda and Fika towns in Fika Local Government Area of Yobe State.
The attacks claimed scores of lives in both Nafada and Fika, in Gombe and Yobe states, respectively.
Some Ashaka residents said that the insurgents after taken control of the company and the town, gathered the residents together and preached their strange brand of Islamic ideology to them.
They also promised the people that they were not in the area to hurt anyone.
“Yes, the group came here without killing anybody but they went away with eight Toyota Hilux belonging to Ashaka Cement Plc which they fully loaded with dynamites taken from the production site of the company after preaching their beliefs to the residents,” a resident said.
He added that the Hilux vehicles were the property of the company.
Also, a security source, who did not want to be mentioned, told journalists on Wednesday that seven travellers along the Gombe-Potiskum highway were killed around Fika town by the insurgents.
He said that the killing of the seven came moments after a popular religious cleric and three of his apprentices were killed in Nafada on the Gombe/Yobe border.
The Police Public Relations Officer Gombe Command, Mr. Fwaje Atajiri, who confirmed the raid of the area, said the unknown gunmen torched the police station, the local government and the Peoples Democratic Party’s secretariats in Nafada town.
Atajiri said that their efforts to enter Bajoga the headquarters of Funakaye Local Government Area were repelled by security forces.
He also said the security operatives were not aware that dynamites were taken away by the insurgents, but revealed that the command had commenced investigations into the attack, promising to address the media on the situation at a later day.
He however confirmed that a cleric and three others were killed in Nafada while a police man who was wounded during the raid had been taken to an undisclosed hospital in the state for treatment.
“I can confirm the attack on the two Local Government Areas of the state. The number of casualty is four while a police man was injured during the attack and he is being treated. Our team of investigators have commenced inquiry on the attack and I can assure you the media will be adequately briefed as things unfold,” the PPRO told journalists.
But the management of the cement company on Wednesday announced that normalcy had returned to the Ashakacem plant after insurgents entered the plant on Tuesday afternoon.
The cement firm in a statement issued by the Country Communications Director, Lafarge Africa Plc, Viola Graham-Douglas, said, “Ashakacem, which is located in Gombe State in the northeastern region of Nigeria, was the target of an intrusion by people who were strangers to the plant. However, the situation has now stabilised and there is no report of any injury to employees or damage to the plant.”
Ashaka is located in Funakaye Local Government Area of Gombe State.
Tuesday’s attack of Ashaka by the insurgents is the second, as the dreaded sect members had carried out an attack on some financial institutions in the town in 2012.
Meanwhile, the International Committee on Red Cross has lamented difficult conditions of 50,000 Nigerians, who were displaced by the Boko Haram’s attacks.
The ICRC, in a statement on its website on Wednesday , said the committee had launched an emergency operation after assessing conditions of the displaced people.
In the statement, the Head of its delegation in Nigeria, Karl Mattali, said that the Nigerian Red Cross Society had completed the distribution of food and household essentials “to over 50,000 people living in extremely difficult conditions.”