The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has confirmed that an entire battalion of soldiers fled the town of Mubi in Adamawa State earlier today in response to an attack by “insignificant” Boko Haram militants, but that an investigation is going on to establish why.
NewsWireNGR reported yesterday that the town had been taken over by the Islamic militants, forcing troops and civilians to flee.
A senior military source tells Saharareporters there was no reason to believe that the Special Operation Battalion troops stationed in Mubi should have fled from the militants or in response to their threats because the army had decided to use the headquarters in Mubi to launch an attack to retake several towns from Boko Haram in the coming days. To that effect, five artillery tanks had been brought into Mubi in the last few days, the source said.
The officer disclosed that efforts are being made to send in fresh troops to replace the fleeing ones and push out any militants that might have entered Mubi.
As previously reported by SaharaReporters, residents and soldiers fled Mubi earlier today as information filtered in that Boko Haram militants had arrived and seized the town, gunshots rending the air.
Some of the soldiers who spoke to our reporter said their base had fallen to the militants but the senior officer said he could not confirm if the militants reached the base as the troops had all fled. The soldiers said air patrols were taking place around the area.
Efforts to reach military spokesman General Chris Olukolade to speak about the situation have so far proved abortive.