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Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Former Boko Haram ‘seat of caliphate’, Gwoza, celebrates Christmas with troops

Nigeria - Residents of Gwoza joined troops to celebrate Christmas in expression of gratitude to God for liberating their community from the infamous status of Boko Haram Caliphate conferred on it by the insurgents.

Gwoza, erstwhile B/Haram ‘seat of caliphate’, celebrates Christmas with troops

Gwoza was in 2014 captured by Boko Haram insurgents who declared it the seat of their caliphate.

While celebrating, the residents of the hilly community vowed to build formidable resilience against the insurgents and to never again flee from Boko Haram attacks. “We shall stay put in our community, join forces with soldiers to fight them, and if death comes, we are determined to die with the soldiers,” they said.
The 26 Task Force Brigade, the first sector of the joint military task force in the theatre of the war against Boko Haram under the Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command, now secures the community.
Daily Trust reports that numerous members of the community have gradually returned home over the last two years, although, according to Alhaji Ibrahim Abbas, the Ciroma of Gwoza, “majority of our people who have fled are still in various IDP camps in Abuja, Edo, Lagos and other parts of the country.”
Abbas said many of them even now owned houses among their host communities, scared to return to Gwoza.
It was observed that the community’s vow against Boko Haram as a daredevil one, as the insurgents still lightly infest the bushes round the essentially farming community, often killing farmers who dare roam two to three kilometers out.
In its first major offensive to liberate the territories captured by the insurgents, the Nigerian military captured Gwoza, the local government area where the larger part of the notorious Sambisa Forest is located, early in 2015.
Elderly Muhammadu Musa told Daily Trust, “We have returned home, and we are very grateful to the soldiers for securing us. Sometimes, they even foray into the bush in search of the insurgents; but the insurgents are still roaming the bushes.”
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, represented by the Nigerian Army Chief of Administration, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Alkali, at the celebrations jointly organised by the Army and the community, praised the hard work and sacrifice of officers and soldiers currently engaged in Operation Lafiya Dole and other operations across the country.
“This celebration is a testimony of our successes and also a celebration of our gallantry, tenacity and loyalty in the maintenance of peace and security in Nigeria,” Buratai said.

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