Tuesday, December 2, 2014 6:17 pm
No fewer than 33 Nigerian policemen were killed Monday in the daring dawn assault on Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, by Boko Haram fighters. At least six soldiers were also said to have died, in the defence of the city, in north east Nigeria.
The bodies of the policemen and soldiers were brought to the General Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital, Damaturu on Tuesday, along with 20 bodies of the Boko Haram sect who also died in the clash. Earlier report yesterday said 40 of the insurgents were killed.
Although government claimed that the city successfully repelled the invaders, a mopping up operation continues today as government indicated announcing a 24-hour curfew.
Meanwhile, before the Senate took a two week recess today, the Senator representing Yobe North, Ahmed Lawan told the session hair-splitting accounts of the dawn invasion and the valiant efforts mounted by Nigeria’s security men to beat the invaders.
Lawan told the Senate that the invaders actually targeted the Government House in the capital.
Lawan, who came under Order 43 asked for the indulgence of the Senate and the leave of the President of the Senate, to give a detailed account of what happened in Yobe State on Monday.
“Mr. President, I will like to formally inform this Senate that Damaturu was attacked by insurgents from about 5am on Monday and the military or the armed forces, battled the insurgents and controlled the situation.
“So many lives were lost but at this moment, we cannot determine the exact number of the dead people. Several people were also wounded and of course, psychologically, hundreds of thousands of Yobe people and even other Nigerians are traumatized about that incident.
“Mr. President, I want to say this, a war is not won by the name of the operation, a war is won by the operators of the operation that operate in the theatre of war.
“Our soldiers were determined to fight the insurgents. They fought very gallantly and exhibited valour and they did that because they have motivation not because there was any state of emergency existing.
“Mr. President, the significance of what happened in Damaturu yesterday (Monday) should not be lost on us.