Few days ago, the military took journalists round some liberated Boko Haram strongholds in Maiduguri and environs. The area has the complete picture of a deserted war front – dead bodies, human skulls, ribs, bones, mass graves, destroyed homes and empty streets.
Indeed, the gory scenes at Bulabulin Ngarnam, a suburb of Maiduguri, where Boko Haram insurgents held sway for the past four years, are better imagined than seen. Newsmen report that so bad are the sights in Bulabulin that when journalists were taken to the area, it was very difficult to count the number of decomposing bodies of human beings, including men, women, children and the old.
Also discovered were over 200 shallow graves, many of which had been exhumed by dogs or washed away by rain waters. This is beside dozens of corpses deposited in hospitals days before, during and after the siege.
At the peak of their reign, insurgents reportedly moved about freely, mostly on motorbikes, brandishing their guns and other dangerous weapons. They succeeded in forcing out hundreds of lower class citizens who have settled in the area for years, leaving behind only those inhabitants who embraced their way of life and joined the followers of Mohammed Yusuf, the now slain leader of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, also known as Boko Haram.
Soon after the crackdown on members of the sect, those who survived regrouped in Bulabulin Ngarnam, among many other locations within and outside Maiduguri. While remaining underground, the sect members strengthened themselves by amassing arms and ammunitions as well as recruiting members in preparation for another insurgency that continued till date.