Emergency alarms are ringing on the social media hinting that Michika town in Adamawa State of Nigeria has come under attack by Boko Haram. The alert is asking social media platforms to publicise this. And to pray for the inhabitants! According to the alert, some of the inhabitants who have gone into hiding have said they have been hearing gunshots no end.
The alert was first sighted by 10. 01 pm last night, coinciding with very bad network on many of the GSM service providers in parts of Abuja.
Michika is not a small town, about the fourth largest town in the state. In strategic terms, it falls into the list of national nerve centres (structures, cities, infrastructures, etc) that must be defended. Boko Haram being able to take over would be a worrisome development to the inhabitants, the military and other concerned actors. This is more so with rising number of attacks across Southern Kaduna, Zamfara and, recently, Sokoto and Katsina aside from the Middle Belt. Apart from the journalese ‘unknown gunmen’, nothing more specific is known about the perpetrators, leaving different explanations competing.
The question is how Boko Haram and ‘unknown gunmen’ have sustained a decade long confrontation with a national military such as the Nigerian Armed Forces that performed battle wonders in the jungles of Liberia and Sierra Leone years back. Is it lack of training, morale crisis, lack of arms, diffuse nature of insurgency or what?