Army Locks Down Maiduguri Highway
The road leading from Maiduguri to Damaturu and Damaturu to Potiskum in Borno and Yobe states have been reportedly shut down by troops of the Nigerian Army.
According to information gathered by Naija News, only troops and heavy fighting equipment are plying the road.
The state Secretary of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Malam Nuhu according to a publication by Daily Post, claimed not to have any idea on what led to the sudden road closure.
He however observed that the development might not be unconnected to some recent attacks launched by Boko Haram fighters which is raising concern for those plying the roads as well as residents of the area and nearby places and efforts by the security forces to tackle same.
“It is rather traumatic for drivers and passengers going through the over 200 km stretch between Maiduguri and Potiskum when one is going to Kano, Jos or Abuja or when one is coming back. The road within this stretch is always a point of long prayers seeking divine intervention as the uncertainty is greater.
“I think if closing the road is to fish out the men threatening travellers, then it is a good idea. But we do not know their mission yet, however like I said, it may not be unconnected with the ongoing operations in the area” he said.
However, a notification from Col. Ado Isa, spokesman of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army as obtained by Naija News, said the road will be opened to the general public later in the afternoon.
Similarly, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director Public Relations Operation LAFIYA DOLE in a statement on Wednesday, said what is happening is an ongoing clearance and snap checks operations in the general area required to clear suspected Boko Haram terrorists along that road.
His statement reads:
“Our attention has been drawn to rumours that the Nigerian Army has closed Maiduguri-Damaturu road. This is not true.”
“What is happening is an ongoing clearance and snap checks operations in the general area required to clear suspected Boko Haram terrorists along that road.”
“The clearance operation is ultimately for the safety and security of motorists and other road users.”
“Members of the public are please advised to cooperate and bear with the troops as they carry out these duties.”